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Quixote Studios helps Hollywood visions come alive with Google Apps

Posted by Bill Schechtman, IT Director at Quixote Studios

Editor's note: Our guest blogger is Bill Schechtman, IT Director at Quixote Studios, a Los Angeles-based company that rents stages, vehicles and production supplies for photo shoots and movie and TV productions. See what other organizations that have gone Google have to say.

At Quixote Studios, we work with the bleeding edge of American pop culture. We’ve hosted pop legends like Madonna, brought Jay-Z’s “On To The Next One” to life, and stood in for countless precinct offices, crime scenes and killers’ hideouts on the CBS show “Criminal Minds.” We have more than 200 employees at six locations giving studios what they need to make movies, helping photographers and fashion houses make their clothes look stunning, and playing a part in bringing the television shows you love to the small screen every week.

We work in a forward-leaning industry, but until we moved to Google Apps for Business, we worked with painfully outdated technology. Our server was unreliable and our employees couldn’t access email from their smartphones. Fixing these and a host of other problems was my first priority when I joined Quixote Studios as IT Director two years ago. We considered Microsoft Exchange, but the storage, licensing and support costs were more than we bargained for. We also looked at Office 365, but it didn’t offer the full suite of tools we needed or the simple pricing structure Google Apps has. So, with the help of our reseller, Dito, we switched to Apps.

We started with the fundamentals: moving everyone to Gmail and setting up device syncing so people could access email from their phones and tablets. Before we knew it, we started seeing employees picking up more advanced product features on their own: shared calendars became a company standard and Docs became the norm for team meeting notes.

But Google Drive has been the real revelation. Every important document in our company is stored in Drive, from onboarding and exit forms to organizational charts, permits and checklists. It's a far cry from our old system, a complicated file server that was stuffed full of different versions of Microsoft Word and Excel files, all with their own cryptic names for versions or dates.

Drive has also dramatically improved the way we collaborate. Creating our company all-hands presentations, for example, is a team effort that involves up to ten stakeholders working together on a single document at the same time. It's powerful to see that many employees collaborating so seamlessly and efficiently. It's even more exciting to think about how much time we save by eliminating the need to send attachments back and forth or check that we're working on the most up-to-date version.

Google Apps has helped turn technology into an incredible resource for our employees – smooth, hassle-free email and an easy collaboration hub. Now we can put all of our energy into helping our clients do great things. As someone in charge of IT, it’s comforting to know those systems will grow right alongside Quixote Studios as we continue to help make Hollywood’s big ideas come to life. And Scene!