Google Workspace Grows Right Along with Garland Industries

Posted by John Lawler, Director of Cloud Professional Services

May 07, 2015


With a diverse past in the manufacturing sector, it's now wonder Cleveland-based Garland Industries, Inc.,  has been a commercial roofing-products innovator since the end of the 19th Century. 

The manufacturer's 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. The company grew to become a leader in 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. Considering its history of innovation, it’s no surprise that the company has "gone Google" by turning to Google Workspace (formerly G Suite) in order to achieve a workplace transformation.

Growing a Google Workspace User Base

Bruce Emrick, Garland's Director of IT,  has seen the company grow significantly during his long tenure. 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 and his team introduce the tools used at the parent company to the related manufacturing companies and show them what options the HQ IT team likes to use and why. When Garland reached out to Onix for help, it had 600 Google Worksapce licenses and wanted to move two recently-acquired companies to Google Workspace, as well. 

Emrick and his team first evaluated Google in 2008, and then again in 2009. It was 2012 when Garland was ready to make the transition, and they were happy to work with Onix.

“We liked the resources that Onix had for deployment and training,” Emrick said. “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 been running Notes Traveler (using Lotus’ mobile server). We had overhead costs and issues, and time spent in setup and support. But Google just made it easy and those problems went away.”

Adding the new Google Workspace licenses went smoothly, in part thanks to Onix’s webinar and regional training programs.

Speaking about the decision to go Google, Emrick commented, “We saw the writing on the wall. We were using Lotus Notes, and Notes development was not an efficient way to do things. It was hard to administer and included more overhead. Also, moving newly acquired companies from Exchange to Notes definitely did not make sense.”

Emrick indicated he likes to gradually bring acquired companies into the "G Suite" fold. Because the companies that Garland acquires generally don't have an in-house IT team, it’s up to Emrick’s team, along with consultants like Onix, to move the new employees to Google Workspace.

Workers Give Google Workspace the Thumbs Up

Garland employees appreciate how the security built into Drive, a key Google Workspace feature, 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 customer. Ultimately, this makes communication with customers even more efficient.

 Emrick celebrated the benefits of the company's Google Workspace customer success and its improved productivity and collaboration across teams and company locations.

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

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John Lawler, Director of Cloud Professional Services

John oversees all deployments of Google Workspace and Chrome and post-deployment services that help customers see the value in the entire Google platform. He has been helping organizations go Google since 2009.

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