As a non-profit with over 500 employees and volunteers across the borough of Barnsley in South Yorkshire, the hospice were looking for a flexible economical solution that would give their staff access to their information from any location and provide guaranteed uptime for the organisation while minimising maintenance costs.
With locations spread around the county the major challenge was how to enable all 11 sites to have shared email, calendars and documentation, as well as protection from spam and malware, but to improve collaboration.
With the assistance of Damson Cloud, the organisation chose Google Apps for Business as its email and collaboration solution. Damson Cloud’s team were on site to assist in the safe migration of data and setup of the new system.
With many staff in the organisation lacking technical skills, change management was key to the project success.
With Google Apps the organisation was able to provide a cost effective and flexible solution that initially provided email and calendar facilities, but is now the first choice for all documentation and spreadsheet use. From the first pilot of a few users in 2009, there are now over 130 users working across 11 sites. Some users are regular home workers and the collaboration on documents has both improved quality and efficiency of work, as well as making the work/life balance better.
The use and development of a hospice Intranet, using Google Sites, resulted in a major improvement in communications, with items such as policies and news being easily accessible. The information governance framework is on a Google Site and the ease of navigation has really improved the understanding of this important, but somewhat dry topic! Google forms are increasingly being used to capture data, and in the in-built analytics has proved to be very beneficial. Performance indicators and the financial management accounts are all done with Google Spreadsheets and shared easily with just a few mouse clicks, while maintaining tight security.