Making the Most of Google Workspace with DK & CTS


Dorling Kindersley (DK) is a global company specialising in illustrated reference books, well known for its use of graphics and illustrations to explore topics spanning many genres, for all ages in over 60 languages.

Having started out in 1974 as a book packaging business, DK made the move to publishing in 1982. They now find themselves as a part of Penguin Random House, which is a subsidiary of German media conglomerate Bertelsmann.

DK was already using Google Workspace as its internal collaboration tool, however much like a great deal of businesses, the COVID-19 pandemic saw them shift to hybrid working. This increased number of employees migrating to remote working raised challenges in how best to support its employees in terms of file sharing and access, onboarding, and training. This led to the need to drive better collaboration throughout the business and with regular updates from Google, DK needed to keep employees up to date with the latest business updates.

This was a great opportunity to optimise licences, improve security and support employees with ongoing training to get the most out of Workspace.

Having made a significant move to Google Drive at the start of the pandemic, DK was able to manage content by quickly moving over 100TB of creative content, utilising its unlimited storage in Google Drive. CTS aided the development of tools to support workflows in Google Drive, including automating the creation of shared drives, containing variable folder structures. This took what was previously a very manual job and ensured DK have now automated the creation of over 1500 Shared Drives.

With the process of reviewing Shared Mailboxes often being manual and time consuming, DK were in need of ways to innovate and improve this with the goal of driving inefficiencies around the distribution of licences. However, the review process itself was proving to be inefficient.

This was aided through CTS’s Licence Optimisation Workshop which identified areas where licences could be reduced, such as from users who haven’t signed into Google Workspace in the last 12 months and likely no longer need a licence. Following the workshop, CTS helped to significantly reduce the number of licences by twenty percent, down from 1200 to 959, thus increasing licence optimisation.

The workshop also highlighted CTS’s Shared Mailbox Analyser, which allowed DK to reduce their shared mailboxes by 96. Deploying this App Script helps any organisation free up staff to concentrate on the bigger picture items as it manages the review of shared mailboxes more autonomously, as opposed to a lot of manual effort.

Google Workspace is by nature an incredibly collaborative tool. To generate better use of this across departments, CTS ran an interactive virtual escape room with DK that uses Google Workspace applications to solve cryptic clues and break out of the virtual room. The first session was held with IT and their Google Champion network, and received great encouragement and support, with a view to roll this out internally in the future on a regular basis to help teams interact with the platform, and one another, more effectively.

Another objective for DK included training and support, which was required to ensure employees are updated with new Google Workspace features that are  released regularly. To achieve this, CTS delivered ‘Tip of the Week’ to the IT team and Google Champions, which was then distributed to the wider business. With DK already having identified people in the business to take part in a Google Champions  project, CTS supported this by building a 6-month calendar of activities to keep them engaged and active. This included providing planning documents, checklists, and sharing tips for getting the most out of Workspace.

Additionally, CTS increased user adoption of Google Workspace and empowered employees at DK  through free microtraining sessions, providing training in shorter, more targeted sessions to fit around busy schedules. A CTS trainer delivered these sessions publicly, and since rolling out, has had over 150 DK registrations and great feedback from attendees. This has resulted in exclusive, tailored microtraining being planned for the next 12 months.

And finally, another aspect of supporting DK was security. This involved CTS conducting a Security and Governance Workshop which resulted in creating a list of recommendations for DK to enhance their security in line with best practices. By doing so, moving to more digital ways of working through adopting Google technology has led to a real culture change throughout the business and CTS are thrilled to have helped DK drive this.

Peter Buckley, Technology Director DK Worldwide commented, “Google Workspace has enabled us to evolve a truly collaborative and flexible culture throughout our global network. By working with CTS, we are now supported in designing and delivering training initiatives, enhancing security standards, and maximising the value of the tools to help drive process improvements around the business.”