Monday, February 11, 2013
Editor's note: Today’s guest blogger is David Gendel, Corporate IT Director at Allrecipes.com, the world’s largest digital food brand. See what other organizations that have gone Google have to say.
Allrecipes.com started in 1997, when Tim Hunt couldn’t find his favorite chocolate chip cookie recipe online. He vowed that other cooks like him shouldn’t have to deal with the same problem, and started CookieRecipe.com. From there, he created even more recipe sites that eventually came together into the site we know today: Allrecipes.com. Fifteen years after that cookie baking epiphany, we have more than one million user-generated recipes and 30 million visitors per month. That’s a lot of people looking for more than just chocolate chip treats.
I took over as IT director for Allrecipes.com a year ago, and fixing our aging email system sat at the very top of my first to-do list. We culled our top options—Microsoft Exchange, Microsoft Office 365, and Google Apps for Business—and put them through the ringer. After testing, analysis, and focus groups, Google Apps came out on top. With the help of our partner, Cloud Sherpas, we moved all of Allrecipes.com employees over. Changing old habits is hard, especially when it comes to technology, but after just five months, it feels like Google Apps is second nature to us.
We want all of our employees to be able to work from wherever they are, with whatever device they have with them. With Google Apps, they can do just that - we use a mixture of mobile devices and operating systems, and our teams can switch seamlessly between them. I don’t always have my laptop with me, but with the Google Drive mobile app, I just jump into a doc on my smartphone or tablet to review or edit it, whether it’s during a meeting or on the way to the airport. Needing to fix a document on the fly doesn’t mean needing a computer anymore. We move quickly. Apps moves with us.
Hangouts also help us stay connected. Our social media manager recently moved to Australia, but with Hangouts, it’s almost as if she never left. We have video conferences with her throughout the week, and you wouldn’t know she’s halfway around the world. Our technical teams also use Hangouts for off-hours maintenance. They get excited about being able to see who they’re working with as if they were both in the office, interacting as if they were in person, and sharing their screens to help expedite problem solving. We love that video conferencing is so seamlessly integrated with the entire Apps suite, and we don’t have to use or pay for a separate program.
Food is more than just food – it brings people together and creates shared experiences. At Allrecipes.com, we’re proud to provide so many people with the foundation for those experiences. Google Apps brings our company closer so we can focus on helping home cooks make magic in their kitchens, one cookie or casserole at a time.