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Holcim builds a foundation with Google Apps

Posted by Khushnud Irani, the Chief Information Officer at Holcim

Editor's note: Our guest blogger is Khushnud Irani, Chief Information Officer at Holcim, one of the world’s leading suppliers of cement and aggregates with over 78,000 employees worldwide. See what other organizations that have gone Google have to say.

Founded in Switzerland in 1912, Holcim has become one of the world's leading suppliers of cement and aggregates. The Group also supplies ready-mix concrete and asphalt, and provides related services. We have production sites in about 70 countries on every continent - we’re more spread out globally than any other building materials group.

This business and geographical diversity gives us many advantages, but it also means that cross-functional and cross-regional communication and collaboration can be challenging. To meet this challenge and to unify the many such platforms in use across the Group, Holcim’s Executive Committee decided to roll-out Google Apps worldwide to our 40,000 IT users. We chose Google Apps because it will help us concentrate on our core businesses, and bring our employees, customers and partners across the globe closer together.

The introduction of Google Apps in our company over the coming years is aligned with the goals of the Holcim Leadership Journey, an initiative to promote customer excellence, increase operational efficiency and develop talent. Collaboration and the global spread of experiences and expertise will be easier, faster, and more efficient, in real-time and from anywhere via mobile and desktop devices. Over time, we believe Google Apps will help to create stronger relationships with customers, suppliers and other business partners by directly involving them in online discussions, idea exchange and project work. Also, the innovative and interactive electronic workspaces Google Apps provides will help Holcim attract future generations of young talents to the Group.

In addition to the suite of communications and collaboration, we are going to set up three other Google Enterprise solutions: Google Search Appliance, Google App Engine, and Google Apps Vault, an add-on for Google Apps, which will help manage and archive all email data. With the introduction of Google Enterprise products, we are embracing modern cloud-based delivery models that ease the technical complexities of internal operations. Such a model takes away the technical complexities of internal operations and instead allows IT personnel to focus on closer involvement with their business counterparts in creating deeper business value.

The roll-out of Google Apps to Holcim Group companies will start in the summer of 2013. Google Apps will enable better collaboration and drive innovation around the world. We are excited to embark on this cultural change that will allow our employees to bring the tools they know and use in their personal lives into the workplace on Google Apps.

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