Editor's note: Over 3 million businesses have adopted Google Apps. Today we’ll hear from Marawan El-Asfahani, Managing Principal of Oxygen, a creative design agency based in Toronto, Canada. To learn more about organizations that have gone Google, or to share your own story, visit our community map or test-drive life in the cloud with the Go Google cloud calculator.

At Oxygen Design Agency, we offer branding services, develop retail campaigns, build corporate communication and more, helping companies market effectively, discover their voices and reach their audiences quickly. Four years ago, we were using the Apple® product for email, and it was constantly crashing on us. I figured the solution was clear: a server and Microsoft® Office. But then this tech buddy of mine made a suggestion. He said we could either go with a pricey server and software suite, or we could give Google Apps for Business a try at $50/user/year. “Hmm...”, I thought. That’s when we crossed over.

It was so easy to set up Google Apps, and with it, our downtime worries went away. As a business owner with 16 people on staff, I always want to make sure my teams are set to go in their jobs. When a new employee used to walk into the studio, it would take a lot of time to set them up with email and other software. Now it takes five minutes.

Google Apps also helps us stay connected. Our designers work very closely with our clients and suppliers, which requires them to constantly be on the move. Now, whether we’re at client sites or photo shoots, Google Apps keeps us in touch; we can chat right from our email and access important work files from any web-enabled device.

When we first adopted Google Apps, we did see some push-back from a few employees. There were certain features these employees didn’t see, and this made them skeptical. But then Google consistently released new features that made the products better and met those needs, and now those people are the ones who are most enthusiastic about our company’s use of Google Apps.

At Oxygen, we’re now heavy users of Google Apps -- especially Sites, which we’ve found to be an intuitive system to work from. We’ve used it to build a company intranet where we store employee manuals, health insurance policies, stock photo sources, and even a restaurant corner to showcase some of the really cool boutique restaurants we have in our city. Our designers can write reviews on local places for everyone to see -- from their desk or even from their mobile devices.

With Google Apps, we’re a much more powerful company. I’m proud to say we’ve gone Google.

Posted by Marawan El-Asfahani, Managing Principal, Oxygen Design Agency