EasyPark and PARK NOW merger required new ways of working with Google Workspace

Collaboration in brief

Starting point Keys to success Result
Merging two companies and bringing everyone together to work as one company.

Careful background work, active leadership, employee training and technical execution.

Open company culture and efficient work practices.

Our goal: to create change not just through implementing technology but by developing ways of working.

Starting point: to bring everyone together to work as one company

When EasyPark acquired PARK NOW, it became Europe’s most-used parking app. Overnight, the company’s size almost doubled.

Merging two company cultures is always challenging, especially if their ways of working differ from each other. In this case, the companies worked on completely different collaboration platforms: EasyPark was using Google Workspace and PARK NOW was using Microsoft 365. 

EasyPark wanted to bring everyone together to work as one company. Since both companies already had some well-working processes, it didn’t make sense to try to fit the acquired company into an existing mold. Instead, they decided to redefine ways of working to support all employees. For this, they needed an experienced partner, Gapps.

This was not just about technology: it was about people and cultures coming together. Our main driver was to be able to work as one, to do things under one brand, and be able to collaborate among ourselves, not run as separate entities.

Daniel Thor, Head of Internal IT at EasyPark

Keys to success: careful background work, active leadership, employee training and technical execution

Work transformation is not only about a right tech stack, it is also about people and how they do things. This is why we never start a project like this by choosing a technology and focusing purely on that. Our process with EasyPark looked like this. 👇

Pre-study to define the best solutions

  • Together we started with the assumption that there are no assumptions: we didn’t want to choose any tools before we understood the big picture.
  • With the pre-study, we wanted to understand the goals of the merger: Why did EasyPark acquire PARK NOW? What are the business and the market like? What are both companies – their cultures, and their ways of working – like?
  • Only after we had that understanding, were we able to choose a collaboration tool that would support the employees and the business the best. In the end, Google Workspace was the smartest choice.

Change management to help people accept the change

  • Change can be scary, so when adjusting everyday tools and processes, change management plays a huge part.
  • We did a lot of analyzing and background work: we discussed with key stakeholders and employees, and defined key users and learning paths. 
  • Communication is critical: together with EasyPark, we actively shared what was happening and what was expected from the employees. Status updates were shared in Slack and monthly business updates. We created open Slack channels for questions.
  • The message of this project was tied to the message of the whole merger: One EasyPark. Google Workspace was a way to achieve this goal, and so it became the key success factor of the merger. Everyone understood its value.

Employee training made sure new tools and processes were adapted easily

  • EasyPark already had a very open, collaborative approach, whereas PARK NOW had stricter practices, for example with file sharing. We showed that you can use an open approach, and still maintain the same level of security and compliance.
  • We created a training calendar that was tailored to employees' needs: it included compulsory training everyone needed to go through, and also voluntary training so that employees got to improve their skills with the new tools. These were open for all employees – both PARK NOW and EasyPark.

The features in Google Workspace change very rapidly. You can learn new things even if you have been using them for years. Even I did.

Daniel Thor, Head of Internal IT at EasyPark 

Careful technical execution

  • Moving data from M365 to Google Workspace was an important step to get right: we wanted to make sure work wouldn’t be interrupted and all business-critical data would remain intact. We checked everything file by file.
  • The level of information security was different between the two companies: PARK NOW was ISO-certified, EasyPark was not. We made sure we wouldn’t lose any existing certifications and their business benefits.
  • Deployment was executed in stages. First core IT and then early adopters: a group of people who started using the new tools a couple of weeks before the rest. Through this, we validated the flow and that employees understood the processes and the tools. Before company-wide deployment, we flagged early adopters as experienced users – this way they became internal ambassadors that were able to offer peer support.

We can have the coolest technology and do a beautiful technical migration, but if employees don’t know how to use the tools or are afraid to use them, it makes no difference. That is why for me, the most important thing was change management. Gapps helped us with that and training the employees; they were good with how they handled questions that came along and made sure people accepted this change.

Daniel Thor, Head of Internal IT at EasyPark 

Result: open company culture and efficient work practices 

Now the whole company is truly working as one and employees can collaborate: everyone is using the same tools and has access to necessary resources. It’s the small things that make all the difference – for example, now employees can see each other's calendars.

Even those who had the most doubts, are happy with the result. Even employees with a long Microsoft history have praised EasyPark’s IT and Gapps for a well-executed project. It shows hesitations and fears can be turned around.

The new processes, technical settings, and training have enabled efficient work and the new company culture is all about openness. All files and folders are open for all employees as a default, but information can of course still be hidden if needed.

EasyPark now has blueprints for future mergers, too: the process can easily be repeated in the future if new company acquisitions enter the picture.

Gapps is very fun to work with and this year has solidified for us that they know what they are doing. Their people are very knowledgeable and friendly, and trust was built quite quickly. With other partners, I sometimes feel the need to check up on them, but with Gapps I don’t feel that. I know they come to me when they need guidance or have questions and I don’t feel the need to babysit them. If we were to do another bigger merger, we would use Gapps as a partner again.

Daniel Thor, Head of Internal IT at EasyPark 

Work Transformation - SMB Specialization on Google Cloud is recognition of our expertise

We have been transforming digital work environments since 2010 using Google’s technologies and have executed over 1000 different transformation projects with forerunners like EasyPark. As proof of the in-depth expertise Gappsians have, we achieved this recognition from Google:

Google Cloud Work Trasformation Specialization-outline

Partners with a Specialization have established a Google Cloud services practice, proven customer success, and are vetted by a third-party assessor. These partners have had success deploying Google Workspace to SMB organizations, which includes providing services for establishing governance, technical implementation, training people, processes, and support.

Our goal is to create change not just through implementing technology but by developing ways of working.

We have already been talking about continuing our collaboration with Gapps: They know Google, and we don’t yet use it to its full potential. We would like their help with high-level strategy, to know which direction we should go to. If we need to do something more advanced, it’s good to have a partner to bounce ideas off.

Daniel Thor, Head of Internal IT at Easypark