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Three Months On - Trinity Mirror’s journey so far

Posted by Steve Walker, IT Director and Google Apps Product Manager at Trinity Mirror.

Editors note: Today’s guest blogger is Steve Walker, IT Director and Google Apps Product Manager at Trinity Mirror. In November Trinity Mirror, one of the UK’s largest media brands, announced its move to Google Apps for Business. Three months on Steve updates us on how the migration has gone so far - and what they’ve learned along the way.

In my last blog in November, I described how Trinity Mirror made the decision to move all its staff to Google Apps for Business. At the time we were part way through our migration and were aiming to complete the move by the end of November. Well, the good news is that we not only migrated all 5,200 email users to Google Apps but completed the project two weeks ahead of schedule.

The project was one of the biggest we’ve undertaken in Trinity Mirror. Previous business transformation projects targeted specific user groups such as Advertising, Editorial or Production; this project touched everyone with an email account, including the CEO, Executive Directors and all our Senior Management Team. I think everyone in the group will agree that the transition from our Lotus Notes / Exchange platforms to Gmail was a huge success and, looking back, I would put that down to a few specific initiatives that we took:

1) We involved our staff by recruiting over 300 "Google Guides". Their support during the migration process was invaluable, they were our Google evangelists and provided on-the-floor support on the business switchover days. This is a photo of some of the Google Guides in action.

2) No one likes to work across two mail and calendaring systems so we made sure we kept co-existence of Gmail and Notes to a minimum.

3) We took the decision not to migrate legacy email into Gmail because users loved the idea of being able to start fresh in a new email system. We’ve retained their old Notes mailboxes online as well as allowing access to local mail archives.

4) We made sure to provide clear, positive information and support for all staff on what was happening and when. We offered one-to-one and classroom-based training for execs and their admins (many of whom manage multiple calendars for their managers) which worked well.

5) We made good use of our deployment partner. The involvement of a partner (in our case Cloudreach) meant that technical issues could be addressed quickly and additional resource and support could be brought in to supplement the project team as and when required.

Having deployed Gmail with its integrated chat - Google Talk and Google Calendar, the Trinity Mirror project team is now re-grouping as we turn our attention to Google Docs, Sites and app development. I look forward to bringing you news on how we’re doing as we enter this exciting second phase of our programme.