Customer Story

Canam Group: Constructing a faster productivity solution

Canam Group

G Suite is the central work solution for Canam Group, allowing its employees in North America and worldwide to more easily work and collaborate.

Google Cloud Results

Doubled employee satisfaction following migration to G Suite

• Boosts employee productivity by introducing G Suite collaborative features to global workforce

• Reduces licensing operating costs after migrating to G Suite

• Creates channels for improving employee experience with G Suite and Google Data Studio integrations

Since the fabrication of its first open-web steel joist in 1961, Canam Group (Canam) has literally laid a foundation for cities around the world. The industrial steel company fabricates products and offers construction services that support countless buildings and bridges for customers worldwide.

Internally, the company saw an opportunity to improve how its teams collaborate. Canam employees had used a legacy productivity solution for nearly 20 years, relying on the software suite for routine work including documents and emails. But to maintain its competitive edge in the steel manufacturing industry, the company sought a more agile productivity ecosystem that wasn't locked into desktop software.

"Issues like automation and finding talent are only accelerating competition. Google and G Suite give us the momentum to succeed by removing internal roadblocks and letting us focus on delivering the best product to our customers." - Matthieu Delorme, CIO, Canam Group

"We have thousands of employees globally and they needed a work environment that operated as fast as they worked," says Matthieu Delorme, CIO at Canam Group. "We knew that there was a huge impact on employees because it affects everybody in the company, but it also sent a message that we're moving toward a more digital environment."

G Suite and migration partner Onix were the driving factors in how Canam transitioned into a digital-first company, as the accessibility and power of Google immediately appealed to the company. The cloud-based architecture of G Suite lets Canam communicate and collaborate faster, which brings improved productivity and allows the company to better respond to new challenges in the construction space.

"Issues like automation and finding talent are only accelerating competition," says Matthieu. "Google and G Suite give us the momentum to succeed by removing internal roadblocks and letting us focus on delivering the best product to our customers."

Supporting a digital transformation

In the initial stages of its migration, Canam faced several challenges. The G Suite transition would move more than 2,000 employees, who are based in the United States, Canada, India, and Romania. While the G Suite move would only affect Canam office staff, the company also wanted to help ensure that the change didn't disrupt existing workflows with its production workforce.

Beyond technical issues, Canam also had to manage company culture expectations with the transition. From accounting to engineers, teams had years of experience on the company's legacy productivity solution, so they needed company support transitioning to a new cloud-based solution.

To tackle the challenges, Canam and Onix underwent a three-phase approach to deploying G Suite as a management-led change initiative that took less than six months. The first IT-focused deployment phase focused heavily on technical issues such as testing migration tools and figuring out how migration would work on employee desktops, laptops, or mobile devices. This set Canam's IT staff up for greater success when addressing future support needs.

Canam and Onix spent nearly two months training a group of 200 employees on G Suite for the migration's second phase, teaching them how to use programs such as Docs and migrating their internal tools. The company saw strong feedback at the end of the trial period, as more than 95 percent of the early adopter group accepted offers to become employee Google Guide experts.

"Before G Suite, the questions the help desk used to receive were often about features that didn't work in our previous solution. We rarely get those questions with G Suite and that's a credit to its performance and reliability." - Gilbert Tougas, IT Coordinator, Services and Quality Assurance, Canam Group

Onix was a crucial collaborator for Canam Group throughout every step of the migration process, as its staff helped develop employee training resources, joined meetings, and regularly communicated with the company team members.

"Onix gave us an excellent strategy for deploying G Suite," says Gilbert Tougas, IT Coordinator, Services and Quality Assurance at Canam Group. "Our G Suite transition needed Google training, but with an approach that appealed to the Canam culture. Onix thoroughly understood how to strike this balance."

For the deployment's final phase, Canam used resources including third-party migration tools to move nearly 1,700 accounts on its legacy solution over to G Suite during a single weekend. To prepare for the move, transition managers heavily bolstered support resources. Staffers with troubleshooting questions could turn to fellow employee Google Guide experts or the help desk, which temporarily tripled its staffing, for questions.

This coordination led to a stress-free rollout for the Canam team, as the deployment ran into no delays and only took four days for employees to work through their initial learning curve with G Suite. Immediate feedback for G Suite has been strong within Canam, as more than 85 percent of employees reported being satisfied after the migration. The company points to the accessibility of Google and the easy G Suite learning curve to support the migration's success and quick adoption by staff.

"Before G Suite, the questions the help desk used to receive were often about features that didn't work in our previous solution," says Gilbert. "We rarely get those questions with G Suite and that's a credit to its performance and reliability."

Encouraging collaborative productivity

From Docs to Gmail, Canam employees have already leveraged G Suite productivity solutions for substantial efficiency gains. Regardless of location, employees can more easily share files and collaborate with G Suite cloud editing and file management features.

The preparation of some documents requiring the collaboration of several people, such as budgets or technical specifications, is done much more quickly: "We found that tasks that took four days to complete because the documents could not be modified while they were in circulation in a constant exchange of emails, are now done in a single day," explains Matthieu.

"Migrating to G Suite has been a journey, not just a one-time event. As Canam Group grows, our needs are bound to shift, but we know that G Suite will always be the best tool for what we need." - Matthieu Delorme, CIO, Canam Group

Other apps including Sites and Hangouts Chat are used for team intranet pages and communication. Canam also uses Vault alongside AODocs to maintain industry and legal compliance for file archiving requirements.

Canam also leverages other Google and G Suite resources for applications beyond daily work. Every morning, IT staff members receive a one-question Forms page that asks for their mood similarly to a customer service survey. Managers use Google Data Studio to visualize this data and find areas for schedule improvement. If, for instance, employees frequently have mood drops on certain days of the week.

Another change that the organization is seeing is the shift to videoconferencing on Hangouts at high speed, replacing telephone calls. "If you can't be face-to-face, there's no substitute for eye contact," says Matthieu. "The simplicity of this feature on Hangouts, regardless of the device used and where the callers are located, has exploded the use of videoconferencing."

"G Suite and Google have been transformative for Canam," adds Matthieu. "Organization-wide collaboration doesn't just make work easier, it also helps us deliver stellar customer service and exceed the needs of our clients."

Laying groundwork for the future

When Canam first considered migrating productivity platforms, culture was among its biggest concerns. With employees who had decades of experience on its legacy platform, the Canam team knew that a move couldn't simply be an upgrade for upgrading's sake. With G Suite, Canam has a productivity platform built around collaboration that foundationally improves upon its predecessor.

"Migrating to G Suite has been a journey, not just a one-time event," says Matthieu. "As Canam grows, our needs are bound to shift, but we know that G Suite will always be the best tool for what we need."

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