blog The latest Australian company to deploy Google Apps as its document management and collaboration suite appears to be electronics retailer Dick Smith, at least according to a post on Google’s Australian blog today. The company, which as you may recall was bought from Woolworths by a private equity firm in September last year, has some 4,500 staff across Australia and New Zealand, making this one of Google’s more sizable corporate victories Down Under. The company’s IT director Linda Venables writes:
“… we decided on Google because it was a great cultural fit, as well as being intuitive, easy to maintain and packed with features. One of the best things about everyone having a Google account is that all our staff will now have IT identities so we can communicate with them and they can be involved. And as many of our staff already use Gmail as their personal email, the training time is really minimal.
The sharing and collaboration features built into Google Apps and Google Docs in particular are a real plus too. Now it doesn’t matter if our teams are in Sydney or Wellington, they’ll be able to share and collaborate on documents in real-time, faster and more easily than ever before.
Building community and fostering a collaborative culture is another significant benefit of going Google. We’re looking forward to using Google forms to get staff feedback and comments via regular staff engagement surveys and the integration of YouTube videos means that when our CEO has an important announcement we can record this for all our staff to review at a time that suits them. This is a great way to overcome some of the logistical challenges of having a casual workforce working across different time zones.”
My basic reaction to this is that it makes sense. This is yet another example of so-called ‘edge’ or ‘light’ workers in a major organisation using a cloud-based suite such as Google Apps or Microsoft Office 365 for their lighter technology needs. I dn’t imagine that Dick Smith’s retail workers really much in the way of office software at this point — or even much in the way of email — so this makes sense. I would bet that Microsoft Office is still being used by the heavy document workers in Dick Smith’s head office, however ;)