Cloud to cloud migration – Randstad case study

Cloud to cloud migration – Randstad case study

The client

Randstad is a Global Recruitment Firm. Headquartered in the Netherlands, the company employs over 38,000 staff across 39 countries. 

Randstad has embraced a Cloud-First strategy and was in the process of moving to Google Apps for all their office and collaboration applications. The firm had already migrated all their on-premises infrastructure to the Amazon AWS Cloud Platform with traditional Windows File servers on Virtual Machines in AWS. End users accessed files and some of their applications via Citrix Virtual Desktops.  

This had significant cost implications, including: 

  • AWS monthly compute and storage costs 
  • Significant annual Citrix and Microsoft licensing costs 
  • The management overhead of securing and protecting this data. 

Considering the global Google Enterprise license agreement and the near unlimited storage given to Google Enterprise clients in Google Drive, the path forward was clear.  

An additional factor was the advent of COVID-19 – with most staff working from home it was inefficient to have staff all remotely access the Files via Citrix to AWS. Giving users secure access to an unlimited Google Drive in the Google Cloud is a far more efficient and cost-effective solution. 

Randstad engaged Empyrean to help them to deliver this project. 

AWS to GCP migration challenges

There were several significant challenges associated with this migration including;  

  • The secure transfer of data from AWS to Google. 
  • The Google API rate limited data ingestion, impacting data transfer success rates. 
  • Collaborating with 35 departments across AU/NZ/SEA (and Hong Kong, Malaysia, Singapore). 
  • Large volumes of files (7.4 million) and Folders (1.07 million) in AWS IaaS. 

Change management was also required to ensure a seamless transition to the new way of accessing, storing and sharing information. End-users were accustomed to accessing files in a traditional Windows File Server folder structure, and they now needed to become familiar with Google Drive’s more modern File Sync and Share experience. 

Empyrean’s approach to cloud-to-cloud migration

Our consultants conducted an in-depth analysis of the existing file servers to understand; permissions; age of the data; frequency of access; file structures and topologies; security requirements; individual departmental requirements; and user personas. 

We then collaborated with the Randstad technical and Change Management teams to workshop the requirements for security, file structures and workflows in a Google Drive context.  

It was agreed that Cloud M would be the tool utilised to seamlessly deliver the migration, so Empyrean designed and instantiated the AWS Infrastructure required to host the Cloud M tool and manage the migration. 

Following a staged approach, and working with the Randstad Change Management Team, the data was successfully migrated department by department ensuring a seamless transition for the users. 

We engaged Empyrean for this project due to their expertise in large file migrations, and history of delivering similar projects. The capability and customer orientation of the Empyrean team ensured a successful and efficient outcome to the project, allowing Randstad to realise the benefits immediately.

AWS to GCP migration outcomes

Migrating to Google Drive for Enterprise with Unlimited storage delivered the following benefits: 

  • Significant, server, storage and licensing savings. 
  • Enhanced collaboration and mobility for end users. 
  • Enabled secure remote working. 
  • Reduced operational complexity.  
  • Provided rapid access to shared files. 
  • Improved user experience and productivity.  
  • Increased scalability and agility.  
  • Removed reliance on legacy technology.  
  • Enhanced data resiliency.  

Empyrean’s expertise in cloud-to-cloud migration

The success of the project can be attributed to Empyrean’s extensive cloud migration experience. We leveraged our AWS knowledge to design and stand up the necessary infrastructure to support the migration. In addition, our deep understanding of Windows File Servers, Group Policy, Active Directory, and Security proved instrumental in orchestrating a seamless migration.  

Our expertise in implementing and managing Cloud M enabled our team to deliver a successful outcome for Randstad. 

Our strong customer focus and ability to manage end-user change effectively further contributed to the project’s success. 

The Numbers




Million files


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