City of Dearborn Empowers Employees with Google Workspace Migration

The City of Dearborn, Michigan, boasts a diverse population, over half of which speak a language other than English at home. The city elected its first Arab-American mayor, Abdullah Hammoud, in 2021. Hammoud spearheaded a partnership with Google to modernize Dearborn’s IT and data infrastructure to better serve citizens in their own language online, whenever they need to access services.



Resultant is proud to have helped move city workers from an aging, cumbersome system over to the collaboration-friendly Google Workspace.

Hammoud’s vision to improve city government stems from firsthand knowledge of citizen needs. “I've committed my life to this work because I want every kid who grows up in the city to feel that Dearborn advantage,” he said. “Dearborn is where new beginnings meet lifelong opportunities.”

Our job was to migrate all 18 departments and 1,600 city employees—300 of whom had never had a work email address before—from their existing system over to Google Workspace.

The Problem

Dearborn’s IT needed a major upgrade for a host of important reasons:

  • The city used a very basic IT suite that was 20 years old.
  • Files were difficult to share securely between extremely siloed departments.
  • Police and fire departments could not work together collaboratively because of multiple separate, outdated processes.
  • The city had a limited number of Zoom licenses, further limiting departmental collaboration.

Many employees had worked with the city for a very long time, and any transition would need to smooth the significant change in operations, processes, and workflows.

About the Client

Founded in 1786, Dearborn, Michigan, is the seventh largest city in the state and a regional center for employment, healthcare services, higher education, shopping, and transportation. More than 109,000 residents, including the largest Muslim population outside of the Middle East, call Dearborn home.

The Outcomes

  • 1600 city workers migrated to Google Workspace, gaining secure tools that enable collaboration.
  • Every city worker now has an email address.
  • Secure file sharing is available to all employees.
  • All users have access to unlimited video conferencing.
  • Police and Fire departments have interoperability.
  • Updated systems support new digital processes for serving citizens.
  • Customized digital assets and guides are available to support all current and future users.

A three-phase approach

Migration phases are separated by a week or so to give an accurate performance appraisal and to troubleshoot and remedy any aspects of the system that aren’t working together as planned.

  • Phase I: A core IT group of one dozen users migrates for testing and validation.
  • Phase II: Feedback from 85 early adopters from different departments and job roles provides a clear organizational snapshot. Enthusiastic about the move to Google, many requested the early adopter phase because of issues with the previous system.
  • Phase III: The full company migrates to the system with changes from Phase I and Phase II discoveries implemented. All systems are working and interacting correctly.

Successful migration is no accident

For successful technology change management, organizations need to evaluate and address the diversity of the end users of whatever system is changing. The City of Dearborn’s worker technology experience and comfort ran the gamut from savvy to not ever having had a work email address—the equivalent of having not had a system to begin with. Our discovery phase helped pinpoint areas of greatest concern, and we oriented our communication and training specifically to those needs.

We partnered directly with the city's operational leader and selected departments via early adopters prior to the full company go live date. Users who were excited about the move to Google proved to be valuable support for our communication and some of the training needs. We provided tailored training for VIP users and administrative assistants, who needed targeted support for calendar management and some of the more esoteric functions of the tools.

Refining resources for strong change management

Initial surveys and engagement sessions let us anticipate questions and concerns about Phase III of the migration to prepare both early adopters and the city’s onsite support team accordingly.

In addition to general training, we:

  • Targeted trainings to diverse user proficiencies.
  • Targeted trainings to role-specific user application.
  • Provided city workers access to live and on-demand training in advance of the go-live date.
  • Went on-site for the go live to work with users and ensure support for their success.
  • Spent three days in Dearborn meeting people and getting a clear picture of their jobs to help them find solutions in this new technology realm.
  • Created customized digital assets and guides accessible to all current and future users.

From reluctant user to staunch advocate

Sometimes reluctant users can be found in the most unexpected places. That’s where targeted and individualized change management support can really help people through the transition. 

Oliver Berry served as technical sponsor of the Google Workspace migration and was candid about his resistance to the transition. He was deeply engaged with the project and proactive about voicing his and others’ concerns. Because our team could meet him where he was and address those concerns, he became an enthusiastic supporter of our methodology and the approach we modeled. 

Despite not being particularly thrilled about working with an outside vendor on this, collaborating with Resultant has been a great experience. Everyone assigned to the project was incredibly knowledgeable, helpful, and fun to work with, making this migration uneventful in the best possible way. If I ever encounter an organization that wants to migrate to Google Workspace in the future, I will refer them to Resultant without hesitation.

- Oliver Berry, Senior Network Security Engineer, Office of Innovation and Technology, City of Dearborn

People-first technology

The City of Dearborn’s 1,600 employees are now empowered with a modern, secure, cloud-native suite of tools to work efficiently and collaborate in ways never before possible. They enjoy newfound abilities to be more innovative and to create more digital processes to provide more services to the city's citizens online with ease.

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