Traditional Company Integrates Online Solutions to Age-Old Problems

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ArchitecturalClassics.com has discovered a great strategy for keeping costs down and efficiency up, with the new Google Apps.

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We had been using a mailing list, e-mailing the updated version of a file to everyone after every modification. You could easily get lost in all the different versions. Now, with Google Docs, we can all edit the same documents at the same time. That has made our lives easier.

An Irish company has discovered a great strategy for keeping costs down and efficiency up, with the new Google Apps.

Niall McDonagh is managing director of Architectural Classics, an online-focused, period style home hardware business. As a business where, he says, "90% of communication is done by email or chat," the company was spending significant time and "actual money" on data backups and information sharing between employees. Like so many small to medium businesses, the point had come where more money and energy was being expended on administering the business than conducting its core tasks.

As a new-generation business -- mostly conducted online, with minimal face-to-face contact -- Architectural Classics had a huge amount of important data stored in email. The theft of a computer drove home the point that insurance cannot cover everything, and a new security solution was necessary.

"I read that Gmail is now available for companies, and I knew we needed to look into it," says McDonagh. "All my key staff members were positive about it and the feedback we got from those who already used it was promising."

As well as their email being more secure, Architectural Classics employees can now access each others emails at necessity with their personalised Gmail domain name, without the need for a large, expensive and technically difficult server.

"The size of all company e-mails we need to have access to is close to 10 times the size of our whole e-commerce system, so we would need ten times more storage space in our server," McDonagh says.

Google Docs is the other important benefit for Architectural Classics; the application allows file sharing and editing among remote employees in real time, in a web browser window.

Many of the company's employees are located in different countries, so when team work on a file was necessary, there could be costly confusion over what stage a project was at.

McDonagh celebrated the application, "We had been using a mailing list, e-mailing the updated version of a file to everyone after every modification. You could easily get lost in all the different versions. Now, with Google Docs, we can all edit the same documents at the same time. That has made our lives easier."

With new Google Apps, "We don't have to worry about our emails anymore and can spend more time growing our business!"

Google Apps: http://www.google.com/a
Architectural Classics: http://www.architecturalclassics.com

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Niall McDonagh
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