Friday, June 16, 2017

The road to G Suite - A quick overview of the transition

G Suite offers many advantages as a professional productivity suite. Some notable ones are collaboration, uniformity, integration to other platforms, ease of access, and ease of use. This post aims to highlight some of these advantages and keys to establishing a successful implementation. Administrators and pilot users are certainly familiar with the time and effort it takes to teach end users a new software. Thanks to Google's focus on usability and user experience, G Suite is one of the easiest productivity suites to learn.
Globally welcomed and renowned, Google's software has become widely used and accepted by businesses and consumers alike. With over 1 billion monthly active Gmail users, folks have been exposed to at least one other Google product, such as Drive, Calendar, or Hangouts. Even if you haven't used many of the applications, just being exposed to them gives you a baseline of familiarity and eases the learning process. It's also very likely that your end users may already be using G Suite applications like Docs, which means they probably require minimal user training and can focus on more important tasks.

We live in a fast-paced business world which requires us to have tools that are easily accessible. Unfortunately many end users still believe business software can only be accessible on one specific platform and on one specific device at a time - those days are long gone! Google understands access needs vary from user to user. Some prefer a specific OS (Windows, Mac, or Android) and others prefer a specific device such as a laptop, desktop, or tablet. Because G Suite is cloud based and cross platform efficient, it can be accessed from any user’s preferred software and hardware configuration. Undeniably a familiar environment helps speed up the learning and work process.

Although G Suite is easy to use we sometimes find end users to still be mildly resistant to change as they're already comfortable with their current workflow. To ease the process, we recommend the following:

Make the announcement: of course it's best to let everyone know that changes will be occurring to improve their workflow and performance. Consider having the changeover announcement made by a high ranking person in the organization to help ensure users read their communication instead of just deleting it. Announcement of the change will collectively get the team aware and curious of what's to come.

Prepare for the change: implementation of a new platform brings with it some challenges and is not a short term matter. For example, changes to company policies may occur as the team gains access to the plethora of G Suite features. In order to ease user concerns, we recommend gradual adoption. There should be a clear plan for what changes to policy and workflow are needed over a clearly defined time frame. A well planned and communicated migration helps make transitioning easier on both your IT staff and your end users.

Educate everyone: hesitation should be expected and worked with. As mentioned before, many end users already have familiarity with and use Google products in their personal lives. Leverage this into showing them all the benefits G Suite has to offer. Organize training around teams with users that encourage learning on their own by using the system. InterlockIT provides in depth training on all G Suite products - get in touch here. Consider the advantage of G Suite’s cross platform capacity by allowing users to learn on hardware/software that they're comfortable with (if this is applicable) as it can quicken the learning process. We recommend Google's Chromebook to simplify workflow and easily administer your team.

It's understood that transitioning to a new productivity platform brings with it challenges that have to be properly addressed, but by putting user concerns at ease, having proper training, and a clear plan of action for implementation, your switch to G Suite should go smoothly and be viewed as an opportunity to grow and streamline your workflow. To learn more about migration services and G Suite deployment, contact our InterlockIT team today!