LONDON, UK (February 11th, 2009) – Google Inc. (NASDAQ: GOOG) today announced that Guardian News & Media, the leading UK-based media group, has introduced Google Apps™ Premier Edition in order to facilitate a more collaborative and modern way of working.
The Guardian’s employees and contractors can now use Google Apps, which includes Google Docs™ (documents, spreadsheets and presentations), Google Calendar™, Google Sites™, Google Video™ for business and Google Talk™ applications from any location. Google Mail™, another key element of Google Apps Premier Edition, is scheduled for deployment in 2009. Google Message Security, powered by Postini, has also been deployed to filter out malicious and spam emails. The products are all hosted and managed by Google, removing the need to install any software or hardware on site.
The deployment of Google Apps came in tandem with The Guardian’s move to new premises in St Pancras. Guardian News & Media’s board tasked its IT department with delivering a more collaborative, flexible and modern way of working. After an extensive search of the market, The Guardian decided on Google Apps, and deployed the tools in 2008.
“Google Apps delivers on the promise of collaborative working and is so straightforward and familiar that we knew our users would embrace the technology,” explains Andy Beale, Technology Director, Enterprise Operations, at Guardian News & Media. “The service is very well aligned with our ambitions for the business and we have already had reports of different departments making use of the collaborative capabilities of the software.”
Beale explains: “At the Beijing Olympics, we had 30 reporters on the ground and Google Apps allowed us to communicate and coordinate our coverage of the event very effectively. Staff can access Google Apps from anywhere, on any device, invaluable when you’re in a remote or isolated environment. Our advertising team has transferred all its ad inventory spreadsheets online, allowing them to coordinate activities and updates through the use of live, dynamic shared documents. Google Apps has had a ripple effect across the business.”
The benefit to the IT department is considerable. Beale estimates that a third of the team’s time is currently spent on managing the legacy email filtering system, and this will all be freed up as users move to have personal control over their spam email with Google Message Security. In addition, Google will cut down on The Guardian’s future costs for storage, server and application maintenance. The fact that Google Apps is browser based has made the deployment across Guardian News & Media’s mixed estate of PCs and Macs relatively straightforward from an end-user perspective.
The Guardian has big plans for the future, experimenting with a customised start page for Google Apps created in Google Sites, and looking forward to the impact Google Mail voice and video chat will have in terms of increasing communication at a time when business travel is reduced. Management plans to use Google Video for business to support internal communications, and Google Mail will upgrade users’ mailbox capacity by a factor of 500 times when it is deployed next year.
Robert Whiteside, Head of Google Enterprise in the UK&I, comments: “The Guardian is always working to sustain its position as a leading news provider and clearly sees collaborative working practice as a key element in its strategy. The Guardian is investing in the future of its business by recognising that the model of IT needs to change to encourage more mobile and flexible working practices.”
“Google Apps forms a major part of our strategic IT objectives for the business. It facilitates a new way of working for our staff and cuts out a lot of the administrative and functional difficulties most traditional IT departments have to deal with,” concludes Beale.
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