The ability to take advantage of Google's renowned search technology within our inboxes has made it so convenient to find things.
- Alan Perkins, CIO
About Google Apps
Google Apps includes Gmail for business, Google Docs, Google Calendar, Google Sites, and more for $5 per user per month.
At a glance
What they wanted to do:
- Reduce the amount of time wasted managing email
- Increase collaboration across the organisation
What they did:
- Launched Google Apps to reduce spam, ensure uptime, and enable intuitive email search
- Boosted productivity with Gmail and Docs allowing for anytime-anywhere access
- Used Google Calendar to easily schedule and manage team meetings across 15 globally-distributed offices
What they accomplished:
- Freed time for revenue-generating activity by reducing hours wasted on email managemen
- Built productivity and teamwork with real-time collaboration on documents
- Increased efficiency and collaboration worldwide
Altium Limited based in Sydney, Australia has been providing cutting-edge holistic design solutions to engineers for the past 20 years. With offices in over 15 global locations and a staff of 360, Altium helps their clients take advantage of cutting-edge devices and technologies in order to increase innovation and cost-effectiveness. As Altium continually looks for different ways to leverage technology and grow as an organisation, the ability to share and collaborate on key business information is a key to success.
With a history of challenging the limitations of technological creativity, and of enabling productivity at a fraction of traditional costs, Altium is an organization that values the power of good IT. For Altium's globally-distributed team, however, internal IT systems weren't keeping pace with the company's standards of quality. Too frequently, Altium's email system fell short, leaving employees virtually "stranded," without access to their key communications tool. At other times, it was bogged down by spam - sometimes being hit by hundreds of spam emails per day.
Even when systems were working, the team felt hindered by the small size of their email storage space, which required them to spend unproductive hours managing email archives. "Some senior employees were spending countless hours cleaning up their inboxes," recalls Alan Perkins, Altium's Chief Information Officer (CIO).
Altium were not prepared to have their growth stalled by an ineffective communications approach. The senior management team at Altium recognised that their "email system needed to be fixed" and that the ability to collaborate on documents was coming to a make or break situation.
Now people easily use their mobile devices to securely access email and documents and also have the ability to access email and more from home.
After an evaluation that included a cost analysis comparing Google Apps to a more traditional upgrade path, Altium found that Google Apps would offer new functionality at 30 times less the cost. "Google Apps was very different from anything seen before and a different way of thinking about collaboration," Perkins recalls. With the aim of simplifying infrastructure, enjoying significant cost savings, and increasing productivity, the Altium team decided to move away from their heavy server-based, traditional solution and implement the Google Apps suite.
To help guide the deployment, Altium called upon Devnet, an innovative Google Enterprise Partner based in Brisbane, Australia. Working closely with the Altium team, Devnet facilitated the setup of Google Apps throughout the organisation in a fast-paced manner. Leading with Gmail, the team rolled out reliable, easy-to-use email across the entire organisation with only minimal training. "We watched videos on the Google site to connect Gmail to our old Outlook service," Perkins says. "Then we sent a few tips out." The team responded, exploring the power of Google's search technology within their inboxes, and finding what they needed in moments.
Gmail, Google Calendar, and Google Docs enabled Altium's employees to gain anytime, anywhere access to email and documents, offering advantages to every employee but really changing the game for executives and field sales professionals. "Now people easily use their mobile devises to securely access email and documents and also have the ability to access email and more from home," Perkins adds.
The Altium team have been very happy with their conversion to Google Apps. "What we've discovered is a complete change over our previous method," notes Perkins. In terms of their infrastructure, Perkins was able to reduce the number of servers being utilised by 20-30% of their 55 globally deployed servers. The user benefits were also significant.
Gmail's SPAM filters ensure that unwanted email bypasses the inbox, and the large storage capacity included with Google Apps ensures that each user can keep the email archives that they want. "What's more, the ability to take advantage of Google's renowned search technology within our inboxes has made it so convenient to find things," says Perkins.
"Google Calendar works extremely well," he continues. "With so many meetings to attend it's clear to see when everyone is available and easily book meeting rooms." Now, scheduling team meetings with people in Altium's distributed offices is simple. Google Calendar, working Google Docs for collaboration, makes meetings more effective and eliminates the need to send attachments back and forth, putting everyone is on the same page.
Google Apps made the dream of efficient and effective communication a reality. Employees in widespread geographies are now able to edit, in real time, one shared document, eliminating the need to email multiple versions back and forth. Altium's management appreciates the collaborative power of Google Docs - in fact, they have made it the standard by which the team works. Perkins mentions that "any document under collaboration won't be accepted by management unless it's a Google Doc."
See who's using Google Apps
More than 4 million businesses run Google Apps.