Thursday, April 24, 2014
Editor's note: Today’s guest blogger is Silji Abraham, CIO at Sigma-Aldrich Corporation, a life science and high technology company with more than 9,000 employees and operations in over 40 countries. See what other organizations that have gone Google have to say.
Can you tell us about Sigma-Aldrich and your decision to move to Google Apps?
Sigma-Aldrich is a leading life science and high technology company whose products are used in scientific research and disease diagnosis, and as key components in pharmaceutical manufacturing. Our customers include more than 1.4 million scientists and technologists in life science companies, university and government institutions, hospitals and industry. We have a global team of more than 9,000 employees, who produce and distribute more than 230,000 products to over 40 countries and provide excellent service worldwide.
Like many other organizations, our employees around the world create significant amounts of unstructured data in various forms to support our business and our customers. We started exploring Google Apps as a global collaboration platform to bring this unstructured content in real-time to every employee anywhere, irrespective of the device.
How does Google Apps fit into your vision to change and improve the way employees work?
Just as Sigma-Aldrich accelerates customers’ success through innovative products, customized solutions and unsurpassed service, our Information Technology group does the same for our internal customers. Our entire employee population benefits from the innovative, collaborative nature of Google Apps. At our recent sales meeting, for example, we relied on the Google Apps platform to make the week completely paperless. Key documents and up-to-date information were available and accessible to the team from their phones, tablets and laptops, and we didn’t have to waste any money printing things out or time worrying about changes to the plans along the way.
How is Google Apps changing the way you manage your IT?
Consumerization has driven significant changes in how the best businesses satisfy the collaboration needs of their employees. Now that we’re on Google Apps, we have a single platform that solves these needs across the enterprise, without the need for third-party add-ons. It’s easier to manage and provides a true consumerized experience for all our users. From an IT management perspective, we’ve simplified our collaboration platform significantly.
What role does Google Apps play in the strategy and success of your recruiting plans?
College graduates today are quite familiar with the consumerization of IT, such as Gmail and the Google Apps collaboration platform. I think this familiarity helps new employees acclimate to our business environment in a shorter period of time, increasing their efficiency and productivity.
What are you most excited about as you adopt Google Apps across the company?
I’m particularly excited about three specific things when it comes to our switch to Google Apps. First, we’re able to make all of our unstructured data available for collaboration to all employees, in real-time, on any device, supported by a full content search. Second, hundreds of disparate, custom-built small applications are naturally finding their way into Google Apps because of the power of a homogenous platform. These applications provide additional ways for real-time collaboration and a better user experience. Third, using Hangouts has already made us more productive as an organization, and we’ve only just begun. Jumping in on a video conference is no longer a siloed process. It’s seamlessly integrated with the flow of emailing a colleague or sharing a Google Doc.
Finally, let me just say that with Google Apps, I believe we’re supporting the core mission of Sigma-Aldrich internally to our employees. That is, we’re enabling our technology to improve the quality of life of employees, so they can focus their energy on developing and delivering the highest quality products and services to our customers.