Builders' merchant group Travis Perkins has committed to a cloud collaboration working environment based on Google Apps as it seeks to rid its business of paper and go digital while still maintaining personal relationships with long-time customers.
Writing on Google's Enterprise blog, Travis Perkins group CIO JJ Van Oosten said the need to bring the business up to date with new technology was vital and the firm had picked Google for this move due to a number of benefits.
"Google was my natural choice for an innovation partner. Their products promote interaction and collaboration, they understand mobil and their technology is web-based and cloud-based," he said.
The company, which also owns other DIY chains including the Wickes and ToolStation brands, said they had been able to get Google's Apps platform up and running within a few weeks.
"Meetings with my IT team took only 15-20 minutes instead of an hour, he said. "We collaborated on documents in Google Docs, so there was no need to review that content when we met - we could focus instead on core issues."
When rolling out the service to more employees, Travis Perkins chose to spread information on the service via 2,000 "Google champions" - employees who had received full training on the suite and were able to guide other workers as the rollout spread across the firm.
"The champions, on their own, created a community on Google+. As we rolled out Google to 8,000 people at a time across 17 businesses and central functions, employees started to consult the community for advice," he explained.
As the project snowballed, more employees wanted to switch to the new way of working, according to Van Oosten, and the firm has invested 5,000 Android smartphones to allow this.
Van Oosten offered advice to businesses considering adopting Google Apps, explaining that going the whole distance is important.
"You don't just move to Google for email or calendars. That's basic. You do it to embrace the digital world, and mobility, and release the creativity and collaboration that every human being wants to experience," he concluded.
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