Iron Mountain: Scaling data-driven insights across a complex global organization for better customer experiences

About Iron Mountain

Iron Mountain Incorporated is a global leader in physical and digital information management solutions, serving more than 225,000 customers in over 50 countries.

Industries: Technology
Location: United States

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About SpringML

Google Cloud Partner SpringML specializes in data-driven digital transformation journeys with expertise in data analytics, machine learning and AI, and application development.

Google Cloud and SpringML are helping Iron Mountain drive a complex data democratization initiative that improved decision-making for a distributed global team in just six weeks.

Google Cloud results

  • Consolidates 1,200 data management applications into one data lake
  • Unifies information governance practices across disparate corporate verticals and departments
  • Enables millions in savings and facilitates revenue growth
  • Provides single-pane view of operational and customer data for enhanced decision-making
  • Unlocks the power of data science and predictive analytics

Creates solution to enable customer savings

Digital transformation has been a top priority for organizations in every industry over the past decade. As companies capture increasingly large volumes of data from digital channels, there are many opportunities to rethink how data is managed and its value to the business.

Few companies recognize the opportunities better than Iron Mountain, one of the world’s largest information management companies. In addition to aiding digital transformation at other companies—efforts that earned Iron Mountain the 2019 Google Cloud Global Technology partner of the Year for AI and Machine Learning—it also embarked on its own transformation journey.

“We pride ourselves on being a global organization,” says Hayelom Tadesse, Director of Enterprise Data at Iron Mountain. “We help our customers manage their entire information life cycle, whether it’s physical or digital, and we need our own operations to reflect the great work we do for our clients.”

Iron Mountain’s rapid global expansion has largely been based on acquisitions. This has translated to disparate systems and siloed information that result in significant data management. More, the maintenance and support of variable hybrid infrastructure deployments caused latency and performance issues that distracted staff from their core responsibility of assisting customers. To solve for these challenges, Iron Mountain turned to Google Cloud partner SpringML to migrate its systems and modernize its strategies.

“Partnering with SpringML gave us an essential foundation and directly contributed to the enthusiasm we feel as an organization. They helped us accelerate the project and build the infrastructure we needed with great speed and quality. This is a great example of an agile transformation, and it is already being replicated across the business.”

Hayelom Tadesse, Director, Enterprise Data Product Management, Iron Mountain

Unifying, modernizing the data lake

“You search Google for ‘the benefits of a data lake,’ that’s exactly what we were hoping to accomplish in our migration,” says Jarrett Garcia, Director, Enterprise Data Platform at Iron Mountain. “With Google Cloud and SpringML engaged, we looked at building a data lake strategy and a data democratization plan that would be realistic given our global, high-volume information needs.”

As a globally distributed company active in 43 countries, as well as one that has acquired roughly 200 businesses that each have their own systems and data, information was not as accessible as Iron Mountain needed. What’s more, it had a very limited corporate network, making the connection of data more difficult.

Iron Mountain wanted to empower its internal teams with quick, easy access to useful data through a single source of truth. The company also wanted to improve its operating efficiency and better prepare employees to serve customers. Accomplishing this would require a strong master data management (MDM) strategy, complemented with the right data lake solution.

In addition to unifying its current systems and data practices, Iron Mountain needed to establish easily managed, repeatable processes given its large, diverse, and constantly growing portfolio of acquired companies. Finally, Iron Mountain needed a way to identify sources of data, connect them to pull and sync data, and enable ETL.

BigQuery provided the highly available, accessible, and intuitive data warehouse solution Iron Mountain needed as the foundation for its data strategy. BigQuery also provides a foot in the door to other powerful data analytics tools from Google that can ingest information in real-time, visualize insights from multiple sources, and enable data-driven decisions.

All in all, this translated to the consolidation of more than 200 active and legacy data sources.

“Consolidating disparate data management solutions like Business Object, SSIS & SSRS, Excel, and Sharepoint into BigQuery is also expected to save Iron Mountain hundreds of thousands of dollars annually on licenses,” explains Jarrett.

SpringML offered the Google Cloud expertise to consolidate and standardize all of Iron Mountain’s varying systems and processes into one platform. The partner stepped in and worked across the siloed business groups at Iron Mountain to complete in a matter of weeks a project that would have taken about a year.

“Partnering with SpringML gave us the foundation we needed and directly contributed to the enthusiasm we feel as an organization,” says Hayelom. “They helped us accelerate the project and build our infrastructure with great speed and quality. This example of what an agile transformation can look like is already being replicated across the business.”

“Our ultimate destination is data science, and the predictive analytics and monitoring that comes with it—that’s the dream,” says Hayelom. “Thanks to BigQuery and SpringML, we will arrive there soon.”

Hayelom Tadesse, Director, Enterprise Data Product Management, Iron Mountain

Capitalizing on data centralization, consistency, and action

With the migration and democratization project underway, the next step was to make sense of the data and package it for corporate use. The new EDP it created with BigQuery and SpringML to solve this challenge provides the Iron Mountain operations and leadership teams with the new ability to look at the business from a global viewpoint.

Work that would traditionally take weeks is now available to those teams with a single click by eliminating manual data pull efforts, standardizing process variations across regions, and redeploying resources to more productive activities rather than manually aggregating and transforming data.

With its new global dashboards, Iron Mountain can benchmark across the enterprise through automated data pulls from regions and dozens of instances instantaneously. This also enables more rapid and seamless identification of anomalies for fewer issues in service.

Iron Mountain increased both internal stakeholder engagement across the company as well as external partners with the new approach and access to data. The combination of BigQuery and SpringML offered an ideal mix of technology and expertise to address the needs of the company’s corporate culture, enterprise processes and workflows, and IT.

Cloud Composer is used with the EDP to take data from ingestion and create a set of report-level data. Composer manages the ETL with the platform, further eliminating manual tasks that unnecessarily took up time and resources. Rapid prototyping of data dashboards accelerates information sharing and increases use across departments and partners.

“Our ultimate destination is data science, and the predictive analytics and monitoring that comes with it—that’s the dream,” says Hayelom. “Thanks to BigQuery, and SpringML, we will arrive there soon.”

“We are undertaking a digital transformation across the business as our customer demands change. Our customers expect us to share information digitally, and we are in a good place to meet those expectations through the enterprise data platform we built using Google Cloud and SpringML.”

Hayelom Tadesse, Director, Enterprise Data Product Management, Iron Mountain

Fostering digital transformation company wide

Now that Iron Mountain has taken several major steps in its digital transformation journey, including the rollout of Google Workspace collaboration solutions to 28,000 employees globally, it is striving to optimize processes even more.

Iron Mountain offers a comprehensive, cloud-agnostic approach that lays a foundation for end-customers’ data-driven digital transformation. This includes solutions ranging from data centers, data restoration and migration, to workflow automation, imaging services and cloud data management. Through its services, Iron Mountain’s end-customers can better harness the power of information to manage data overload and meet security and compliance requirements, unlock intelligence with AI/ML to uncover hidden relationships between assets, and create efficiencies with flexible storage options, accelerated migrations, and workflow automation.

“We are undertaking a digital transformation across the business as our customer demands change,” says Hayelom. “Our customers expect us to share information digitally, and we are in a good place to meet those expectations through the enterprise data platform we built using Google Cloud and SpringML.”

With an agile data lake in place, the company is now integrating it with more applications to maximize the value it gets from vast stores of information. The team is also freed from the constraints and time-consuming tasks associated with infrastructure management. As a result, they can focus on projects such as the Iron Mountain InSight content services platform that earned the company its Google Cloud Partner of the Year for AI and Machine Learning award.

Built with Document AI, other Google Cloud solutions, and support from the Google engineering team, InSight provides Iron Mountain customers with the ability to seamlessly search, manage, and analyze massive quantities of files all through a turnkey tool. This translates to greater control over data and metadata, streamlined compliance management, and fast sorting of archival information.

Exposing metadata stores through APIs provides customers with opportunities to integrate process automations and mechanize the management of their data. This, along with other advances in Iron Mountain’s own handling of its data management practices, gives the company the power it needs to spread the benefits of digital transformation to its customers.

“Our focus on becoming a more data-driven business has put Iron Mountain in a great position to accelerate and improve our customer experience,” says Hayelom. “We know that the power and breadth of Google Cloud solutions will help us as we continue on our own digital transformation.”

Tell us your challenge. We're here to help.

Contact us

About Iron Mountain

Iron Mountain Incorporated is a global leader in physical and digital information management solutions, serving more than 225,000 customers in over 50 countries.

Industries: Technology
Location: United States

About SpringML

Google Cloud Partner SpringML specializes in data-driven digital transformation journeys with expertise in data analytics, machine learning and AI, and application development.

*Google Workspace was formerly known as G Suite prior to Oct. 6, 2020.