Established in 1965, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA) is the largest museum west of the Mississippi, with a collection of over 120,000 objects from all over the geographic world encompassing nearly the entire history of art. Located in Los Angeles, LACMA has a staff of nearly 500 spread across two offices.
Prior to moving to Google Workspace, LACMA was on Microsoft Exchange and had Outlook installed on all of their desktops. Running on Windows Server 2003, they were faced with the inevitability of upgrading due to the rapidly-approaching support expiration date. Furthermore, there was a need to eliminate expensive and time-consuming maintenance and overall dependency on local servers. There was also a considerable amount of time spent resolving Outlook issues on the desktops.
The IT Team at LACMA evaluated several different solutions, and chose Google Workspace after careful review. LACMA reached out to Google Cloud Premier Partner SADA for consultation and implementation of Google Workspace. The implementation project began with LACMA’s IT team conducting a discovery phase with their staff to address any change management concerns. With unrivaled project and change management services, SADA constructed a plan to address any potential issues and workarounds needed to make the transition as smooth as possible for the LACMA team. SADA completed LACMA’s migration within the span of one weekend.
Andy Dworkin, Director of User Support and Infrastructure at LACMA, summed up the migration process:
“Overall it was very straightforward; we decided on what date it was going to happen, told the staff they would be locked out of email for a short period of time, and Monday morning they came in and all had Gmail.”
The transition was supported by SADA’s training manager with on-site advanced and basic training to several small groups, which facilitated the change management process and helped the staff get more familiar with the interface and functionality of Google Workspace.
Results and benefits
The implementation of Google Workspace has resulted in massive cost and time savings for both the LACMA IT team and the rest of the organization. Dworkin affirmed that LACMA’s annual cost savings amounted to $125,000 based on servers, maintenance, productivity, licenses, and support hours. “As a person responsible for desktops,” he said, “it was an immense relief to not have to worry about Outlook issues on the desktops. We save about 15 hours a week just from not having to worry about email.” Dworkin also stated that LACMA is saving a significant amount of time and expense that had previously gone into managing and maintaining licenses to support on-premise servers for backups and archiving. The reliability of Gmail and Google Drive provided freedom for LACMA’s IT team to focus on projects that mattered instead of being caught up managing servers or resolving email issues.
Beyond cost savings, Google Workspace has provided LACMA with a new way to communicate and collaborate. The staff was delighted with the ability to easily and securely access their documents and email easily, anywhere, and on any device.
Although Gmail is the most heavily used solution, the staff is shifting away from using the network drive as they become more familiar with the collaboration benefits of Google Drive. To describe the productivity gain amongst the staff, Dworkin gave the example that it is common in his department for there to be 5 or 6 people working on a spreadsheet actively at the same time. Before, the team would have to sit down and go through the time-consuming task of stitching together several different spreadsheets, but the whole process has been streamlined with the power of real-time collaboration in Google Drive.
Regarding LACMA’s partner relationships, Dworkin also stated:
“We do a lot of collaboration with other institutions, and document sharing with outside organizations is much easier with Google Drive.”