Opening doors with Google Apps
A move to Google Apps for Business has delivered substantial cost and time savings, improved collaboration and accessibility and supported AccentHansen in their ‘lean business’ initiatives.
AccentHansen, part of the HansenGroup, has over 40 years experience of designing, manufacturing and installing steel and glass doors in the UK and beyond. Faced with the prospect of spiralling hardware and software costs, the need to support a number of ‘lean business’ initiatives and a business requirement for a more open approach to information access, it was clear that the time had come for a strategic change.
The company’s own business systems development programme was already building web-based applications and with users wise to the benefits of the approach, wanted to get the same from their office applications. Google Apps was therefore a natural choice and Refractiv was a responsive and pro-active partner in this move.
Refractiv, a Google Apps Premier Reseller, implemented Google Apps for Business to provide email, contacts and calendars for AccentHansen, replacing Microsoft Outlook with the intuitive Gmail and Google Calendar. The migration was completed in a short timeframe and after receiving comprehensive training from Refractiv, all users switched virtually seamlessly from Outlook to Gmail and started using Google Drive. At the same time smart phones and tablets were connected to provide a full and rich Google experience.
Google Apps was even proving useful prior to migration, as project planning for the switch between AccentHansen and Refractiv teams, was completed using Google Hangout sessions and shared documents. A smooth transition was helped along by Gmail’s fast search capability which meant that users were able to instantly find historical emails following the migration of Outlook PST files into Gmail. The company quickly felt several other benefits including a significant improvement in sharing and collaboration of documents, reducing the need to send emails with document attachments, thereby saving storage space, time and version control issues.
There was also a reduction of time and effort finding and retrieving historic data thanks to the instant search and automatic backup of documents and emails and the improved accessibility meant that users could work from any device with a browser, at anytime and from any location, improving both convenience for them and overall productivity for the company.
Going forward, AccentHansen’s wider strategy of using Chromebooks as replacements to traditional Windows PCs has also resulted in lower costs for hardware and less setup time, as well as being virtually maintenance free.
We have really embraced the whole Google concept and felt the very real and immediate benefits as a company of improved access and collaboration and significant time and cost savings which make great strides in support of our ongoing ‘lean process’. From my own personal point of view , I feel using Google Apps has increased my productivity significantly, reduced complexity and even my stress levels have gone down! In the future, I look forward to spending less time and cost supporting the business’s hardware and software, and more time developing innovative solutions to support business performance.