A Successful, Complex Technology Separation for RRD

Company Profile

RR Donnelley (RRD) is a leading global provider of integrated multi-channel marketing and business communications solutions. With more than 52,000 customers and 42,000 employees across 28 countries, RRD offers a comprehensive portfolio of capabilities, experience, and scale that enables organizations around the world to effectively create, manage, deliver, and optimize their multi-channel communications strategies.


In August 2015, RRD announced its intention to create three independent, publicly traded companies:

  • RRD: focused on customized multichannel communications management
  • LSC Communications: focused on publishing and print services
  • Donnelley Financial Solutions: focused on financial communications and data services

The executive team saw this as a tremendous opportunity to unlock shareholder value by allowing the three companies to focus on their own distinct strategic priorities, drive opportunities for growth, and compete in new and evolving markets.

Business Situation

It was no easy task to separate three entities from a very complex technology platform that had grown over the years as a result of acquisitions and a variety of customer-specific product demands. The effort would impact every aspect of a business that had historically undergone multi-wave and multi-year deployments.

Maven Wave was responsible for the Google Cloud separation, one of the largest technical separations required to divide the companies into three separate entities. In this case, management identified ambitious objectives:

  1. Maintain and replicate all business critical systems, architectures, and configurations in accordance with extremely aggressive timelines.
  2. Maintain ‘business as usual’ for employees and customers throughout the migration and on day one for each of the new companies.

RRD has always been an innovator in the industry. The company develops market-leading products and is forward-thinking with their internal technology. The company was an early adopter of the Google Cloud solution; they have 43,000+ users who had amassed over five years of historical messages, 6,000+ collaborative Google Sites, over six million documents leveraging Google Drive, 22,000 group lists, and over 110TB of data supported on the Google platform.

RRD was faced with the complex challenge of separating all of the company’s artifacts into three separate Google environments in order to allow users to have full access to all of their assets in their respective new companies. For this reason, RRD decided to engage Maven Wave on their journey to architect and drive the Google Cloud separation.


Maven Wave provided the master plan, methodology, and solution architecture to carve out all of the required assets into the three separate domains. Maven Wave led the six-month data migration of all messages, documents, calendars, contacts, Chromebox for Meetings, and Google Sites. By leveraging the Google Cloud Platform, RRD didn’t need to introduce any new assets into their on-prem environment and all the required migration compute workloads were managed in the cloud. The team provided development support to automate certain manually-intensive functions including discovery, permission rights, and group management. Maven Wave also leveraged their Chandigarh office to provide 24×7 coverage and all of the workload server operations support during the entire migration.

As part of the overall successful project delivery, the team was able to:

  • Maintain the full fidelity of the heritage domain and the individual user experience with address translations, permission rights, corporate links, and security controls to ensure day one business operations.
  • Manage a multi-month data migration process and minimize any rework while the new organizational structure was still under development for approximately 20,000 people spinning from RRD.
  • Provide a dual environment and white-glove services for the RRD executives between the organizational soft launch and the hard separation date.


For the RRD customer, it was business as usual with no disruption to the high-level of service that they expect from RRD.  It was a seamless technology separation that allowed employees at all three companies the ability to focus on what really matters: meeting the needs of the customer. As an early adopter of the Google Cloud, it allowed RRD to manage a significant business event and continue to be in a position to increase team productivity and adopt new products that will better serve their customers.

Get the latest industry news and insights delivered straight to your inbox.

Sign up for our Newsletter