Editor’s Note: Recently we announced the winners of our global Gone Google ad contest. Today’s featured winner is Martine Bronner, Head of Marketing at ESSEC Business School in Cergy-Pontoise, France.

ESSEC Business School was founded in 1907 and is one of Europe’s top management schools with 4,300 students, 138 academic staff and 37,000 alumni. The school, known for its international orientation, also has a campus in Singapore and partnerships with some of the best universities all over the world, including the University of California-Berkeley, the University of Chicago, Northwestern University, Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth, IIM Ahmedabad India, SDA Bocconi Milan and Peking University.

In August 2009, we deployed Google Apps for Education to our students, alumni, faculty and administrative staff – 65,000 users in total. Google Apps has significantly increased the creation and sharing of content between all our users, with about 2,000 collaborative sites created every year on the platform.

Google Apps has provided us with a great way to lower IT costs while launching new projects that would have otherwise needed huge investment. For example, by moving to Google Apps instead of upgrading our internal messaging system we saved more than €100,000 in migration costs and €20,000 per year on email licencing. We also moved all of our teaching collaboration tools from custom internal websites to Google Sites and Google Docs. This switch has allowed us to offer long-term access to course materials for all our students.

Communicating in the cloud has also allowed us to improve collaboration between our campuses in France and Singapore. For example, the text, voice and video chat integrated in Gmail has replaced expensive video conferencing solutions for our executive board and has enabled students to easily communicate with their peers across the globe.

We benefit from Google’s focus on innovation - new features are released regularly which help us to improve the user experience. We will continue to utilise and promote these features to students and staff as they enable us to focus on our real added-value: innovation in education.

Posted by Martine Bronner, Head of Marketing, ESSEC Business School