Editor’s note: Today’s guest bloggers are Aaron McCarthy, IT Director for Limbach Facility Services, Cristine Leifheit, Team Lead. McCarthy and Leifheit recently spearheaded the move to Google Apps for Limbach’s 500 employees. A mechanical contractor founded in 1901, Limbach Facility Services switched from Lotus Notes®/Domino® to "go Google" and gain 25GB mailboxes and built-in disaster recovery capabilities at no extra charge.
Aaron McCarthy holds 13 years of IT experience, 7 of which are with Limbach Facility Services. He has a Bachelor in MIS from Oakland University (Rochester, MI) and a Master in Business Information Technology from Walsh College (Troy, MI). Cristine Leifheit, PHR has worked with the Human Resources Department of Limbach for the past 11 years. She served as the Communications Team Leader throughout the selection and implementation of Google Apps alongside the Limbach Corporate IT Department.
Aaron and Cristine will be joined by Google Apps partner Cloud Sherpas on a live webcast on Thursday July 8, 2010 at 2:00 p.m. EDT / 11:00 a.m. PDT / 6:00 p.m. GMT. Register today.
At Limbach, we had a Lotus Notes/Domino system and, despite it being a recent version, the Notes system was hampering the innovation of our 500 employees. As a construction company, we have a workforce that is typically non-tech savvy. We are constantly learning what is required to bridge their needs while providing the advanced tools required to improve the way we do business.
We formed a “2012 Committee” comprised of non-technical staff from nine branches to better set up the company for the future. Part of their job was to re-evaluate our email system. When a new hire and recent college graduate on the committee suggested moving to Google Apps, management initially scoffed.
We did a line-by-line comparison of Google Apps, Microsoft® Exchange, and Lotus Notes and were quickly convinced of the value of Google Apps. We could get 25GB mailboxes—eliminating the constant strain on our small IT staff of four to meet ongoing requests for larger mailboxes. We also got built-in disaster recovery capabilities at no additional charge. Google’s mail capabilities were unmatched, but then we considered that Google Apps also provides great collaboration tools.
We did a small pilot with committee members and then a broader one with 50 users that helped us understand our full deployment requirements. The pilots were a wise move, and they helped us transition to Google Apps smoothly. Things moved quickly; we were able to decommission two servers just two months after deployment.
Today, we use the full suite of Google Apps tools, including Google Sites for our intranet. Google Apps has also become a platform for innovation. One safety manager used Google video chat to broadcast a helicopter lift of an HVAC system onto a roof to staff members at a branch office. We also added a cloud-based workflow tool from the Google Apps Marketplace.
It’s been a positive experience for us and we’d be happy to share out insights. Please join us for an interactive webinar!
Getting 25GB Inboxes and Built-in Disaster Recovery with Google Apps
Thursday, July 8, 2010
2:00 p.m. EDT / 11:00 a.m. PDT / 6:00 p.m. GMT
Posted by Serena Satyasai, the Google Apps team