Tuesday, August 30, 2011
(Cross-posted on the Google Australia Blog)
Editors note: Today’s guest blogger is Ian Gardiner, CEO of Viocorp, a leading provider of digital broadcast video solutions in Asia Pacific. See what other organizations that have gone Google have to say.
Viocorp has provided digital broadcast video solutions to local and global corporations, governments, and media companies since 2002. The video webcasts we host, such as the Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race or World Youth Day, often attract millions of viewers worldwide. We manage the back-end infrastructure to encode and deliver video of these events online, giving businesses an easy way to publish these digital media webcasts. Our customers don’t have to install anything on their end. They just buy a username and password and we deliver our services through the web browser.
Prior to Google Apps, we used a legacy on-premise solution to support our communication needs. Exchange had several shortcomings which became especially obvious as our business started to expand. Employees working from home and on the road had frequent problems with mobile email access and with synchronization of email across multiple devices. Our IT staff spent hundreds of hours each year managing and maintaining our email server when they could have been improving our video software solutions.
As a company that provides its services entirely online, we saw Google Apps for Business as a natural fit. Deployment was very easy and there were no major issues since Google Apps supports user choice, enabling us to have a gradual transition. Initially most of our users chose to maintain Microsoft Outlook as their email client, but today, given the option between Gmail or Microsoft Outlook, 90 percent of our employees choose Gmail.
We’ve also adopted Google Calendar to set up meetings and reserve shared resources such as conference rooms. Google Talk and Google Docs let us create, share, and collaborate faster than ever, moving projects forward as teams connected by real time information. Most importantly, Google Apps lets our employees work from anywhere with any smartphone or web-enabled tablet. When I’m in transit to client meetings, I can use my phone to email, chat, or even review my presentation in Google Docs. And every month we get new features that support innovation and efficiency within the company—at no extra cost.
Compared with our previous solution, managing Google Apps is incredibly easy. We think moving to Google Apps saves Viocorp well over 200 hours (approx. 5 weeks) of IT work annually, with no drawbacks in service or uptime. Although we definitely saved money by switching to Google Apps, the real value for us goes far beyond reduced costs. The question was, will Google Apps allow us to work more effectively? And when we ask our employees, the answer is “yes, without a doubt”.