Friday, October 15, 2010

Going Google Across the 50 States: Google Apps strikes a chord with Premier Guitar in Iowa

[Cross-posted from the Google Enterprise Blog]

Editor’s note: Over 3 million businesses have adopted Google Apps. Today we’ll hear from Patti Sprague, Managing Director of Premier Guitar in Iowa. To learn more about other organizations that have gone Google and share your story, visit our community map or test drive life in the cloud with the Go Google cloud calculator.

Premier Guitar is for true guitar enthusiasts, a magazine focused on guitar gear and the musicians who use it. All of our employees are passionate about music, and many play guitar or other instruments. Working with a bunch of musicians creates a fun, creative workplace, but not always a very structured environment. We needed an email system that didn’t tie our team to the office, but allowed us to work together and stay connected wherever we may be. Google Apps was the perfect solution.

In our business we have very tight deadlines. We do things a little differently than other traditional magazines. We not only publish a print version of our magazine, we make all of our content, current and archival, freely accessible over 5 different platforms. We’re able to successfully compete with some of the older print centric publications out there because we’re lean and we can get stories up quickly. That requires a lot of team work. Google Docs allows us to work on a story from wherever we are and get it published quickly. It would never be possible to work as efficiently or collectively if we had to wait for a new version of a document to be sent to us before we could publish.

Often our writers and photographers will need to drop everything to hop on a plane for a last minute factory tour, or an interview with an artist. One of the reasons we started using Google Apps is the ability to access our email and calendars on our mobile phones or anywhere with an internet connection. With Google Apps, we know where the team is and what’s due based on our shared calendars. Our company calendar and editorial calendars are kept up to date so we can get our stories out quickly. Plus, we can always just hop on Chat to ask each other questions or find out the status of a shoot or a photo shoot or piece. Being able to just ask a co-worker a quick question instead of sending them an email and waiting for a response has really helped keep projects moving along.

Apps helps us stay connected and work together, while still having fun doing what we love. For a lean team that wants to meet deadlines while writing about their passion, Google Apps was the perfect choice.