Editor's note: Our guest blogger today is Cristiano Barbieri, CIO of SulAmérica Seguros. Founded in 1895, SulAmérica is the largest independent insurance company in Brazil with more than 5,000 employees and over 30,000 brokers throughout the country. See what other organizations that have gone Google have to say.

We've been in the insurance industry for more than 100 years and have continued to grow because we value high quality customer service, creating opportunities for our employees and preserving our company traditions. In today's fast-paced world, we realize that in order to continue to focus on our mission, and better serve our 6.7 million customers across Brazil, agility and innovation are key. With that in mind, we have decided to implement three of the solutions that Google Enterprise provides.

Google Apps for Business was one of our biggest steps towards technology innovation. Before, I had three people dedicated solely to managing our email on LotusNotes, which required constant maintenance because of limited capacity. Google Apps offers over 100x more storage capacity, 3x better service level availability, and is the only solution in the market that is entirely cloud-based. Since adopting Google Apps with the help of Google Apps reseller IpNet, we smoothly moved 7,000 accounts in less than 6 months and reduced our infrastructure by over 60 percent. Our goal? To have no hardware, saving more than $3 million in technical and operating costs.

The most noticeable shift that I encounter every day is how Google Apps makes collaboration easy company-wide. For example, we use Google Sites to manage mergers and acquisitions to ensure there is a historical record of the project, all of the documents are in one place, and the different teams that need help with the project (finance, legal, marketing, etc.) can all be on the same page. The end goal: no matter the division, team or location, our employees can access and edit the records in real-time.

Communication has also improved tenfold because of universal access to features like a more collaborative inbox on Gmail, Google Talk and Google+ Hangouts. Specifically, we expanded our face-to-face communication while saving money and travel time. We used to only have access to video-conference equipment in 10 conference rooms, but now our employees can chat at all times of the day with Hangouts. They can work together from anywhere: from their phones, tablets and laptops, at their desks or on the go. Mobility is key and also allows our employees to have direct contact with customers without traveling thousands of miles.

Watching the successful rollout and adoption of Google Apps motivated us to use more of Google's Enterprise products. Within a few months, we also adopted Google App Engine and integrated Google Maps. Using these tools, we built a medical reference network that uses the power of Google search so our customers can look for a doctor, hospital or laboratory. The result provides a list with names, specialities and addresses, and the accompanying map provides geolocalized results. We couldn’t do this before because it was slow, complicated and costly. With Google App Engine we were able to build this directory on the web just as easily as we did for mobile, so our customers can access the network anytime, anywhere through an intuitive, familiar interface. Now, we receive more than 500,000 searches per month, which is direct contact with our customers that we didn’t have before. We're impressed by the momentum and scalability.

By implementing Google Enterprise solutions that save time, money and are extremely scalable, we can offer easy-to-use, innovative solutions to improve our core business. Our employees work better together and we provide new avenues for contact directly with our customers. At SulAmérica, we aren’t focused solely on selling insurance. We believe that by going Google we are able to focus on what's most important: making our customers' and employees’ lives easier and safer.