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Glyndebourne opera house sings praises of Google’s cloud services

07 Apr 2014
Cloud computing

The renowned Glyndebourne opera company has been singing the praises of Google’s App services after ditching Microsoft tools in order to run its IT in the cloud.

The company said several areas of its IT infrastructure were vastly improved by moving to the cloud, as Richard Wells, head of IT at Glyndebourne, explained in a blog post.

“With Google giving us email, collaboration, business workflows and our storage needs in the cloud, the IT department has far fewer worries,” he wrote.

Wells explained the move to Google had been prompted by numerous frustrations with the Microsoft Office, SharePoint and Exchange infrastructure that had been in place before.

“This setup required dedicated Windows computers to access all our files on various hard drives and servers, sometimes through complex remote-connection processes,” he said.

“It was difficult, stage hands could not always access their email, schedules or documents and often had to use pen and paper to create notes after performance.”

One area where Wells explained the move to Google Apps has been particularly useful was ending the need for support for email accounts.

“With the move to Google our IT staff were excited to be able to stop maintaining the on-premise email system, particularly as our company grew. We have nearly doubled our computer users to 200 in the last few years, while our IT resources stayed the same.

"As a result, we spent three full days a month maintaining Microsoft applications, updating software and troubleshooting remote employee issues. With Google Apps we now spend a fraction of that time on support and troubleshooting."

Another key area of improvement is mobility. "Our house manager previously had to email the ushers’ schedule to their personal email accounts. It was a tedious process. Now, all our ushers have their own Google accounts and we can share one roster as a Google Sheet and collaborate in one file," Wells explained.

The deal represents another key success for Google, after the London borough of Dagenham and Barking announced on Wednesday that it had moved to Chromebook devices as part of a migration away from Windows XP.

Microsoft is making strides in improving the flexibility of its services, though, with the launch of Word, Excel and PowerPoint for iPad. Last week the firm revealed that the apps had already been downloaded 12 million times since they were released.

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Dan Worth

Dan Worth is the news editor for V3 having first joined the site as a reporter in November 2009. He specialises in a raft of areas including fixed and mobile telecoms, data protection, social media and government IT. Before joining V3 Dan covered communications technology, data handling and resilience in the emergency services sector on the BAPCO Journal

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