January 27th, 2014 | Published in Google Enterprise
Editor's note: Today's guest blogger is Danny Attias, Chief Information Officer for The Grass Roots Group, a U.K.-based global performance improvement company. See what other organizations that have gone Google have to say.
Grass Roots helps brands increase sales, improve customer service, build loyalty and grow productivity. We have over 2,100 clients globally, including major brands including Asda, BMW, Canon, Ford, McDonalds and Vodafone. Our 1,000 employees work in 26 offices across 15 countries, and need to share best practices and knowledge with each other regularly. Communication is at the heart of Grass Roots’ success. It helps us gain a deep understanding of our clients’ needs and become their trusted advisors.
Our five on-premise legacy Microsoft Exchange email systems were a constant challenge to maintain and a real barrier to collaboration and communication in our organisation. We had trouble finding contact details and reaching out to others in the business. Also, our aging data storage hardware infrastructure experienced regular outages that disrupted internal and external communications. We realised we could make the case for an overhaul, so after a comprehensive review of the market we decided to move to Google Apps for Business with the help of our Google Apps deployment partner Appscare. They became an extension of our own team and helped us understand how to get the most from all the features.
We decided to make the move to Google Apps rather than any competitive offering because Google provided the complete and comprehensive range of communication tools that met all of our company’s needs. We have email available online from laptop and mobile with vast mailbox space, online access to shared documents and calendars in the cloud, instant messaging, online video conferencing and a BYOD offering with integrated solutions that working brilliantly on both iOS and Android. By moving to a mobile, cloud, consumer platform with all the enterprise controls Google provides, we eliminated the costs and disruption of on-site maintenance, and the hefty licence fees of our on-premise email systems.
For many of our employees, Google Apps is revolutionising their team and project work. Teams are more organised because everything – including timelines, budgets and progress reports are stored transparently with the latest updates available for all to see online. Also, our employees no longer need to log on with a VPN to get to the resources they need to do their jobs. They can just log on securely using two-factor authentication with their mobile device into their Google Apps account.
A great example of the transformation we’re seeing with Google Apps is at Cyclescheme, our subsidiary that specialises in supplying bikes for employees of enterprises. Real-time collaboration with Google Docs became the epicentre for information sharing when the company redesigned its website. The rich, real-time collaboration capabilities of Google Apps reduced the time taken to design, approve and take the site to production weeks ahead of schedule. At the core of this process was the Cyclescheme team project plan which shared a central Google Spreadsheet with everyone involved with the project, including external suppliers. Everyone added updates on plans and progress, making the whole process more transparent and streamlined.
We are inspired by how our new tools are producing changes to the way our people organise and collaborate, and we are impressed with how Google Apps is proving to be a catalyst for organisational change. Based on the journey so far, we’re confident that Google Apps will support Grass Roots as we become an even more united, efficient and collaborative business.