How CloudM headlined The BRIT School's adoption of Google Workspace

BRIT2

Customer Story

The Company

The BRIT School is the leading performing and creative arts school in the UK, preparing a long list of illustrious alumni for careers within a range of creative industries.

Since its creation in 1991, over 10,000 students have benefited from a BRIT School education. Former students include not only BRIT Award and Grammy Award winners, Hollywood leading lights and talented dance troupes, but a plethora of highly trained technical production staff.

They have grown a lot in the last three decades, when they had an intake of 450 students. Currently, The BRIT School is home to 1,400 students and an additional 400 staff members, and, with the number of jobs being created in the UK creative arts sector continuing to rise, this number is only set to grow.

The Issue

During the Covid-19 lockdown, The BRIT School, like many other academic institutions around the world, was faced with the unprecedented issue of keeping a large remote student body connected and engaged with their studies.

Being the imaginative people they are, several departments within The BRIT School started to incorporate the creative and collaborative features of Google Workspace into their lesson plans to bridge the divide. Google Classroom and Google Drive in particular gave entire classes the ability to interact, share, and most importantly, continue to learn.

Having seen the benefits of Google Workspace, Jennifer Surujpaul, Head of IT and Digital at The BRIT School, knew that it wasn’t just a solution for the lockdown landscape, but post-pandemic too.

However, students and staff all had Microsoft Outlook email accounts, making it difficult to easily share Google resources and meeting invites using two ecosystems.

In addition, Jennifer wanted to find a solution that allowed her to delegate routine tasks, like updating job titles, pronouns and contact details on email signatures, and automate other manual tasks, such as sharing resources or revoking access as part of onboarding and offboarding workflows. All without giving up too much control.

That’s when she got in touch with CloudM.

The Project

The immediate goal was to help The BRIT School move 1,680 users from Microsoft Outlook to Gmail. For Jennifer and her team, this process was simple, hassle free and next to effortless. Why? Because they choose to let us migrate all of the users and their data as part of a serviced migration.

With a dedicated CloudM Project Manager and Deployment Specialist assigned to the project, each step of the process was carried out to a pre-set timeline, with timely project updates communicated to The BRIT School, to provide a seamless transition from one email platform to another.

Now that email was consolidated onto The BRIT School’s Google domain, our Customer Success team were on hand to help Jennifer get the most out of Google Workspace, using our cloud management modules to cut down or even completely automate some of the manual tasks that swallow up an IT team’s time on a daily basis.

Emma Webster, Customer Success Manager at CloudM explained that, “Having spoken extensively with Jennifer, I could see that our email signature management module would be really beneficial for The BRIT School. Not only could we make sure that the email signatures being used were consistent and on brand, but we could also use role based access control to allow Jennifer to delegate small tasks like updating job titles and contact details to the individual BRIT School staff member, greatly reducing the number of tiny time-sink tickets”.

As Emma mentioned, Jennifer could give staff members the autonomy to customize information on their own signatures without having to worry about them changing the branding. They achieved this by placing variables in the email signature template that the user’s own details would replace from their personal profile, and then allowing staff members to only change specific fields in their profile.

With email signatures sorted, The BRIT School wanted to edit information such as descriptions for their email groups to make it clear who was in each group. This would allow staff to send out bulk emails without having to worry about emails being received by the wrong students or staff.

In Google Workspace and even in the CloudM UI, this would have been a messy, time-consuming task. Instead, Emma suggested using the bulk editing features in CloudM Automate. The BRIT School simply downloaded the data for the email groups, edited the relevant fields within the customizable sheet, and uploaded the file again once happy. This approach also allowed them to see the data for all email groups at a glance so they could quickly and easily spot inconsistencies, errors and blank fields. All the changes were immediately updated in CloudM Automate and synced to Google Workspace.

Jennifer and Emma are now looking at how CloudM’s automated onboarding and offboarding workflows could turn some of The BRIT School’s monotonous, manual processes into two-minute tasks.

Jennifer can already see how implementing the onboarding and offboarding workflows will help as a long-term solution, automating and speeding up both processes at traditionally busy times of the school year for the IT team.

“I can see how beneficial the CloudM management tools will be within the organization, and that they will streamline our process in terms of data, making sure that data is more effective and efficient, which is especially important in this day and age”.

Jennifer Surujpaul, Head of IT and Digital at The BRIT School

The Future

Looking even further into the future, The BRIT School will also use our CloudM Archive module as part of the offboarding process to make sure that leaver’s data is stored, easily restorable and automatically purged, in accordance with GDPR and other data retention regulations.

Additionally, all data is stored securely in the customer’s own cloud storage buckets and admins can be restricted to only restore the data of a subset of users so they can’t access potentially sensitive data, such as salary discussions, customer details or disciplinary emails.

Having already recommended CloudM to other colleagues within the industry, Jennifer was happy to say that one of the main reasons was the care and attention of the CloudM staff, pointing out that throughout the journey, from procurement to managed migration to onboarding, she was impressed and assured by the technical know-how and approach.

“I felt that CloudM was very organized. They had been there and done it before. In terms of this process, this was instrumental for us choosing CloudM”, Jennifer explained. “And the service that we receive is really important, having someone from CloudM available to help as and when we need it and the fact we don’t need to wait two or three days for a response”.

The BRIT School is on course to enjoy the benefits of Google Workspace, supercharged by CloudM features, for years to come and Emma is excited to continue working alongside them to fine tune the processes and free up more of the IT team’s valuable time.

If you want to see how any of CloudM’s modules can help you overcome your IT headaches, saving you time and money, why not speak to us?

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