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Dick Smith switches on to Google Apps

Posted by Linda Venables, Director of IT at Dick Smith

Editor's note: Today’s guest blogger is Linda Venables, Director of IT at Dick Smith, an electronics retailer in Australia and New Zealand. See what other organizations that have gone Google have to say.

As an electronics retailer, you can imagine that staff at Dick Smith have a real passion for technology. They not only want to keep customers up-to-date with the latest innovations and gadgets — they want to use them too. This is key to our culture and as our company evolves we want to ensure that our highly mobile, tech savvy workforce have the flexibility to work in ways that suit them.

With more than 4,500 staff in 323 stores across Australia and New Zealand, we have a lot of people to communicate with. Connecting with part-time staff who don’t have corporate issued devices or email accounts, managing the rise of personal mobile devices at work, and trying to introduce more collaboration are some of the main challenges we’ve faced.

When we looked for solutions to these challenges, we decided on Google Apps because it was a great cultural fit, and it was intuitive, easy to maintain and packed with features. As many of our staff already use Gmail for their personal email account the training time is really minimal.

The sharing and collaboration features built into Google Apps and Google Docs are real pluses too. Whether our teams are in Sydney or Wellington, they'll be able to share and collaborate on documents in real-time, faster and more easily than ever before. We’re also looking forward to storing videos in Drive so when our CEO has an important announcement, we can record this for all our staff to review at a time that suits them. This is a great way to overcome some of the logistical challenges of having a part-time workforce in different time zones.

Overall, we see building community and fostering a collaborative culture as the greatest benefit to ‘Going Google.’ We’re looking forward to using Google Forms to get staff feedback and comments via regular staff engagement surveys and we’re even looking to extend our new collaborative approach to our interactions with suppliers and partners. Ultimately it’s about using the right tools so we can get down to running our business – and Google Apps lets us do that.