Google Cloud Results
Providing 60+ security features to protect data at a time when headcount was tripling every month and MyGate was maturing as a business
• Enables collaboration between distributed teams and continued effective
operation during pandemic lockdowns
• Increases access to large-scale meetings from 100 to 250 team members and enables more intensive training schedule to support a rapid rise in headcount
• Supports expansion from India into new markets such as Dubai and Kenya.
Housing societies and gated communities are proliferating across India as residents seek greater security, improved amenities and private living. As the number of these communities increases, so too does demand for apps and services that manage aspects of life in these environments. MyGate provides a community app that meets these needs for residents of 20,000+ communities and 3.5 million homes in 20+ Indian cities. Founded in 2016 and a subsidiary of Vivish Technologies, MyGate has grown to 1,500 employees.
The business started operations as a provider of security-related technical services, before evolving its product into an end-to-end community management platform that enables residents to perform tasks ranging from booking amenities to connecting and discussing issues through forums.
“We have become the one-stop solution for anything and everything to do with the seamless functioning of a community,” explains Ranjit Behera, Head of Marketing, MyGate.
The business targets its products and services at what it describes as the ‘three layers’ of gated community operation: some products support management of the access layer, or who is coming into or leaving the community; others support discovery and facilitation of operations within the community; and still others help simplify life within the community.
Furthermore, MyGate has branched out into commerce activities related to societies – buying, selling and rental of homes, as well as the purchase of home services and solutions can be undertaken through the app.
MyGate continues to grow quickly and Ranjit says the number of societies the business services is increasing at 5-6% per month. With urbanization forecast to grow from about 30% to 40-42% within five years as people continue to move to cities like Delhi, Mumbai and Bangalore to work, and the number of gated communities across India growing at 10-11% per year, MyGate is ideally positioned to build on its early success.
However, the business’s ambitions extend well beyond the gated community sector in India. “We capture our vision as a business with the line ‘wherever there is a gate, we want MyGate to be there’,” says Ranjit. The business recently launched pilots in Kenya and Dubai based on its identification of strong partners that it could collaborate with and an urbanization profile that meant it would not have to evolve its product significantly.
Effective collaboration essential across multiple cities
“Google Workspace incorporates everything a business needs to start operating, from Google Meet to run video meetings, Calendar to schedule appointments, Forms to build surveys and questionnaires, Slides to create presentations, Docs to generate documents editable in real time by multiple people and Sheets to generate spreadsheets.” -- Ravi Mohan, General Manager, IT Operations, MyGate
Collaboration between teams and its multi-city operations is essential, and the founders’ decision to deploy Google Workspace proved the right one. The business largely based its decision on the design, features and ease of use of Gmail, the preferred personal email option for many of its team members.
“Because all of our team members were using Gmail, Google Workspace was an obvious choice for our business,” says Ravi Mohan, General Manager, IT Operations, MyGate. “Furthermore, Google Workspace incorporates everything a business needs to start operating, from Google Meet to run video meetings, Calendar to schedule appointments, Forms to build surveys and questionnaires, Slides to create presentations, Docs to generate documents editable in real time by multiple people and Sheets to generate spreadsheets.”
The decision enabled MyGate to establish a culture and method of working that maximized team members’ contributions to operations and growth. Multiple team members across different offices work on documents, presentations and spreadsheets at the same time, making edits, adding comments, and sharing files securely within and outside the organization.
Over the last two years, increases in headcount, customer base and expansion ambitions combined with a strong focus on data security prompted the business to step up its commitment to Google Workspace by moving to Google Workspace Enterprise and adopting Chrome OS and Chromebooks.
“The Chrome OS is built with security at its core and we started considering Google Workspace as a security solution,” says Ravi. “We attended a conference in late 2019 that featured presentations about how Chrome OS devices were completely secure, and this was the trigger for us to deploy Chromebooks and upgrade to Google Workspace Enterprise.”
To date, MyGate has rolled out 250 Chromebooks to sales and operations teams, and complemented these by purchasing licences from Neverware to provide a Chrome OS experience through its CloudReady product to workers through laptops acquired by the company. It has upgraded about 1,200 employees to Google Workspace Enterprise.
Deploying 60+ security features
“One of our values is confidentiality – meaning we respect and take care of clients’ confidential information. With Google Workspace, we ensure that client data is secure with our employees, wherever they are working from and on whatever network they use.” -- Ravi Mohan, General Manager, IT Operations, MyGate
The move to Google Workspace Enterprise and Chrome enabled the business to deploy 60+ security features within Google Workspace Enterprise, introduce a requirement for team members to log in only using the Chrome browser and disable USB ports on the devices.
Other security measures implemented include ensuring workers can only log in to phones or laptops approved by the MyGate IT team. All employees must download the Google device policy app to their devices to enable the organization to manage them and so IT can install the work profile.
This software also ensures no employees send personally identifiable or sensitive information to personal email accounts or transfer that information outside the organization, while the organization tracks attachments and the sizes of any files transferred internally or externally.
“One of our values is confidentiality – meaning we respect and take care of clients’ confidential information,” explains Ravi. “With Google Workspace, we ensure that client data is secure with our employees, wherever they are working from and on whatever network they use.”
“Google Cloud Premier partner Shivaami – a business we had a preexisting relationship with – helped us identify the security features within Google Workspace Enterprise that would meet our needs,” he adds. “We initially purchased our subscription to Google Workspace directly, but when Shivaami approached us, we decided to work with the partner.”
MyGate communicated regularly with its workforce about its plans to move to Google Workspace Enterprise, with the most significant change being employees’ inability to use their laptops unless IT approved them. Based on its list of departments and employees, the business created various organizational groups within Google Workspace and began implementing configurations at an organizational level, starting with its operations team. The IT team moved through MyGate department by department to approve devices and completed the project between June and August 2020.
The business’s leaders – and its clients – can now relax knowing that sensitive corporate and client data is comprehensively protected from loss.
Google manages thousands of employee phones
Through the Google device policy app, MyGate manages about 2,000 employee phones, comprising company-issued Android and personal iOS and Android phones. The business issues Android phones to the sales and operations teams, with sales teams typically using the devices to demonstrate the MyGate app to the management of societies and operations team members using this app and an app provided to security guards for troubleshooting purposes. “These teams travel extensively and use their phones to respond quickly to emails and review documents,” says Ravi. All other teams use their own devices under a corporate bring-your-own-device policy.
MyGate uses Android Enterprise to securely manage the fleet of devices issued to its sales teams. The work profile enabled through Android Enterprise provides a sound balance of security, privacy and access to the applications that allow team members to perform their roles. Each team member can access company applications in a separate space so they can exercise more freedom and control over their personal usage.
MyGate also purchases thousands of Android devices monthly for the guards working across the 20,000+ societies, with each device running the organization’s app and internal mobile device management software. About 60,000 devices are used by guards at various societies.
The business can log each phone issued to guards by scanning a QR code before shipping them to different locations for use.
Collaboration minimizes pandemic disruption
“When we do a Q&A session, we distribute a Google Form to all employees to register their questions ahead of time. The founders and department heads review the questions and come prepared with the required answers.” -- Ravi Mohan, General Manager, IT Operations, MyGate
Collaboration became even more important to MyGate when the coronavirus pandemic struck India, forcing businesses and individuals into lockdown to help control the spread of the virus. With Google Workspace, Enterprise, MyGate was well positioned to minimize disruption caused by the crisis and continue to focus on growth and customer experience.
The coronavirus pandemic brought the collaboration features of the suite of workplace productivity applications to the fore, with shared drives owned by teams rather than individuals providing invaluable repositories for shared documents. This eliminated the issue of documents owned by individuals being inaccessible when the person left the organization.
MyGate replaced all standard face-to-face meetings with Google Meet video conferencing during the pandemic, with features such as Mute All and the ability to enable audiences to participate in Q&A sessions during corporate update meetings. “When we do a Q&A session, we distribute a Google Form to all employees to register their questions ahead of time,” says Ravi. “The founders and department heads review the questions and come prepared with the required answers.”
Google Workspace Enterprise also provides as much storage as each worker needs, allowing MyGate to dispense with exception and approval processes triggered when certain employees require upgraded accounts to accommodate their storage needs.
Furthermore, because Google Workspace Enterprise enables up to 250 people to participate in meetings – up from 100 on Business Starter plans – MyGate is scaling up company-wide briefings and ramping up recruitment and training activities to support its rapid growth.
The collaboration suite enables MyGate, as a ‘growth startup’, to time its investments in enterprise-grade enterprise resource planning and other corporate software for the right time in its growth cycle. Currently. products such as Sheets enable team members to collaborate on reports shared with the head of operations for each city for review every morning.
The organization’s IT team uses Apps Script to automate the extraction and massaging of data from accounts receivable software into a format for review by department heads, while AppSheet enables the business to build internal applications to perform tasks such as automating internal workflows.
MyGate is now evaluating the use of Google Cloud products and services such as the BigQuery analytics data warehouse to further enhance its capabilities.
*Google Workspace was formerly known as G Suite prior to Oct. 6, 2020.