GeeFirm, a professional services firm that specialises in Google for Work products, has launched a brand new campaign for midsize consultancy companies. The campaign aims to help consultancies gain insight into how much they can save by switching from current enterprise solutions to Google for Work and, as part of the campaign, which runs until 31 December 2016, consulting firms are eligible to receiving financial support during the implementation phase.
Over the past years, cloud-based platforms have transformed the way in which consulting firms manage their internal operations. New technologies, combined with the power of mobile, have made IT systems more powerful and more flexible at the same time, allowing consultancies to bolster their end-to-end processes – from business development and customer relationship management to project delivery and financials.
On the back of the benefits poised by cloud-based working, solutions such as Google for Work and Microsoft Office 365 as well as niche products from smaller players are seeing rapid adoption. And according to the majority of analysts, this trend will undoubtedly continue. One study conducted by a major cloud provider last year revealed that today, 12% of organisations run 100% of their IT in the cloud. In a mere five years, this number will have risen to 50%, and by 2025, more than 70% will have shifted all their IT operations to the cloud. Across the board, differences in cloud strategies prevail across a range of dimensions, including age of the organisation, industry, firm size, and type of business.
The path to shifting to the cloud, however, is a bumpy one: respondents highlight that businesses are hesitant to forsake their legacy systems for a fully cloud-based infrastructure and express concerns about the transition phase.
In a bid to support professional services firms in overcoming their anxiety, Netherlands-based software company GeeFirm has teamed up with Google to launch a joint ‘Mid-Market Campaign.’ The campaign focuses on supporting midsize consultancies – ranging from 100 to 3,000 employees – and other service providers in gaining an understanding of Google’s Google for Work product suite, and, if they opt for deployment, getting the system up and running swiftly. In addition, the US search engine conglomerate has given a financial commitment to the program, which consists of, among other things, a contribution to the deployment costs and a scheme that reimburses fees until existing Enterprise License Agreement contracts expire*.
Google Apps – the predecessor of Google for Work – has come a long way since its 2006 launch. Over time, the solution has seen considerable growth and adoption. The suite combines and integrates all of Google’s business apps, including Gmail, Hangouts, Google Calendar, Drive, Docs, Sheets, Slides, Groups, News, Play, Sites, and Vault, as well as a range of more tailored modules per industry/function. The latest data released by the firm shows that that over 5 million organisations are using Google Apps, with 50 million users spread over the globe, including the likes of well-known corporates.
“By transitioning to Google for Work, midsize consulting firms can typically save between 40% to 60% on their IT costs,” says Jeroen Hovinga, director at GeeFirm. According to a study conducted by BetterCloud among 1,500 organisations that recently moved towards the cloud, Google for Work users experience average cost savings of 41% vis a vis previous solutions – compared to 27% when using Office 365. Besides the achieved financial savings, they indicated that the switch also resulted in several operational improvements: 88% of companies surveyed stated that the cloud has enabled them to improve flexibility and mobility, while 84% said that it fosters a more collaborative culture.
Although exact savings depend on “specific situations”, says Hovinga, several case studies conducted in the consulting industry in recent years have shown that consultancies tend to be in the upper quartile of the range. Commenting on the benefits of Google for Work for the advisory landscape, Erik de Muinck Keizer, Country Manager Google for Work Benelux, comments “The benefits of adopting Google for Work are not limited to cost advantages. We see a tremendous opportunity for consultancies to increase efficiency of work processes by encouraging collaboration, limiting the number of iterations, and reducing email traffic with fellow consultants and consulting clients. Important advantages of increased efficiency may include faster outputs, higher customer involvement, and better margins.
De Muinck Keizer describes the ‘ Mid Market Campaign’ in collaboration with GeeFirm as a “unique opportunity for consultancies to switch to Google Apps for Work”, adding “Our partner GeeFirm specialises in helping professional services companies and is fully equipped to support them in transitioning to Google Apps for Work.”
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