Equity Residential is an S&P 500 company with over 4,000 employees that owns, develops, and operates high-quality apartment properties in 16 states and the District of Columbia.
With a distributed base of employees across more than 400 locations, Equity Residential has the need for effective, multi-approach, real-time communication across a highly mobile workforce. Employees are charged to serve their customers faster, provide a high level of resident satisfaction, and thereby maintain a high renewal rate and rapid inventory turn. In addition, Equity Residential needed to upgrade its existing office software suite as part of these efforts.
After evaluating market options, Equity Residential selected Google Apps as their ideal communication and collaboration solution. Google’s secure, integrated, high-performing platform, which allows access from any browser, any device, any time and any location, is best-suited to Equity Residential’s user base.
With users in over 400 locations, leadership recognized the need to balance speed with a measured approach to change management, so they ultimately decided upon a two-phase approach. Starting with the field organization of 2,000 employees, the team deployed the full Google Apps platform with specific emphasis on mail, calendar, instant messaging, and contacts while encouraging users to take advantage of the other services. Upon “go-live”, a team of early adopters, Maven Wave team members, and Google team member fanned out across the country to key locations to provide hands-on support and guidance for new users. Corporate is next in line for the deployment under a similar approach but with an increased focus on migrating shared folders, shared calendars, and email archive files.
Equity Residential ultimately teamed with Maven Wave after considering several other partners. While Equity Residential has a strong IT organization, it recognized the need for an experienced Google Apps partner able to complement internal skills. Maven Wave’s consultative approach – in direct contrast to other vendors who utilize a standard basic deployment – appealed to leadership who was looking for a strategic partner to guide them through the transition while also providing hands-on expertise. We leveraged our experience in enterprise transformation in combination with our technical expertise, not only on the Google Apps platform, but also in the supporting infrastructure such as Active Directory.
In addition, as the need for a single-sign on solution (SSO) became apparent during the early engagement planning, Equity Residential relied on Maven Wave to provide recommendations, lead the evaluation process, and implement the chosen SecureAuth SSO solution in parallel and prior to the Google Apps deployment.