At Esna we’re big believers in Google for Work. We’ve seen the impact it can have on a business first hand, and through the customers and partners we serve around the globe. Esna provides real-time communication and collaboration solutions that make it easy for businesses and individuals to connect, communicate and collaborate with one another. Our solutions embed communication and collaboration functions inside the applications they use every day, and connect them with Google Apps.
“Since many of our employees use Gmail and Google products personally, the move to Google for Work was intuitive and easy”
Since our founding more than 25 years ago, Esna has been a consistent early adopter and innovator when it comes to technologies that make workers more productive. Because our company is so focused on collaboration, it’s essential that we practice what we preach and so Esna “went Google” in 2009, adopting the Google for Work (known back then as Google Apps) suite of applications across the company to deepen our own collaboration capability. Every employee at Esna is a power-user of these tools, from Google Docs on Drive to Gmail and Hangouts on Google+.
The Esna team saves time, improves collaboration and reduces cost using Google solutions, and we’ve seen real and measurable impact in the following areas:
Time saved and speed-to-market
Our marketing team creates marketing content to support Esna’s sales team and channel partners. They’re one of the most active teams within Esna on Google Drive and Docs. Having the ability to access content from any device, conduct document editing sessions on the fly, and develop and launch content at a rapid-fire pace is essential to their ability to function as a lean, global team. Not only can we develop and distribute content faster, it’s more accurate too, as any collateral updates are made to a shared doc on Drive. Everyone in the company accesses this content from the same place, so the latest version is always there and ready to use.
Esna employees are able to escalate from any email to a live voice or video call—whichever is most appropriate and effective for any given situation. And our sales team is able to launch voice calls and Hangouts from inside Salesforce, using Esna tools integrated natively in those services, while automatically logging this activity in customer records. That saves time and ensures our customer data is as up-to-date as possible every day.
Reducing costs while building stronger, more collaborative relationships
Having this level of strong collaboration has enabled us to reduce the amount of travel we do by approximately 50 percent. Many issues that before would have been addressed face-to-face are solved more quickly and effectively with ad-hoc meetings and collaborative hangouts. Esna customers who have also chosen Google for Work as their platform are available to us through Hangouts, and we’re able to both give and get answers about any topic of discussion. Our helpdesk team also finds it much easier to chat or have a video call with a customer who may be in a different geography, allowing either one of them to work anywhere but still get the job done.
And, because Google for Work is a cloud-based solution, we’ve also been able to lower our IT expenses and manage our email and associated storage costs more efficiently.
One of the key benefits of using Google for Work is our ability to collaborate as a distributed team. For example, our sales and marketing staff are located all over the world, and some are with us on only a part-time basis, yet they’re able to work as if they were all in the same office. Collaboration tools that allow us to create strong connections across a geographically separated team means we can work with the very best people, not just those who are willing to live near Toronto, Canada where our headquarters are located.
The marketing team members in Seattle, Denver, Toronto, London and Baltimore conduct their weekly meetings exclusively via Hangouts and, while some team members have never met in person, they collaborate with the connection and trust that is built on seeing and talking with people in real time. This connection extends to document editing as well. It’s pretty much a daily occurrence that one of the team working in a Doc on Google Drive will use Esna collaboration tools to start an instant voice or video call with another person working on that document to quickly resolve a question or conflict in real-time.
Using Hangouts has also helped our sales team leverage high cost, high value resources more effectively. For example, they’re able to bring senior executives into customer conversations without requiring travel time. One of our EVPs told me he can do five customer meetings in one day, all over the world, with no travel. And using video allows him to build rapport with that customer in ways that just a voice over the phone would never allow. This in turn helps us shorten sales cycles and build a brand perception of accessible and attentive senior executives.
An easy, intuitive experience
The kind of distributed, full- and part-time workforce that Esna employs is a growing reality for many businesses today. With Google for Work, onboarding and fully engaging new team members is a snap—even if they are working remotely. With their Google credentials, they get immediate access to all the documents, groups and information they need to be productive right away.
The user experience is great and consistent across any device an employee might use. And, since many of our employees use Gmail and Google products personally, the move to Google for Work was intuitive and easy.
We’re also beginning to use Google for Work not only for internal collaboration, but also with customers and partners outside the company. Our channel marketing team, for example, is creating tools and content for external partners and using Google to make that content visible to them and their sales teams, in a secure way.
The move of businesses both large and small to cloud-based collaboration and communication continues to accelerate. We see it in the businesses we work with every day, and we see it in our own evolution and increasing use of Google solutions.
We’re proud to be a leader in this area and to be a partner with Google and its resellers to make Google for Work more effective for all businesses.