Telecom's AAPT adopts Google for collaboration, video

Gmail might be next, COO David Yuile reveals

AAPT has deployed Google Apps to provide internal video and intranet capabilities for its 1300 staff.

In a blog post on Google’s site, AAPT COO, David Yuile, said while the company’s decision to use Google Maps and Google Earth to help it visualise and plan its operations and communications with customers, the decision to adopt Google for its internal video and intranet collaboration was a harder decision.

"The decision to ‘go Google’ for our internal IT infrastructure was a tougher decision at a philosophical level than a technical one, because it fundamentally concerned a new way of working within enterprises, but it’s a decision we haven’t regretted," he wrote.

Telecom in New Zealand is a close partner of Google rival Microsoft on several fronts.

The fundamental question for AAPT was how much control the company would have once it adopted more open, social collaborative methods rather as opposed to traditional enterprise methods, Yuile wrote.

"The breakthrough for us was in realising that both worlds can exist and people will use the methods that best suit them," he wrote. "With this decision made, we quickly moved on to what the business case would be and what benefits we would gain."

AAPT determined that most of the tangible benefits would be delivered in the Gmail and storage arena, following a Google Video and Google Sites roll out, Yuile wrote. With the business case approved it then moved to address security issues around the cloud.

“We had to convince our security guys that we were all still safe, and then we started to tackle the old ‘single sign on’ chestnut, believing firmly that we need to embrace ease-of-use as a core principle for this and many other things,” he wrote.

“It was a really interesting experience, as along with Google we were really educating our security guys on the robustness and security of the cloud, a new area for them.”

In the testing phase that followed, AAPT encountered a number of security issues such as firewall and monitoring configuration due to the increase in video traffic, Yuile wrote. The company also determined that a company-wide announcement and restatement of the internal internet usage policy would suffice for its launch needs.

Yuile said that following the launch of the new capability feedback and comments from staff suggested that the “whole ‘engagement’ thing” was working.

“Personally, I’m sucked in hook, line and sinker with video updates, which are proving a much simpler and quicker way to spread the word (or am I just really saying it saves me writing it down?!)” he wrote.

The company was now looking toward the second phase of rollouts which would include the use of Gmail.

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