Acadian Ambulance Service was founded in 1971. What began as a small ambulance company in Louisiana has expanded to include a diverse suite of services designed to offer support and education in health, safety and transportation. The company’s six divisions—Acadian Ambulance Service, Acadian Air Med, Executive Aircraft Charter Service, Acadian Total Security, National EMS Academy, and Safety Management Systems—provide emergency and non-emergency services in hundreds of communities throughout Louisiana, Texas and Mississippi. Acadian employs more than 4,500 employees across the United States and internationally.
What Acadian Wanted
Why Acadian Chose G Suite
Acadian employees were using an old version of Microsoft Outlook that was at the end of its life and licensing was set to expire. The company was faced with migrating 4,500 employees onto a new email platform, and had to consider functionality, scalability, security and compliance, and cost. They wanted to leverage the cloud but needed to maintain strict compliance with PHI and HIPAA, making security a top priority.
Acadian approached Google Cloud Premier Partner Agosto to identify its options for an updated email platform that would scale across all divisions and accommodate its base of 4,500 employees. The company knew it would need assistance with the technical migration to the public cloud, as well as with the training of all employees, 2,500 of whom are remote. Acadian could upgrade to Microsoft Office 365 and continue to use an on-premises Exchange server; or they could ‘Go Google’ with G Suite and migrate to the public cloud.
Both platforms offered the security and compliance Acadian required. The deciding factor turned out to be cost—Acadian chose Google G Suite when they realized that Microsoft 365 would cost three times more to license.
Google G Suite
After the decision was made to move the company from Outl
Agosto worked with Acadian’s IT department to perform administrator training and application testing to work out any issues prior to implementing G Suite.
Acadian identified “early adopters”—approximately 200 employees who would transition to G Suite before the rest of the company. This approach ensured that the majority of employees would have a peer who could help them when needed. Agosto worked closely with Acadian’s team, providing an excellent communications plan with timelines and templates, to ensure that the company’s 4,500 employees were prepared for the transition.
During a global “Go Live”, Agosto continued to provide training and change management to facilitate the acceptance of and smooth transition to G Suite.
ook to Gmail, Agosto worked with Acadian to determine the company’s license needs and scope of training. A project blueprint was created to illustrate the phases and scope of the migration.
Agosto provided end-user communications before, during and after the implementation to inform employees about new tools and changes, and to ensure they were prepared to use the new platform effectively.
“Agosto’s change management professionals communicated with Acadian employees prior to and during the migration to Gmail, and did so in such a way as to make the transition as painless as possible,” stated Thevis.
Previously, with Microsoft Outlook, Acadian had to purchase an Exchange license for every PC, and an MS Outlook license for every user. With Google G Suite Acadian only needs to purchase one license per user. They can also purchase ‘blocks’ of users and activate them as needed. That means that the cost is prorated for new users, which saves even more money.
The ability to collaborate on shared files has increased productivity levels. It has also made complex tasks simpler. For example, the Acadian Ambulance Service division needs to maintain its Commission on Accreditation of Ambulance Services (CAAS) credentials by becoming recertified every three years. Multiple departments have to contribute as a part of this complex process. With Google Drive Acadian can create subfolders that organize the different certification components, enabling each department to focus on just their piece.
Acadian is committed to meeting the strict security and compliance regulations of the healthcare industry. Agosto worked with the company to tighten up server network security, eliminate a VPN network, migrate data to Google Cloud, and simplify user licensing. In addition, by choosing Google the company eliminated the need to hire a full-time MS Exchange administrator.