Google Cloud Results
Improves communication through document version control
• Maintains productivity through collaboration apps such as Meet during the
• Secures user credentials with Google Security Assertion Markup Language (SAML) for single sign-on to Google Workspace and third-party apps
• Scales easily to support a growing workforce
“We pride ourselves on having one of the best systems and structures to allow for flexible, easy communication across the business. Google Workspace allows us to hire the smartest people around the world and know that we can collaborate easily no matter the physical constraints.” - Ben Burns, Chief Operating Officer, Evergen
Coal generates 40% of the world’s electricity to keep lights on in homes and factories running. Evergen’s smart energy software challenges the traditional energy industry by providing retailers and consumers with renewable energy on demand. To make its virtual power plant a reality, Evergen relies on a talented team of data analysts, electrical engineers, and product developers to solve big energy challenges around the world.
To innovate and scale faster, Evergen organizes employees in cross-collaborative teams, instead of regimented departments. The company also adopts a flexible work model where employees can choose to work in the office or remotely, depending on what needs to be achieved. By using Google Workspace and its office apps such as Gmail, Docs, and Meet, employees can work efficiently with colleagues and partners across different time zones and countries.
“We pride ourselves on having one of the best systems and structures to allow for flexible, easy communication across the business,” shares Ben Burns, Chief Operating Officer at Evergen. “Google Workspace allows us to hire the smartest people around the world and know that we can collaborate easily no matter the physical constraints.”
Improving user experience with smart design
“We started out with a non-cloud first / native productivity suite but it was too clunky. People saved different versions of the same document and overlooked comments or changes by others. On Google Workspace, we can see edits in real-time and work on the latest version of a document or presentation, instead of an outdated version that’s saved on someone’s desktop.” - Angus Cameron, Operations Coordinator, Evergen
Prior to migrating to Google Workspace, Evergen found that desktop focused software could not support collaboration as projects grew in complexity. Employees lose precious time looking for files in folders and subfolders, or logging in and out of apps within the same productivity suite.
According to Burns, “All input is error. Compared to incumbents, Google reduces inputs through good user experience design. Google Workspace gives us the speed and flexibility to get things out the door fast and that’s one of the things that sets us apart from our competitors.”
For example, Google Workspace saves everything the user is working on automatically so they don't have to press save. Evergen employees can easily find files using keywords in the Chrome browser instead of searching through folders and sub-folders.
“I think I speak for nearly everyone in the company. Google Workspace tools such as Meet, Docs, and Sheets make collaboration so easy and even fun. And having fun and enjoying the ride is one of our key values.” says Angus Cameron, Operations Coordinator at Evergen. “Google Workspace makes working together a lot easier and more engaging. There's a real time aspect to Meet compared to the legacy collaboration tool that was almost prehistoric technology in terms of the video quality.”
IT Genius assisted with the initial migration of 70 employees, from Australia to Ukraine. The team ran the legacy system and Google Workspace concurrently for 30 days before switching it off. Evergen currently uses Google Cloud Partner DoiT to provide managed services for Google Workspace.
Cameron adds, “As our business scales, we'll add more user profiles and accounts across different countries and timezones that require technical support. DoiT provides us with logging and visibility for IT support issues through its help desk console.”
Through the console, employees can log support issues based on urgency and track the progress. If someone logs out of their account, they can get support quickly and seamlessly from DoiT through the console.
Efficient and secure collaboration with customers and suppliers
Working with external stakeholders such as consultants, agencies, and retailers means that Evergen shares documents for input on the project’s scope of work. Online documents such as Docs and Slides help everyone work together efficiently, while protecting data from security threats.
“We started out with a non cloud first / native-based productivity suite but it was too clunky. People saved different versions of the same document and overlooked comments or changes by others,” says Cameron. “On Google Workspace, we can see edits in real-time and work on the latest version of a document or presentation, instead of an outdated version that’s saved on someone’s desktop.”
As a company providing software to grid operators and energy distributors, security is top of mind. Google’s secure cloud infrastructure helps Evergen meet stringent ISO 9001, 14001, 45001 and 27001 compliance requirements for information security. With Google Drive, employees can set permissions on files and folders when sharing inside and outside of the organization.
Evergen employees are also able to prioritize tasks and meet project deadlines versus being micromanaged. To boost collaboration and break down silos, Evergen uses Google Workspace out-of-the-box integration with enterprise tools such as Slack for internal messaging, Hubspot for customer relationship management, and Xero for accounting. The company uses Google Cloud security solutions such as SAML 2.0 for single sign-on for these third-party apps without having to remember multiple passwords, while protecting user credentials from security threats.
According to Cameron, “We can easily move between Google Workspace and project management tools such as Asana and Slack to schedule meetings on Calendar and share files on Drive, without interrupting our workflow.”
Scaling for growth in a post-pandemic world
“Moving forward, we have the right infrastructure in place for a decentralized power grid. We don’t need to change the fundamental foundations of our systems, tools, and processes but we need to hire more people to scale the business globally. Thanks to Google Workspace, our employees can work from anywhere and still transition the world to renewable energy.” - Ben Burns, Chief Operating Officer, Evergen
During the COVID-19 pandemic, Evergen transitioned from a hybrid to 100% remote model according to lockdown restrictions. While some companies struggled to support remote work, Evergen was already set up to work from home. According to Burns, the hardest thing for the company was to make sure everyone was ergonomically set up for remote working.
In place of in-person meetings, employees used Meet for video conferences more regularly, not only for client meetings and project standups, but informal events such as “Demo Day Wins,” a company-wide weekly wins meeting, and curated social get togethers like “Coffee Roulette.” While many businesses expect employees to return to the office full-time, Evergen continues to offer a hybrid work model so video conferencing is still critical for collaboration.
“Moving forward, we have the right infrastructure in place for a decentralized power grid. We don’t need to change the fundamental foundations of our systems, tools, and processes but we need to hire more people to scale the business globally,” says Burns. “Thanks to Google Workspace, our employees can work from anywhere and still transition the world to renewable energy.”
*Google Workspace was formerly known as G Suite prior to Oct. 6, 2020.