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TripIt makes communication easier with Google Apps

Posted by Scott Hintz, Co-Founder and Vice President of Business Development at TripIt

Editors note: Scott Hintz, Gregg Brockway and Andy Denmark founded TripIt in 2006 to simplify the Internet travel experience by bringing together travel plans from multiple online sources into a single, centralized itinerary, and allow travelers to manage and share their travel plans. See what other organizations that have gone Google have to say.

We launched TripIt with about 10 people back in 2007. We now employ about 50 and were acquired by Concur at the beginning of the year. It took all of one minute to decide that Google Apps provided the best tools for our growing team. As a Silicon Valley startup, our employees are very familiar with Gmail and we could count on them getting up to speed quickly without any IT training programs.

We attribute a lot of our internal business success to Google’s communication tools. Google Docs has become our primary collaboration tool and makes it easy for those outside our domain to work in tandem with internal employees. We rely on Google Docs for project planning and a lot of our accounting process. Before our acquisition, we used external bookkeepers to manage our accounting, do invoicing, etc. So we created Google spreadsheets where TripIt folks could enter invoice amounts and our accountants could access the doc and issue invoices based on our entries, then add confirmation information. Because Google documents is always up to date, TripIt employees could always track the status of invoices.

Plus, having a Google Docs link removes the email clutter that results from attachments, while allowing us the certainty that we’re all looking at the most recent version of the information. Before Google Docs, project prioritization was done using Microsoft Excel, which mandated a master owner and often resulted in outdated files. I can’t tell you how many times we were in meetings with people who were looking at different versions of the same spreadsheet.

Now we know the most recent versions of all our docs and the rest of our data are automatically saved in the cloud and accessible anywhere with an Internet connection. With hard drives, too many bad things can happen to your valuable files, especially as much as we travel. Mobile Gmail works great—it’s fast and easy—and we rely quite heavily on email and shared calendars while on the road. As a travel company, the mobile capabilities have become indispensable.

We’ve moved our offices three times in just four years. Because we’re now a cloud-based organization, it’s wonderful not having to lug around hardware and servers, and the fact that we never have to worry about interrupting critical email service is huge.

As a company that believes in the power of technology to simplify things, Google Apps is the perfect fit for us.