Blog 1: This blog is a special 2 part release.
Today’s post is from Simi Ryatt, Chief Executive, and Tania Lewis, Head of Business Development, at Citizen Advice Hammersmith and Fulham (CAHF). CAHF is an independent charity that provides information, education and advice services to help people resolve problems.
Part of a national network of over 300 individual charities, CAHF is one of the busiest local Citizens Advice services in London. Its 45 paid staff and 120 volunteers work in community settings across the Borough.
Assessment and discovery
Here at CAHF, we expect optimum performance from our 45 paid staff and 120 volunteers, but we recognise that we need to provide the right tools to facilitate that kind of performance.
Our legacy IT system, based around Microsoft Office and Sharepoint running on virtual servers hosted by a third party, was no longer able to do that. We needed something that gave everyone a consistent experience, no matter where they were working. Collaboration with colleagues and external partners like the Citizens Advice national branch also wasn't always as smooth and seamless as it needed to be, while we were limited in our ability to use tools like videoconferencing.
Another issue was that the system was difficult to manage, with any changes having to go through our outsourcing partner. A further concern was about the level of control we had over our data, as it was being held and managed by someone else.
Why opt for "Going Google"
We spent quite a long time thinking about whether we should move to Microsoft Office 365 or to Google Workspace. We were already using Office 365 in a limited way and also had some knowledge of Google Workspace through collaborating on projects with the Citizens Advice national branch.
As part of our evaluation, we spoke to the national branch and to several other local branches to find out the reasons behind their choices and what their experience had been with both solutions.
Our main reasons for choosing Google Workspace were that it offered:
- Better support for collaboration, with users able to seamlessly transition between different tools
- Consistent user experience, with access to all tools, on any device, from any location
- Low TCO, with the potential to cut our hardware costs when providing users with appropriate devices
Another significant factor in our choice to move to Google Workspace is that it will make it easier for us to work on even the most complex projects with the national branch, where we're dealing with lots of paperwork, training materials, forms and spreadsheets.
Our final word of advice for other those who are considering "Going Google" is: don't hesitate.
Google Workspace is an excellent solution that works well for what we do, is easy to migrate to, and means IT is no longer something you have to worry about but something that just works, without you having to think about it.
Read about the seamless migration journey and the end result