Editor's note: We're pleased to welcome SADA Systems, Inc. to this blog to talk about how they used Google sites to create and maintain their homepage, www.sadasystems.com. SADA is a Google Apps Authorized reseller and – as experts in mail migration, Google Apps integration, and custom development – has served customers including Planet Beach, Kaiser Permanente, LaBrea Bakery, and many others with a variety of IT services.
Isaac Brown, today's guest blogger, works at SADA as a Business Analyst and Content Writer. Isaac makes regular contributions to the company blog, "SADA Speaks," as well as creating content for SADA's web clients.
I'd been working as a Business Analyst with SADA Systems for two years when we made the decision to build our new website with Google Sites. From the day I started with SADA, there was always talk about redesigning our website. We had plenty of reasons: making it easier to update content, re-architecting the website structure, adding functions, and more. Whatever the reason, developing a new website is time-consuming, and to keep up with client projects, SADA's website redesign was pushed back several times.
But our team knew that we really needed to do this, and do it in a way that would let anyone at SADA make updates – even if they had no coding or technical training. SADA had been using Google Sites to collaborate with clients on their projects, including everything from websites to large IT deployments. As we used it, we started to get the idea that it could be used for more than a repository for project documents and notes.
Our first major Google Sites project was the creation of a knowledge base for one of our Google Apps clients. We had already created a similar resource using a popular open-source wiki solution. Using the existing knowledge base, developed in an open-source solution as a template, we migrated information from it into Google Sites. Development of the new knowledge base took about half the time of the original project.
It was then that Tony Safoian (president and CEO of SADA) realized that we could use Google Sites to create our website, and advocated for us to get started. I have to admit we were skeptical at first. Since website development is a core SADA competency, we didn't think anything but traditional coding would get the job done. Our web team thought, "A company who has designers and developers on staff, using Google Sites for our website?" And of course, we had some tradeoffs to figure out:
- Google Docs allow you to edit CSS, but Google Sites does not
- Text formatting works differently than with coded design
- Very fast updates
- Pre-formatted tools that made tasks like embedding YouTube videos, or creating a table of contents a breeze
- Quick-formatting page text
http://www.sadasystems.com home page
The biggest advantage of this new approach is being able to open updates to the website to anyone at SADA. Now that most updates no longer require technical skill, we'll save money and time – and know how to offer similar benefits to our clients.
We feel confident in telling our clients that now that SADA has developed our website in Google Sites we can do the same for them. If their needs specify having:
- A content-rich website
- The ability to make their own updates
- A website developed in a short period of time
This doesn't mean SADA's custom web development will be going away. We will still provide "hand coded" web development to clients who need a heavily customized or demanding website, but from our experience working with Google Sites I feel comfortable in saying that SADA can use it as a unique and powerful tool to develop websites in the cloud.
About SADA Systems, Inc.: SADA Systems, Inc. is a privately held information technology consulting, outsourcing, and development firm founded in 2000. SADA works with its client base to develop innovative technology solutions to business challenges. SADA designs, delivers, deploys and supports a holistic, cutting-edge suite of best-of-breed technologies. This allows organizations to leverage Information Technology to achieve new levels of effectiveness, efficiency, and collaboration. SADA is headquartered in North Hollywood, CA, but participates in projects world-wide. For more information, visit http://www.sadasystems.com.
Posted by Serena Satyasai, Google Apps Team