Tuesday, November 26, 2013
Editor's note: Today’s guest blogger is Simon Turner, group IT director at Haymarket Media Group, a London-based publishing and events company with 60 print and online brands around the world. See what other organizations that have gone Google have to say.
London-based Haymarket Media Group is the largest privately owned media business in the United Kingdom with more than 2,000 employees worldwide. Our 60 consumer and business titles range from marketing, medical and financial to sports and automotive. After more than half a century in publishing, Haymarket Media is transforming itself into a “Digital First” company that focuses on specialist markets via channels which include web, mobile, face to face events and print. This requires a more centralised way of thinking and a sea change in the way we collaborate -- which we get now with Google Apps.
Google caught my eye when a few early adopters in the company from Stuff began using Gmail a few years ago. We were using an aging Microsoft Exchange 2003 for email and needed a technology refresh. I launched a proof of concept last year with 50 staffers. After hearing presentations from Google Apps and Microsoft 365 sales teams, we made the decision to go with Google.
Implementing Google has been smooth. It took just six weeks to move 800 mailboxes earlier this year, with the help of Grove Group, a Google Enterprise partner. Google Apps integrates with other systems we use, like Salesforce.com and Active Directory. It also saves us money -- we have Google Apps for about the same price that an email upgrade would cost.
But it’s the collaboration, flexibility and time savings that our employees love most. The 25 gigabyte mailbox in Gmail means people don’t waste time deleting emails; every single employee has an extra half hour in their week that was previously spent clearing out the inbox. During a recent office relocation employees were able to do their work from anywhere using Google Apps on their laptops and mobile devices.
Hundreds of reporters at Haymarket publications are writing and posting stories faster than ever because of the real-time collaboration capabilities with Google Apps. Several writers and editors in different locations can work on the same document simultaneously. They are sharing calendars too, so editors at PistonHeads know which reporter is covering which event at an automobile trade show in Detroit, for example. They are using Google+ to distribute articles to additional readers, as well as to share live events. In a recent Google+ broadcast, 150 people were talking about technology and media in our studio as part of a WebFest event.
We’re not stopping there, either. Later this year, we plan to adopt Google Sites and Google Drive as tools to support strategic development for the business going forward. Google is proving to be a key part of our Digital First campaign to meet -- and even exceed -- the pace of change in our industry.