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Navy Veteran Leads Northwest Eye Surgeons from Office 365 to G Suite To make a Company Vision Better Together.

  • November 11, 2018

nweyes-o365-gsuiteFormed in 1986 on the campus of Northwest Hospital in Seattle Northwest Eye Surgeons has grown and added multiple locations in the Puget Sound area over the years. 

 Jamie Andrews of Mukliteo, Washington served honorably for over 20 years in the United States Navy before settling back in the greater Seattle area in 2013. In September of 2014 he joined Northwest Eye Surgeons as a systems Administrator and within a couple of years rose to IT Manager.

We recently had the opportunity to work with Jamie to lead a Google Cloud initiative.   Jamie had already deployed Google Chrome Enterprise to provide staff with secure, easy access to their Microsoft Windows environment via virtual desktops, Office 365 and Sharepoint.

The success of any cloud migration rests in careful and strategic planning.   Jamie had honed this skill for 20 years, making our work, as managed migration partners, a pleasure.    For midsize enterprise companies,  a cloud migration is a partnership and requires corporate IT leadership.  This project was well organized using a shared Google Sheets workbook, GAM, Apps Scripts and BitTitan MigrationWiz.

Today, with 6 clinics and 4 surgery centers, Northwest Eye Surgeons is the premier eye surgical center in the Northwest and remains committed to its tradition of personalized, high-quality patient care, advanced technology and excellent results.  The staff at Northwest Eye Surgeons includes a nationally-recognized team of specialized ophthalmic surgeons and optometric physicians, with vast clinical experience in a wide variety of eye surgical services. They are complemented by Registered Nurses, Certified Ophthalmic Assistants and Technicians and support staff who make your surgery safe, comfortable and successful.

The surgeons at Northwest Eye Surgeons perform thousands of restorative and cosmetic procedures each year, including laser vision correction, corneal surgery, cataract surgery, vitreoretinal surgery, glaucoma surgery, laser treatments and more. They’ve earned a reputation for personal attention and successful outcomes, as well as the trust of our patients, referring doctors, their families, and friends.

 

From Windows-Office365 Hybrid to Windows-Google Cloud Hybrid

Like many IT Administrators, Jamie inherited a hybrid mix of technologies from over the years when he first started at Northwest Eyes. The company had established a secure and efficient network using Microsoft’s Active Directory and originally had migrated to Office 365.

In 2015 Jamie started a Chrome OS initiative which allowed Doctors and staff secure access to the Windows network from within locations. Chrome’s Remote Desktop ability allows for secure remote access to windows networks, PCs and resources. The initiative was a huge success and momentum caught on to complete Jamie’s vision of helping Northwest Eye Surgeons bring their patient care to the next level by incorporating G Suite Business for communications and collaboration.

 

Managing G Suite Business through Windows Active Directory

Jamie used two key Windows technologies to connect the existing Windows infrastructure seamlessly with G Suite and Chrome: Google Cloud Directory Sync and Google Cloud Password Sync. The immediate benefit is clear - IT staff do not need to change onboarding/offboarding procedures - nor do they need to learn new ones.

Google Cloud Directory Sync is less of a sync and more of a one way push from an Active Directory or LDAP source to products like G Suite Business and Enterprise. The tool allows for a regular push of changes in the active directory to Google. This allowed Northwest Eye Surgeons to mirror existing Organizational Units, Groups and Users in G Suite. Moving forward Jamie’s team can also manage the entire Google Cloud deployment through the Active Directory tool on Windows Server.

Providing end users with a secure yet easy to use sign on process is conducive to productivity and eases the burden on IT support staff. Google Cloud Password Sync provides Windows Administrators the ability to synchronize ( one way push from active directory ) to G Suite.

 

Migrating from Office 365 to G Suite

Healthcare organizations tend to work around the clock. Northwest Eye Surgeons opens early and often work well into the evening, whether in surgery or communicating with patients. Jamie had tight hours within to move massive amounts of data.

Jamie’s Navy leadership skills paid off in coordinating this migration with precision allowing doctors, nurses and staff to seamlessly transition from one system to the next.

The company planned to move all 300 accounts over the course of the week. The project would be split into two parts, each headed by a separate Google Partner specializing in migration.

 

Core Services Migration: Outlook, OneDrive, Contacts, Calendars to Gmail, Google Drive and G Suite

Phase one would include migration of the company’s core communications and collaboration. Two products were tested for migration and ultimately Jamie and the company opted for the speed, efficiency and accuracy of BitTitan’s MigrationWiz. The tool allowed the team to co-migrate users’ mail and documents at the same time - essentially doubling the speed of migrations.

 

Sharepoint Online to Google Sites and Team Drives.

Easy, fast access to intranet information is critical to healthcare organizations like Northwest Eye Surgeons. Over the years the company had built out an extensive intranet using Sharepoint and Microsoft One Drive.

Fortunately Google has built out tools to support migrations from sharepoint and Jamie was able to coordinate the migration alongside the core services.

 

From Transition to Transformation

A migration to G Suite is just the beginning for IT Directors like Jamie and companies like Northwest Eye Surgeons. Google provides continuous updates and new releases allowing the new solution to be future proof.

"His ability to effectively lead, communicate, and delegate combined with his technical abilities makes him a candidate that people above and below regularly respect."   -Bryan Schaefer, USS KITTY HAWK (CV 63)

 

Jamie expects to build upon the strong foundation of G Suite and Chrome devices with additional initiatives and is exploring multiple uses within Google Cloud Platform.  Thank you Jamie for your service and IT Leadership, it has been our pleasure and honor to work with you.

 

 

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