Here’s how Google lures more and more corporates away from Microsoft

Thu, Mar 14, '19 •

Here’s how Google lures more and more corporates away from Microsoft

Even when a company is just a handful of guys around a table, team collaboration tools are still essential. That need grows exponentially as a company grows across offices, countries and continents.

But whereas the traditional IT infrastructure relied on on-premises server rooms and multiple platforms with multiple logins, the modern corporate is realizing there is a better way. G Suite for Business has found its way into the most unlikely of places, often accompanied by a G Suite intranet. Here are just a few of those now all-in with Google that have come out of left field.

The traditional FMCG: Colgate Palmolive Company

“Prior to Colgate there had never been such a high profile story of a large traditional enterprise making the journey to Google,” says Tony Safoian, CEO of SADA Systems, which helped move Colgate’s 28,000 employees into G Suite for Business within six months.

According to the G Suite for Business case study, Colgate has many cross-functional, geographically-dispersed teams that must collaborate across borders and time zones to continue driving innovation forward - that’s everything from research and development to procurement, marketing, supply chain, finance and HR. They had been relying on a range of different platforms, and the IT team was constantly dealing with grumbles.

“We set out to find an easy-to-use toolset that would support innovation across our teams and fundamentally change what people could accomplish,” says Mitch Cohen, Senior Manager Collaboration Services at Colgate-Palmolive, who looks after all collaboration and productivity tools used globally. “We wanted a solution that people would be excited about using – and something that we knew could support our company over the next 20+ years.”

Colgate’s main needs from a new platform included the ability to store files in a single location, conduct video meetings and minimize the time spent logging into different tools. The necessary investment in both time and costs put them off managing software full-time in-house; they wanted one system that would enable employees to work seamlessly across an integrated environment, and that was much easier to manage and maintain. G Suite for Business was the obvious choice.

People were working differently in just three months, says CIO Mike Crowe: 94% of users were actively using Google Drive; more than 57,000 hours of Google Hangouts Meet sessions were conducted in one month alone; there was a faster than expected uptake of Google Slides, Sheets and Docs. Says Crowe: “I couldn’t have expected anything better in terms of transitioning 28,000 users onto a new platform. There was no doubt that for any large complex organization in the world that G Suite could work for them and in fact could be transformational for them.”

The navigation product-maker: Trimble

For a company that makes navigation products like GPS systems to guide people and industries on their journeys, Trimble’s old Internal Communications and team collaboration systems were clunky, unwieldy and not helping productivity. They decided to switch to G Suite for Business after being a Microsoft company for many years, purely to make things more simple and streamlined for their employees.

Trimble went one step further, deploying a Google intranet at the same time to replace their outdated SharePoint intranet.

The new G Suite for Business ecosystem enables Trimble’s workforce to be truly mobile. They can access company news via tablet or mobile, which is important in a company where so many people travel regularly or work remotely. The Google intranet solution has also enabled interaction across the business, resulting in a diminishing amount of email traffic.

“Conversation is easy,” says Taina Saarikoski, who’s responsible for Internal Communications – and the company can also now track and store those conversations for future reference: “There was previously a lot of tacit information that was sort of hidden because it was maybe people talking over the coffee machine, it was one on one, whereas now we have a tool and you get your conversations more visible. A lot of the hidden information became visible and that is a plus.

“We were very much in the Microsoft world before,” continues Saarikoski, speaking about their G Suite vs Office 365 debate, “and people were complaining that the tool was a bit too complicated and contained a lot of old outdated information on that intranet platform. Having the possibility to also interact mobily, that was a novelty to us. Being able to access the necessary information via your tablets or your mobile phones, this is really a great advantage because people are moving around and doing remote work. It has given us a lot more flexibility.”

The minerals company: Imerys

Operating across 50 countries, Imerys specialises in the extraction and processing of minerals for industry. It has grown significantly through the annual acquisition of a handful of new companies, which means internal structures and team collaboration were pretty messy. It was also impacting the work culture, making the company very decentralized.

When a large company grows by merger and acquisition, it needs to work extra hard to integrate its workforce and ensure the team collaboration is seamless; each acquisition brings with it workers tied to different processes and cultures. Imerys’ IT systems were spread across software and hardware that wasn’t synchronized, and that made team collaboration difficult.

“In terms of storage, the focus was extremely local with many different active directories meaning exchanging between countries was very challenging,” says Joël Fromont, Chief Digital & Networks Officer at Imerys. There was also a habit of limiting licensing agreements, meaning not all employees could use certain applications, while old conference hardware restricted the number of conference calls they could hold.

G Suite for Business was the answer for Imerys, especially as Hangouts Meet means there are no limits on communication between employees and sites.

“Before, we had only 1,000 video conferencing licenses, so only 1,000 users could do video conferences at the same time,” says Joël. “Now, everyone is able to use Hangouts Meet. It’s hugely popular.” Drive means storage is no longer localized, and it is easier to exchange files and collaborate using Docs, Sheets, and Slides. Calendar serves as a scheduling tool for booking rooms and planning calls. Video conference usage has rocketed from 500 a month to more than 12,000.

“It’s really transforming the company. It’s not just an IT project, it’s a whole-company workstyle project and we want everybody to be ready for that,” says Joël. “Working with a collaborative tool like G Suite is key. The role of our IT department has changed. It is no longer to maintain servers but to help ensure that the business benefits as much as possible. We are more user oriented and business oriented.”

Also in the cloud...

The airline: All Nippon Airways

Japan’s largest airline is powered by G Suite for Business, with all staff across company divisions - pilots and cabin attendants to HR and finance staff – using Gmail, Google Drive and Google Hangouts Meet. Colleagues are empowered to communicate and collaborate in real time from their PCs, smartphones or tablets. And it’s not just the barriers of distance being broken down here – Hangouts’ translation feature is helping cross cultural divides, too.

The social care organization: Cello Zorg

The Netherlands-based care provider supports people with intellectual disabilities 24 hours a day. The team needed a new way to communicate and collaborate that would comply with GDPR – unlike the old group accounts it had relied on for email. By switching to G Suite for Business, they could downsize their IT infrastructure – formerly 164 servers over two sites, as well as virtual machines through a cloud provider – and have saved €1 million over four years.

The insurer: Generali Hungary

When your sales team is constantly on the road, it can be difficult to keep them up-to-date, while team collaboration becomes virtually non-existent. One of Hungary’s leading insurance companies, with 1800 employees and 2200 self-employed agents, Generali improved its sales team collaboration and manager insight by deploying G Suite for Business. Email account and user administration became simplified, while contact information is seamlessly updated across the network, facilitating better communication.

The supermarket: Morrisons

One of the UK’s leading supermarket chains, Morrisons relies on good Internal Communications: it has 120,000 staff across more than 500 sites. They use G Suite for Business to connect every member of the team – from stock pickers to the checkout to the back office – without breaking the bank. Morrisons used to print half a million sheets of paper every week and file them in more than 3000 filing cabinets to meet its compliance requirements; they’ve reduced that through team collaboration using Google Docs and rapid information collection with Google Forms. Clunky VPNs and old handheld devices have been replaced with G Suite working on any device.

The bank: Bci

Who said financial services couldn’t work in the cloud? One of Chile’s largest banks, Banco de Credito e Inversiones (Bci) migrated 10,000 employees to G Suite for Business within one week without interrupting service or employee productivity. And employees love it – there’s been a rapid adoption of Google Drive (85% of users) and Google Sheets (70%). They decided to move to G Suite for Business because half of their employees are millennials, and the “traditional ways banks work don’t make sense to them; we need to evolve to meet their changing expectations,” says Luis Felipe Hirane Sarkis, Head of Change Management. And because so many of the bank’s customers use Gmail, too, customer service reps are now conducting business in Hangouts Meet as needed, providing real-time engagement and assistance beyond the office environment.

Who said G Suite for Business was the dark side of team collaboration?

Conjure the image of a company going all-in with G Suite for Business and you probably thought about startups, or Silicon Valley tech giants, or a small business looking for a cheap and cheerful alternative to Office 365.

Think again. As Google makes a concerted effort to woo the enterprise crowd, more and more companies are ditching the Microsoft ecosystem and moving to G Suite for Business and Google intranet solutions.

Add in a G Suite enterprise intranet, and suddenly your disparate, difficult to engage workforce can work together on the same document in real time, can create threaded conversations to keep track of projects, integrate with a range of productivity apps and services, and access the organization chart and contact details of anyone in the company – all without leaving the ecosystem, or having to log into a new platform.

G Suite for Business is transforming operations. What impact could it have on yours?


Jonathan Davies


Thu, Mar 14, '19

Read more from this author

Subscribe to the blog and receive monthly updates to your email.