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This just in! Canadian Broadcasting Corporation moves 12,000 accounts to Google Apps in 90 days

Posted by Jean-Martin Thibault, Senior Enterprise Architect at the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation

Editor's note: Our guest blogger this week is Jean-Martin Thibault, Senior Enterprise Architect at the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, Canada’s oldest broadcasting network and national broadcaster, known commonly as CBC and officially as CBC/Radio-Canada. See what other organizations that have gone Google have to say.

Deeply rooted in the regions, CBC/Radio-Canada is the only domestic broadcaster to offer diverse regional and cultural perspectives in English, French and eight Aboriginal languages. As Canada’s national broadcaster, we bring Canadians programming when, where and how they want it ― through a comprehensive range of radio, television, Internet, satellite-based services and mobile devices. Our team is stationed all over the world, which means real-time communication is key for up-to-date, consistent reporting.

Achieving this at such a large scale isn't always easy. For more than 10 years, we had been using an on-premise, corporate-wide system for email/calendar. We also had a separate system for collaboration, but neither solution was integrated and drove true inter-office collaboration.

With a company-wide goal to reduce infrastructure and a need for better messaging and collaboration, we decided to look at public cloud solutions such as Google Apps and Microsoft Office 365. It was clear that Google Apps was the right solution for us based on cost, proven service level and availability guarantee and the breadth of tools the platform offered for collaboration. We also had great support from the media groups in our company (about 70% of our employees), as many of them had been using personal Google accounts to communicate already with external users. Once we decided to “go Google” we were able to complete a smooth 90-day deployment with the help of Google Apps reseller, Onix, by March 1, 2013.

Since we went live, adoption of the whole platform has well exceeded our expectations of email and calendaring. Google+ Hangouts has revolutionized the way that our employees interact with each other. Long conference calls are now becoming a thing of the past. We can now jump on a Hangout and have a face-to-face meeting with colleagues across the country via our smartphones, from home or the office, without getting on a plane. It’s cost-effective and more efficient without compromising our core business.

Additionally, Google Docs are helping our reporters become better and more efficient storytellers. For example, before, our writers and reporters in our newsroom brainstormed and drafted copy in separate Word documents, which inevitably led to version confusion and unnecessary time spent merging documents. Now, they use a single, shared Google Doc for all their stories, so the entire team can collaborate together, in real time, regardless of where they’re working. Our freelancers use Docs to make quick edits and communicate on the fly since it's simpler for them to share content and edit in real-time.

We are proud to bring the best tools to our company and see the cultural shift that is happening amongst our employees. We are moving away from managing IT and into improving our core business of content creation. We’re excited about what this means for the quality of our reporting and the happiness of our employees.