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AAPT adopts Google Apps

AAPT has decided to use Google Apps for its 1300 staff after deliberations it called more philosophical than technical.
Written by Suzanne Tindal, Contributor

AAPT has decided to use Google Apps for its 1300 staff after deliberations it called more philosophical than technical.

The telco has implemented phase one of its planned adoption of the applications, setting up Google Video and Google Sites, according to an entry on the Google Australia blog written by AAPT COO David Yuile. Google Mail is the next step.

"The decision to 'go Google' for our internal IT infrastructure was a tougher decision at a philosophical level than a technical one, because it fundamentally concerned a new way of working within enterprises, but it's a decision we haven't regretted," Yuile said.

Yuile said he had been concerned about the amount of control the company would retain with the Apps. "The breakthrough for us was in realising that both worlds can exist and people will use the methods that best suit them," he said. The company then moved onto the business case.

According to Yuile, most of the benefits would come from Gmail and storage. However, the first phase of the roll-out didn't touch either of these. "We resolved that Phase 1 was 'strategic' (a euphemism for 'gut feel') and would significantly contribute to a more engaged (and hence productive) workforce," he said.

First, there was a trial on 20 users, where Yuile nutted out a few problems such as firewall and monitoring configuration. He decided that there would just be a basic landing page since most people would be familiar with the apps, so that no real training was needed.

Although Yuile admitted he himself had some teething problems. "Perhaps the hardest part of all was preparing the welcome video for the landing page, as I became stuck in the retake loop and ended up trying to use video editor to tidy it ... which then chewed up inordinately large amounts of time. Suddenly, the penny dropped and I realised I had forgotten it was meant to be easy to use and it was not meant to be studio quality," he said.

After these efforts, the company went live with all 1300 users. Yuile said that even as early as 7:30am on the day of the launch, people had watched his introduction video. "More impressive is that I'm still getting feedback and comments from people about what I post. I think this whole 'engagement' thing must be working..." he said.

Fifteen days after the launch, there were "loads" of videos and sites on all sort of topics, according to Yuile. "Personally, I'm sucked in hook, line and sinker with video updates, which are proving a much simpler and quicker way to spread the word," he said.

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