How the French Red Cross Uses 8,000 Shared Inboxes to Create Collaborative Uses for 40,000 Staff and Volunteers
The French Red Cross is both an association of 60,000 volunteers committed for nearly 150 years on many fronts in the fight against insecurity and a non-profit company with 20,000 employees in more than 700 establishments.
As you can imagine, there is a lot of email communication and coordination happening internally and externally for this National Society of the largest humanitarian entity in the world.
Email is not built for collaboration
As the French Red Cross migrated 10,000 group emails from Microsoft Outlook to Google Workspace, they were searching for a platform to add to Gmail with more collaboration capabilities by way of assigning email conversations, adding tags and collaborating using email notes.
Frédéric Bousson, the Chief Information Officer, and Juliette Valains, the Head of Digital Transformation, were also looking for a simple way to transfer information securely from one volunteer or staff member to another during employment transitions or shift changes. They needed a way to transfer the flow of email communication with greater transparency, ownership and workload delegation across thousands of initiatives and workers.
Gmelius offers Shared Inbox capabilities that allow them to keep their shared mailboxes with the migration and create new collaborative uses, transfer information more securely, and distribute workload more efficiently.
We needed to migrate 10,000 group emails from Microsoft Outlook to Google Workspace. Gmelius helped us convert those into Shared Inboxes that had more capabilities for collaboration.
– Juliette, Head of Digital Transformation
A simple deployment of Gmelius
Onboarding over 40,000 people is as challenging as it sounds but the French Red Cross team was determined to create a more collaborative and secure space for not only their 15,000 staff members but over 30,000 dynamic volunteers.
The most attractive feature about Gmelius was that it is automatically integrated into every user's Gmail inbox for simple deployment. There is no new tool to adopt and it takes seconds to install.
To ensure a successful onboarding the plan was to start with one of our core features, Shared Inboxes, but limiting users to only assigning and statusing emails. This was the starting point to progressively train over 40,000 people to adapt a new collaborative way of working.
Today, the French Red Cross uses 8,000 Shared Inboxes for three main uses:
- Company inbox: linked to someone's specific role
- Team inbox for external use: for example, global shared inbox for team of assistants in a hospital or a team of first aid workers in a local Red Cross office who need to communicate with local authorities
- Team inbox for internal use: for example, IT team in charge of the deployment of Google Workspace, answering internal questions; or for the communication department in the French Red Cross headquarters
Increased security and fast response times
You might be thinking, well, how could just one simple feature improve work conditions for over 40,000 people?
Here are benefits the French Red Cross have seen company-wide since implementing Shared Inboxes with Gmelius:
- Easier work distribution within teams and lighter personal inboxes (Previously, emails were transferred to personal inboxes)
- Faster response time as it is easier to see what's pending
- Access to Shared Inboxes on remote devices
- Access to company inboxes for specific roles, used by people who left the company, allowing knowledge transmission
- Increased security: Shared Inboxes are no longer based on sharing passwords but are now shared with specific people that can lose the right to access if decided by the administrator
This may be the beginning of their new way of working but they have so much more to look forward to. This initiative started with the goal of creating a more efficient, cohesive, asynchronously collaborative environment for thousands of workers which ultimately helps them focus more of their time on making a greater social impact.
Shared Inboxes have allowed our organization to delegate work faster and allow for secure and quick access to mailboxes with any role or shift transition.
–Juliette, Head of Digital Transformation