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Top 4 Takeaways from CommonSpirit Health’s Google Workspace Migration

During the height of the pandemic, CommonSpirit Health, one of the nation’s largest nonprofit healthcare systems, embarked on a tricky mission: migrating employees nationwide to Google Workspace. CommonSpirit Health’s migration to Google Workspace represents the largest Google Workspace migration by a healthcare company to date at 165,000 employees, spread across more than 1,000 care sites in 21 states.

Top 4 Takeaways from CommonSpirit Health’s Google Workspace Migration

For some background, CommonSpirit Health formed when Dignity Health and Catholic Health Initiatives joined forces in 2019. As is often the case following a merger and acquisition, the combined company’s IT systems were disparate, with 13 email systems, an inconsistent experience for employees and customers, and a frustrated company culture. 

Starting in August 2020, the hospital system partnered with Google Cloud and Maven Wave on one massive collaboration platform migration. Over the eight months that followed: 

  • 70,000 clinicians and business users were trained.
  • 217,000 mailboxes were migrated.
  • 801 million emails were migrated.
  • 417 training sessions were delivered.

By all accounts, the project to enable remote collaboration and care during a global pandemic was a success. Below, we’ve outlined four key takeaways from the initiative.  

1. Organizational change management reigns supreme

As Jason Richeson, SVP of Technology Infrastructure, CommonSpirit Health, describes it, one conversation with an executive at a different healthcare provider who recently underwent the same initiative stuck in his mind throughout the migration. He said, “When you go through this journey, there will be a change management process that Maven Wave will suggest. Whatever you do, do exactly what they tell you to.” 

He took that advice to heart. The team got to work across Maven Wave’s four organizational change management pillars: Research & Measurement, Sponsorship & Engagement, Training & Incentives, and Communication & Marketing. Together, the partners identified 28 personas across departments, developed a training program complete with incentives, and created a Google Site catered to CommonSpirit.

2. There is no perfect time

When CommonSpirit started down the Google Workspace migration journey, many executives and employees were asking the obvious question: do we really want to make this big of a shift during a global pandemic? Like healthcare providers worldwide, the team was forced to accelerate its telemedicine roll-out on top of other obvious stressors.

But for Jason Richeson, it was clearly a necessary change. The team couldn’t communicate or collaborate effectively during an incredibly hectic time for the organization. Even the simplest of tasks, such as scheduling a meeting, were made difficult by the lack of transparency across the enterprise. According to the Digital Health Tech Vision 2019 report, “94% of healthcare executives report that the pace of innovation in their organization has accelerated over the past three years due to emerging technologies,” and CommonSpirit needed to keep up. 

3. A seemingly monumental task is achievable with the right partners

It was clear that CommonSpirit needed a new collaboration platform, but how would it be possible during a pandemic and within an aggressive timeline? The team built between CommonSpirit and Maven Wave was able to hit the eight-month deadline right on the dot, but only by working collaboratively from the beginning. With 417 training sessions delivered and 78 executive white-glove sessions held, the partners communicated early and often about the process. 

4. Google Workspace is ubiquitous

One stat that stuck with Jason Richeson as he was considering possible collaboration partners is that one in four American workers use Google Workspace on a daily basis. With over 3 billion users on the platform, nearly everyone at most U.S.-based companies will have some familiarity with the tool, even if they haven’t used it in a work environment. That fact makes the organizational change management burden lighter and the transition timeline quicker.

The success of this project hinged on collaboration just as much as technical know-how — as well as a firm desire to help teams succeed and provide patients with a better experience. With enough dedication (and the right partner to assist them on their journey), CommonSpirit accomplished something truly amazing.

If your enterprise is considering a move to Google Workspace, Maven Wave can help. We develop solutions to help enterprises leverage Google apps and technology to solve their unique business challenges. And our organizational change management experts can help you navigate the cultural shift that comes with changing collaboration tools to guide a large-scale Google Workspace adoption.

To hear more about CommonSpirit’s journey migrating to Google Workspace with Maven Wave, check out the full Google Cloud Next session, “How CommonSpirit Health enabled remote collaboration and care.”

Watch the Session
November 10th, 2021

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