Editor’s note: Our guest blogger today is Matt Hough, Director of Global IT for Mattson Technology, a company that designs, manufactures, and markets semiconductor wafer processing equipment used in the fabrication of integrated circuits (NAND, RAM and LOGIC). Matt will be speaking on a live webcast this Thursday, December 10, at 2:00 p.m. EST / 11:00 a.m. PST / 7:00 p.m. GMT (registration will occur on a third party site).

Mattson’s headquarters are in Fremont, California, but we have offices in Germany, Canada, Korea and Taiwan. Our IT staff supports 600 users with a wide variety of needs, from engineers/designers, to sales, manufacturing and customer support in India.

We wanted to put more power in users' hands and, as an IT team, get away from administering basic functions so we could focus on the business and run a leaner operation. For email, we had Microsoft Exchange and we calculated it was costing us $172 per user per year. The speed internationallywasn’t that great because our Exchange servers were in Germany and people had to have VPN access.

We compared Google Apps Premier Edition to messaging solutions from Microsoft (too expensive) and Cisco (also out of our price range). Migration is a distant memory because it was relatively easy and required only a day of training.

Google Apps was a pleasant surprise, if you think about what you get for $50 per user per year ($4.17/month). The security is great and, in addition to email and calendaring, it also provides us with an online knowledge database created using Google Sites. Previously, our engineers and other groups put resolution documents or published articles on network file shares. Today, they use Google Sites to create websites by product to host documents related to new engineering releases and engineering problem-solving documents. We use this information in the field to quickly diagnose issues.

We went from silos of knowledge to a transparent online community that allows everyone to share and contribute information. As another example, we built a site to collaborate on customer issues that features video chat and shared documents. Now we can address customer issues more quickly.

Google Apps has changed the way we do business – we’re even looking to extend ERP to the web. We turned off four servers and we’re communicating better than ever before. We’re more organized. We don’t lose emails, and we no longer spend time looking for them. Google translates everything for us in all the languages we operate in, which is huge. The biggest benefit is that our productivity has increased because we're collaborating a lot better.

Our CEO and CFO love Google Apps. In fact, the CEO sent us an email saying, “I'm so glad you're moving our company forward,” and our CFO tells me all the time how much he appreciates easy access to what he needs from wherever he’s traveling. As an IT person, I feel proud. We have bragging rights now because we’ve implemented something that helps us work together better – while at the same time cutting our capital expenditures.

I will be speaking on a live webcast on Thursday. I invite you to join us with your questions.

Thursday, December 10, 2009
2:00 p.m. EST / 11:00 a.m. PST / 7:00 p.m. GMT
(note that you will be directed to a third party registration page)

Posted by Serena Satyasai, Google Apps team

Find customer stories and research product information on our resource sites for current users of Microsoft Exchange and Lotus Notes/Domino.