Editor's Note: We're pleased to welcome guest blogger Louis Gary, Manager of Client Services, Information Services Department, Hamilton Beach Brands, Inc. Louis recently completed a global migration to Google Apps from Lotus Notes/Domino. Louis has been a technology manager at Hamilton Beach for 14 years. During this time, he introduced PC networks and WAN connections to the various operating locations worldwide, was an early adopter to VPN technologies, migrated the company from cc:Mail to Lotus Notes, and expanded VoIP into their customer service center.

He currently manages the desktop support team which provides employee support for PC, phone,
multi-function (print, scan, fax) devices, e-mail, and application training.

I've done many migrations in my years in IT and, although they can be fun as a technologist, they're never easy. But I'm getting out of the upgrade business altogether now that my company, Hamilton Beach, recently switched to Google Apps. Many of you may know Hamilton Beach for the coffee makers, blenders, toasters or the panini grills that sit on your kitchen countertop. As a global brand with design, engineering and manufacturing operations located around the world, our IT department supports diverse functions. We recently had to deal with an upgrade to our Lotus Notes/Domino messaging system to keep up with growing business needs.

Because of the complexity, we upgrade our Lotus Notes/Domino environment about every five years. Our current version was coming to an end of life. Since the software would be free, under maintenance, we certainly looked at upgrading to a newer version of Lotus Notes/Domino. We were looking at old servers that would need to be replaced, all of the desktop client software requiring an upgrade, as well as training for employees on the new look and feel. We had so much e-mail, we estimated the upgrade might take more time than a three-day weekend to complete, with the email system shut down. So we took a look at Google Apps and found that it had all the enterprise features we needed.

Key features include the instant global access, support for different languages across our world-wide operations, virtually limitless storage, and speed. We really did not anticipate how much faster the e-mail system would be. Additionally, we will put be adding the Postini archiving solution and will look at how we can leverage Google Docs and Sites to improve our global collaboration.

And we never shut down the e-mail system!

Moving to Google Apps has reduced our total cost of ownership by 60% over a 5 year-period. But it also gives me the great pleasure of turning off all of our Lotus Domino servers that were dedicated to email! And since Google Apps is delivered as a cloud-based solution, I don't have to worry about the next upgrade.

We learned a lot from this experience and I'm happy to share with you some insights I've learned about making a successful migration. Please join me for a webinar covering our migration. Details follow:

Wednesday, May 20, 009
:00 a.m. PDT / 1:00 p.m. EDT

I'll be on hand to answer your questions about
how we deployed Google Apps to our global employee base.

Posted by Serena Satyasai, Google Apps Marketing Team

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