Customer Story

Essence, an early adopter of cloud technology, trusts Druva to protect Google Workspace data

100%

Visibility into Google Workspace backups for Gmail, shared drives, chat, and calendar

5X

Faster restores for Google Workspace data compared to the legacy solution

About Essence

Essence, part of GroupM, is a global data and measurement-driven agency that blends data science, objective media, and captivating experiences to build valuable connections between brands and consumers. Essence is a pioneer in the use of analytics and technology to create valuable, relevant, and trustworthy advertising. Its clients are industry leaders and change agents who believe in leveraging data, technology, and creativity to drive business growth.

The challenge

Essence was founded in 2005 with the belief that technology makes advertising more valuable, efficient, and transparent. As the business quickly grew out of its Microsoft Small Business Server environment, Essence’s founders decided to leverage software-as-a-service (SaaS) applications and enable workforce mobility.

Essence was an early adopter of Google Workspace in 2009, and each subsequent large scale application it has deployed is cloud-based and tied to Google Workspace via single sign-on (SSO). Its IT team, led by VP of Global IT, Colin McCarthy, maintains the company’s vital infrastructure, and advises on the strategic direction of the technology it uses to service its clients.

In 2014, Essence IT chose a backup solution to protect its Google Workspace data for its nearly 2,000 employees. But as Colin said, “My support team was concerned that the previous backup tool would fail us if we had to restore deleted data.”

Additionally, the legacy backup provider had very slow, inefficient development cycles, as Colin said, and some of the feature requests Essence added went unaddressed for three years. Colin’s team did not have confidence that it could effectively and reliably backup its Google Workspace data.

The solution

“We needed a solution that would do a true backup, allow us to restore quickly, and enable my team to retain data in a more cost-effective manner for users who had left the company,” he said. When Colin was introduced to Druva inSync, he quickly got a sense of confidence in the solution and its team. “There was no hard sell and I felt the Druva team had trust in its product,” he added.

The team did a proof of concept (POC) with Druva inSync, and one of the initial differentiators between Druva and Essence’s legacy backup tool was the responsiveness of the admin panel and dashboard.

“During the POC we backed up both test and live accounts. We were really impressed with the UI and its responsiveness,” said Colin. The single pane of glass gives Colin and his team 100% visibility into Google Workspace backups, including Gmail, shared drives, chat, and calendar.

In addition to its responsive UI, other differentiators of Druva inSync include its ability to do regional backups, the fact that backup does not require specialists, and the capability to leverage its API to integrate with BetterCloud. “Here, new employee Google accounts are automatically backed up in the correct region and any departing users are set as a ‘Preserved User’ in Druva,” said Colin. This automation ensures accuracy and removes manual tasks from the support team.

Results

Essence IT carries the burden of regulatory compliance and meeting legal obligations. With Druva inSync, Colin’s team governs, backs up, and restores all user data in Google Workspace to any AWS account, zone, or region. “Druva helps us comply with GDPR because we can ensure backups are stored in the right region, something our previous platform could not do,” said Colin.

In October 2020, Google changed the retention policies for items in the trash – all files will be automatically deleted after 30 days. But Colin’s team has eliminated all concerns of data loss in Gmail and Google Drive. “Whether it’s accidental or malicious deletion, I don’t worry about it because I have confidence that data is being backed up,” said Colin.

One of the confidence boosters is the 5X faster restores that the team has done with Druva inSync compared to its previous backup tool. “We recently had to restore some files, which I was able to do in about eight minutes. With our previous tool, it would have taken me about 40 minutes to find the file,” he said.

Druva’s speed of development is significantly faster than the previous backup tool. “During the POC we found a few things we needed Druva inSync to do. We asked, and Druva accomplished it in about three weeks, which is about 50X faster than our old tool,” he said.

Paying for storage by user and not by storage capacity also aids the business in cost control. “Trying to do a backup on a per storage capacity would be cost prohibitive, and could very easily scale out of control. Druva inSync eliminates those concerns,” added Colin.

Druva will be a facilitator of Essence’s growth as it continues to diversify its client base, tools, and support even more workforce mobility. “As we continue to adopt SaaS applications, such as Microsoft 365, Slack, and others, we can leverage Druva inSync to protect that data,” said Colin.

Challenges

  • Restoring data and shared permissions for shared Google drives using its legacy backup solution was very problematic
  • If a user deleted their Google Drive or a team shared drive, it could take hours to find the lost file and its associated owner to do a restore
  • Slow, inefficient development cycles from the previous backup vendor meant that some features requested up to three years earlier were never addressed

Solution

  • Druva inSync provides a single pane of glass through which the global VP of IT and his team can manage Google Workspace data for nearly 2,000 users
  • The ability to do enterprise cloud backup to any AWS account, zone or region, facilitates GDPR compliance
  • Daily reports from the responsive UI can be managed by generalists, not backup specialists

Results

  • 5X faster restores of Google Workspace data compared to previous backup vendor
  • 100% visibility into Google Workspace backups
  • Eliminates concerns of data loss in Gmail and Google Drive

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