Workplace Collaboration

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Garland Industries


Google Workspace Migration and Deployment
3 Months

An Innovator Since the 1800s

Cleveland-based Garland Industries, Inc., has a diverse and interesting past. The company has been a manufacturing innovator for more than 100 years. Its storied history began in 1895 when Jacob B. Wise purchased the Garland Company, Inc., known then as the Garland Refining Company, for $100 with money he borrowed from his brother, Samuel.

Garland has led the commercial roofing industry throughout the last century by providing high-performance, innovative waterproofing solutions engineered for long-term performance. Today, Garland Industries is comprised of 14 manufacturing companies throughout North America and the United Kingdom. Looking at its history of innovation, it’s no surprise that the company has gone Google with Google Workspace.

Acquisitions Add to IT Complexity

Bruce Emrick, Director of IT for Garland Industries, has been with the company for 16 years and has seen it grow significantly during that time. In his role with the parent company, he and his staff of six don't dictate how the other Garland companies handle their IT functionality. Rather, he introduces the tools being used at the parent company to its manufacturing companies and shows them what options he and his staff like — and why. at the time of publication, the company had 600 Google Workspace license and were moving recently acquired companies to the platform, as well.

Parent Company Leads the Way by Choosing Google

Emrick and his team first evaluated Google in 2008, and then again in 2009. By 2012, Garland was ready to make the transition, and its leadership was happy to work with Onix.

“We liked the resources that Onix had for deployment and training,” said Mr. Emrick. “We didn’t move quickly; we moved one region at a time, and we’ve never looked back. Switching to Google was a big deal. We had overhead costs and issues (around legacy systems), and time spent in setup and support. But Google just made it easy and those problems went away.”

Emrick said the migration was a smooth transition, aided by Onix’s webinar training and regional training. He said the move to Google Workspace was an inevitable one for Garland.

“We saw the writing on the wall. We were using outdated technology, and it wasn't an efficient way to do things. It was hard to administer and included more overhead," he noted. "Also, moving newly acquired companies backward from Exchange definitely did not make sense. We like to gradually bring acquired companies into the Google Workspace fold, so to speak."

Since the companies that Garland acquires generally do not have an IT person on staff, it’s up to Emrick’s team, along with consultants like Onix, to move the new employees to Google Workspace.

Employees Appreciate Simplicity and Speed That Google Brings

Garland employees appreciate how the security built into Drive makes it easy to know who has access to what, and how simple it is to share docs. Calendaring has eliminated administrative overhead, empowering the end user. Employees can customize ways in which they do business. The company has a variety of files, such as photos, CAD drawings, and scope of project documents, storing them all in Drive folders filed by customers. Ultimately, this makes communication with customers even more efficient.

Mr. Emrick celebrated the benefits, saying, “Can you believe that I used to train employees how to efficiently send email attachments because files were so large? Now we just send an email asking them to look at the Drive folder."

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