Google Workspace Results
7,700 employees in 460 branches migrated in four months
• Migration completed 33% faster than the shortest planned timeline
• Remote migration and training of widely geographically dispersed branches
• Faster onboarding of new staff due to previous familiarity with Google Workspace tools
• Increased online interaction and collaboration within and between teams, completing shared documents faster and reducing in-person meetings
• Faster responses to customers with secure remote access to data and email history from any device
Digitization is rapidly transforming Argentina’s financial industry. In 2017, less than 50% of the population had a bank account, but since 2018, the use of QR codes to make and receive payments to digital mobile phone wallets has exploded. The trend accelerated even further during the 2020 pandemic, when many Argentineans made digital payments or used a digital wallet for the first time.
Traditional banks and new fintech startups alike must adapt to this new digitized financial landscape, which is one reason why Banco Macro’s first objective is to know its clients and what they want. While it is the second-largest bank in Argentina, Banco Macro has the largest and most widely dispersed branch network in the country. Close to 8,000 staff serve more than three million customers from 460 branches, from the hustle and bustle of Buenos Aires to the many sparsely populated remote towns of the interior provinces. Today, the bank has 1.5 million digital customers, adding more than 20,000 new digital customers each month.
As customers shift to an increasingly digital banking experience, the bank adjusts its offerings to meet this demand. While already undergoing a digital transformation initiative, the arrival of the COVID-19 pandemic forced the bank to accelerate longer-term plans to fit much shorter timelines.
New tools as an agent for cultural change
While Banco Macro had adopted some cloud tools, especially for video conferencing, the bank was still working primarily with an on-premises solution. Team members could not easily get full access to their work tools while out of the office. With such a widely dispersed workforce, making it easier to work on the same documents and share ideas remotely was a high priority.
“The pandemic required not only that the banks evolve technologically and go digital, but it also forced our employees who started working remotely to change their way of working,” says Juan Caillon, Banco Macro’s Chief Data Officer (CDO). “And this way of working, where customers prefer to interact digitally rather than coming into the branch, is here to stay. Customers have gotten used to it and are not thinking about going back.”
Although the bank had workers of all ages, a high proportion were employees with many years of seniority and experience working with pre-existing processes and tools. Any new solution had to be both intuitive and adoptable by its established employees, while innovative enough to attract digital-native talent in the future. Banco Macro considered this an opportunity not just to implement a new technology, but to implement a cultural change and a new way of working.
Searching for innovation that’s easy to adopt
“Google Workspace is an industry leader at the cutting edge of cloud technologies. After the workforce has migrated to the cloud, we’ll be in position to get started with Google’s data and analytics tools.” - Juan Caillon, Chief Data Officer, Banco Macro
For Banco Macro, there were two clear advantages pushing them toward working with Google over its competitors in the cloud sector.
Caillon shares the first: “Google Workspace is an industry leader at the cutting edge of cloud technologies. After the workforce has migrated to the cloud, we’ll be in position to get started with Google’s data and analytics tools.”
Second, Google Workspace tools, such as Gmail, Calendar, and Docs, are often used by the general public. “Google tools are widely used by everyone in their personal lives, so there’s less resistance to adoption at work,” says Caillon. “When young people join, they have experience already. It makes the onboarding process so much easier.”
Migrating as a cultural challenge, not just a technical challenge
From the beginning, the migration to Google Workspace was conceived as a cultural change in management process, rather than just adding an extra tool to the bank’s arsenal. Working with experienced Google Partner eSource Capital, Banco Macro followed the partner’s plan to the letter.
Three components were instrumental to a smooth and successful transition. First, commitment from the top level down, with the CEO as the first person to migrate and other leaders soon after. Second, identifying team members to provide peer-to-peer support as Google Guides. These Guides are early adopters who help their colleagues onboard onto Google Workspace, offering immediate answers to “How do I…?” questions and ensuring they have support throughout the entire rollout process and beyond. Lastly, a supportive communication strategy with “immersion sessions” for each team member one week before their migration. During an immersion session, the migration team shared how the changes were going to impact them and what to expect on the first day of using the new tools. It was a space for both training and reassurance.
Due to the number of employees, the geographical diversity, and the significant changes proposed, Banco Macro believed that the migration would take from six months to one year. But the entire team of 7,700 was migrated in exactly four months.
Secure storage, secure access, and faster response times
For a company in the financial sector, keeping sensitive customer data safe is a critical factor when selecting a new tool or technology. While the previous on-premises solution met security needs, it didn’t allow the flexibility and remote access that Banco Macro needed for its team members. Some tools could be accessed remotely via VPN, but others required physical presence in the office.
With Google Workspace, team members could access all of their tools and information from a computer or mobile device, simply by having an internet connection. “With Google Workspace, we were able to deploy two-factor authentication, which had not been available to us before,” explains Caillon. “We found a lot of robustness in terms of security, which informed our decision-making process.”
Meanwhile, cloud storage not only allows secure access from anywhere, but increased storage capacity. Banco Macro’s previous email provider restricted inboxes to 1MB of storage, so people had to delete emails or save them on local PC drives. Consulting an old email was not possible out of the office. Today, with Gmail’s scalable mailbox capacity and efficient search bar, old emails can be pulled up from a phone whenever needed.
All these capabilities support another of Banco Macro’s key objectives: agility of response. Customers receive faster responses, as employees aren’t tied to the office and have emails and information accessible at the click of a button.
Making collaboration and communication easy within and between teams
“Today, we have many Google Chats where people can interact with people who are not part of their team. Taking advantage of collaboration tools is generating a truly important change in the way we work.” - Juan Caillon, Chief Data Officer, Banco Macro
With access from anywhere, employees in and out of the office have reduced time spent in meetings, even with much of the workforce still working from home several days a week. Shared and collaborative documents are completed faster without the need to meet in person or by video, and can be worked on at various speeds around each person’s other tasks. Important comments and revisions are stored centrally, not siloed in a personal inbox or PC drive.
Communication has increased not only between members of the same team, but between different departments and branches in different locations that ordinarily would not interact much, if at all. “Today, we have many Google Chats where people can interact with people who are not part of their team,” states Caillon. “Taking advantage of collaboration tools is generating a truly important change in the way we work.” Chat groups first created for the migration team to answer questions have become autonomous spaces where team members help each other.
From a solid foundation to long-term growth
“We’re shifting more services toward Google Cloud, continuing to bet on Google as an engine of long-term change. Ultimately, this will serve our customers with better products, better services, and a faster response.” - Juan Caillon, Chief Data Officer, Banco Macro
Now that the bank’s employees have been enabled with Google Workspace to connect, create, and collaborate, Banco Macro is committed to what it calls Google Growth: using the new tools to measure efficiency, improve productivity, and automate processes.
In parallel, the bank will start migrating its on-premises data warehouse to Google Cloud. “As part of our strategic objective to promote a data-driven culture, we will start implementing Google data and analytics capabilities, continuing to bet on Google as an engine of long-term change,” shares Caillon. “Google Workspace was our first step; now we are looking to shift more services toward Google Cloud. Ultimately, this will serve to reach our customers with even better products, services, and response times.”
*Google Workspace was formerly known as G Suite prior to Oct. 6, 2020.