From Israel to Australia with Google Apps Business
SysAid’s rapid expansion of activities, together with the outdated exchange servers and two painful server shutdowns for two days, led the company to search for an alternative exchange solution.
“Our growth was increasing by almost 50% each year – 5 years ago we only had 25 employees. Our email exchange is not our core system, as we correspond with our clients through the CRM system, but email constitutes an important component of work with our suppliers and other external entities. We needed to increase the scope of our email exchange activities”, said Oded Moshe, SysAid’s Product Manager.
SysAid began checking the investment required to upgrade the servers, and identified additional costs deriving from such upgrading. One of these additional costs was due to the incompatibility of the existing backup system, and the necessity of replacing it in the case of upgrading the exchange servers to new ones.
The nature of the problems pointed to a single solution: transferring to the cloud. SysAid chose the Google Apps for Business in order to centralize their email exchange activities and provide office applications which are available from any location, such as preparing presentations, data sheets, word processor and more. Working over the cloud was not a new concept for SysAid, whose product uses Software as a Service approach and also work with several other cloud systems such as Salesforce.com. “At first we were thinking to use Microsoft’s Office 365, but we also received a recommendation to check Google Apps. We found that Office 365 cost was almost twice as much”, indicated Oded Moshe.
SysAid is an Israeli company operating from its offices at Airport City, developing online support and service solutions for IT departments. These solutions enable quick and efficient troubleshooting for tens of thousands of users around the world, through automation of support, hardware control and software management.
During the past two years the company's activities have expanded due to opening offices in Australia and Brazil, which raised the number of employees in Israel to 100.
SysAid contacted the Google’s sales center and received a firm recommendation for DoIT to implement the solution. DoIT provided full accompaniment in planning the transfer, while identifying the organization’s needs and the requirement for a smooth transfer. “This is a project posed many problems. With the accompaniment of DoIT! we made a wise decision, to be flexible and not insist on everything being transferred at the same time. We executed the transfer in several phases, which was a main factor in the project’s success”, said Oded Moshe. “The project proceeded quickly. We had excellent support. Google can be sure that they recommended a great company. DoIT has the necessary background to execute projects with Google Apps”, he added, “In spite of the do-it-yourself trend, if you want things to be done professionally, it is better to work with an expert”. After the technical transfer of the systems, a pilot was conducted under the supervision of DoIT, and training was provided for the employees.
“The project proceeded quickly. We had excellent support. Google can be sure that they recommended a great company. DoIT has the necessary background to execute projects with Google Apps.”Oded Moshe, Product Manager, SysAid
An interesting fact is that part of the implementation process was based on user discussion groups. SysAid opened forums on Yammer to share knowledge regarding the use of the system. Many questions don’t even reach the IT support, as they have already been answered by other users, indicated Moshe.
Today, SysAid employees have full working knowledge of the email exchange applications, from the size of the mailbox to the self-added widgets available. Many employees enjoy the ability to easily connect portable devices and access the system from any location at any time. A small portion of employees chose to stay with the Outlook interface they were used to, while also enjoying the advantages of working with Google.
The system managers also found significant advantages in the Google Apps system, especially the easy use of the management interface. Oded Moshe brings up the example of defining groups and privileges, which he uses himself easily and quickly.
Providing support for the company’s offices in Australia and Brazil has also become easier. With the previous system the Australian branch tried to use the online Exchange system, but it was inconvenient for the employees. “We connected the Outlook by VPN with the servers but it kept failing, especially when on the other side the users were not IT users. Today with Google Apps, we have succeeded in decreasing the failures to zero. We receive more questions on ‘how to’ than system failures”.