Editors note: Today’s guest blogger is Ezri Silver, SVP of Operations at Jordache Enterprises. Jordache became well known for its designer jeans in the 1970s and continues to manufacture a wide variety of denim, apparel and accessories. See what other organizations that have gone Google have to say.
Although our fashion sense has stayed ahead of the times since the 1970s, we were stuck in the past when it came to technology. We have about 20,000 employees, and we were using Novell® GroupWise for communication and collaboration. From a functional and collaboration standpoint, we were missing flexibility, access and speed. Our calendars couldn’t accept Mircosoft® Outlook invites, basic file sharing didn’t work well across platforms, and employees couldn’t communicate efficiently due to the sluggishness of overloaded Groupwise email and the limited mobile access to their email and documents.
As our email volume grew, GroupWise couldn’t support it and we experienced frequent outages that brought business to a halt. Once, when the electricity went out in New York, we lost access to email for 24 hours – that’s unacceptable for a fast-moving manufacturing and retail business. We have stores all over the country and factories around the world, and we needed an easier, more reliable way to support communications among all of them.
We evaluated Microsoft® Exchange, Microsoft Outlook, and Microsoft Office 365, but then one of our employees suggested Google Apps. We quickly saw that Google was the best solution. Employees would have access to their email, documents and calendars from anywhere, our IT team wouldn’t have to worry about outages, and employees could collaborate easily across store locations. Plus, Google offered more ongoing innovative feature development and a better price.
We started by piloting Google Apps in about 20 retail stores across the country. With the help of Google Apps partner, Cloud Sherpas, we now have access to our email, calendar, and documents regardless of whether we are in the office, on vacation, or at a plant in China.
Google Apps is built for team collaboration, which makes so many business processes easier. For example, reviewing job applicants used to involve emailing each reviewer for individual feedback. With Google Groups, we can post the resume to a group and people can provide feedback and discuss it so that we interview the best candidates for the team. We also use Google spreadsheets to track supply orders and Google Docs forms to distribute quick inventory surveys and aggregate data from our retail stores.
On top of the easy access and collaboration, Google Apps has saved us at least 20% over GroupWise and about 30% over Office 365. The pricing of Google Apps is simple, and it’s easy to see how much value you get for $50 a year. Plus, with Google Apps you know you always have the latest features instead of being stuck with a specific version. For Jordache, moving to Google Apps has been a great experience with a lot of solid business and technology benefits.