At Promevo, we love providing solutions to our customers through the use of Google products. With Essence Global, we introduced them to the world of Google Workspace.
Google Workspace is an integrated suite of secure, cloud-native collaboration and productivity apps powered by Google AI, including Gmail, Docs, Drive, Calendar, Meet and more.
After helping them out, we sat down with Colin McCarthy, Essence Global’s VP for Global IT, to discuss his experience with Google Workspace.
How Essence Puts Value Into Marketing
Essence Global is a digital marketing company that works to make advertising more valuable to the world. The company has around 2000 employees in 20 different offices, and works with companies such as Target, NBC Universal, Google, and more.
Colin McCarthy, the VP for Global IT, manages an IT team of 20 who are spread throughout the globe. Their primary goal is making IT as seamless as possible. They aim to make working with their IT systems fault free, so there’s never a barrier to getting work done.
The company utilizes many Google solutions — including Chrome Enterprise, Hangouts Meet Hardware, and Promevo’s Google Workspace management software, gPanel®. The main product that is used by every employee at Essence Global is Google Workspace. The company heavily relies on Google Workspace to help manage and unite their different locations. Since Essence discovered Google Workspace in 2009, they haven’t looked back.
“[Google Workspace is] very much ingrained in how Essence operates and collaborates.”
Why Move to Google Workspace?
Essence’s switch to Google Workspace came at a time when the company had outgrown its Microsoft Small Business Server and was considering Exchange.
While at the time they were a small company, they had plans and ambition to expand globally. Essence knew they needed a solution that would scale at a low cost and allow them to effectively work with clients and internal teams.
Thankfully these founders were very forward thinking because they knew Exchange would be costly to manage, restrict growth, and potentially be a single point of failure. So Essence decided to take the leap and adopted Google Workspace, previously known as “Google Apps for Business,” which had only been out for a few years in 2009.
Essence Global uses Chrome devices as well. Only about 1-2% of the company use Chromebooks as a corporate issued device, but it’s more than as a BYOD. Essence struggled in the past to quickly provide a spare machine to users that needed them — like when a laptop was left at home or when it was being repaired.
The IT Support team used to take a lot of time setting up and issuing a corporate configured machine when it was only needed for a short amount of time. Deploying Grab and Go (which is currently only in the NYC office) has not only solved this problem, but has provided the end-user with a secure device they can access quickly and can be centrally controlled by IT.
“I’ve worked on a Chromebook since 2014, and it’s my primary device.”
The company also made the decision to use the Hangouts Meet Kits for their conferencing solution. In 2014, Essence had standalone computers setup with cameras and mics, and before that they used LifeSize Video Conferencing equipment.
However these previous solutions were always either slow, expensive, or overall problematic. Had they not switched to HMK, Essence would have had to invest heavily in an expensive inflexible solution, or carry on with a system they cobbled together themselves
Colin believes that if Essence had not adopted Google Workspace and collaborative working, Essence would not have been able to expand and grow as quickly as it has.
Promevo to the Rescue
Colin McCarthy originally found Promevo on the Google Apps Marketplace. He needed a company that offered migration services and at the time, the pickings were slim. There weren’t many companies providing additional service and support for Google Apps in 2011.
Promevo stood out because of our Google Workspace management software, gPanel®, which makes Google Workspace management a breeze. After speaking to Aaron Gumz, Promevo’s Managing Partner, and the Promevo team, Colin was confident in Promevo’s understanding of the platform and had great faith in their abilities.
“Google Workspace has enabled Essence to focus on business growth, not on installing file servers and patching Exchange.”
Essence also has a growing number of Chromebooks available to employees. Some use them as a dedicated device, and others use them as a quick replacement when there is an IT issue with a regular laptop.
Colin has worked on Chrome OS since 2014 and has loved it’s development over the last 5 years. Essence prefers Chromebooks because they value their security, the speed of booting and restarting after an update, and the overall focus on providing a perfect browser with access to Google Workspace.
Hangouts Meet has also become a vital part of the company — “the number one relied upon feature” as stated by Colin. Everyone uses it at the company — from the Global CEO to the newest Graduate or Intern.
Globally, Essence has over 150 meeting rooms equipped for Hangouts Meet calls. Whether its offices collaborating with each other or client calls, these meeting rooms are constantly in use. According to Colin, their users are much more likely to jump on a quick call than to go back and forth in an email thread.
“Setup is so easy it was done by our local IT teams or in some offices by the Office Manager.”
Essence has also used gPanel, Promevo’s Google Workspace management solution, to manage their domain, and it’s currently being used to manage another domain they own. The reporting functions have been a great asset to Essence because they are able to schedule regular reports.
Growing Faster & Stronger
For Essence, the best part of Google Workspace is the world class collaboration features that they don’t have to maintain. It would be complex and difficult to provide the functionality of Google Workspace on their own supported hardware, and would involve a costly IT network and support team.
Using Google Workspace in such a large business isn’t always seamless, however. Essence has occasionally bought other agencies, and some of the users from these agencies have struggled with Google Workspace after using Outlook for so long.
Essence worked through this with the simplest solution: training. They trained and worked with these users to understand their old Outlook workflow, and to help them reproduce it in Google Workspace.
At the same time, they would show them all the additional features of Google Workspace, such as collaborating on a Google Sheet in real time rather than emailing an Excel spreadsheet back and forth.
Essence has clearly been impressed with the assistance they get from Promevo. Powered by Google Workspace and Chrome Enterprise, Essence is truly living out their goal of being a global company. It’s safe to say that Chrome Enterprise, Google Workspace, and Promevo are a win for Essence Global.
“Google Workspace has given us the ability to scale quickly and to run Essence on a very secure platform. The collaboration capabilities have certainly helped our competitive edge… That speed of collaboration can’t happen when people are sending attachments back and forth with different version numbers, or comments/suggestions are lost in an email thread.”