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With a new academic year comes a new way of learning.
   
Increasingly primary, secondary, and university students and faculty are using Google Apps for Education, a free suite of productivity tools designed to help people work together better. This also include three top-tier universities in Australia who are going back to school this year with Google Apps. The universities of Griffith, Macquarie and Monash join the community of thousands of institutions worldwide using Google Apps for Education to enhance their students’ learning and to increase organizational efficiency. This community includes 72 of the top 100 schools in the USA and 20 million students and teachers worldwide.

Griffith University is a leading research university with a strong international focus spread over 5 campuses. They were looking for an easy-to-use communication and collaboration platform that offered more storage capacity and a better user interface, regardless of access device or location.

Monash University has a presence in Malaysia, South Africa, India, Italy and China, and benefits from being able to streamline communication among its dispersed students and staff.

“How could you not consider Google Apps in the world we are in today? It, to me, is the best productivity tool you could imagine, in the most intuitive fashion.” 
—Adam Shoemaker, Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Education), Monash University


Macquarie University was in fact the first university in Australia, and amongst the first in the world, to offer Gmail to their students, setting up 68,000 accounts back in 2007. Since then, they have switched on more and more of the suite’s features, and in 2012 even became the first Australian university to map its campus 3 dimensionally in Google Earth.
   
Several students from each of these universities have also been appointed as Google Student Ambassadors this year, and will join students from 25 other universities this week in our Sydney office. They will learn first-hand how Google Apps for Education can help to uncover a new way of learning, and help others on their campuses to use technology for good.

For more information about Google Apps for Education, and to sign up today, visit www.google.com/apps/edu. Or say hello in person June 3-5 at EduTECH in Brisbane, Australia.

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Editors note: Today’s guest blogger is Patrick Liew, CEO of HSR Property Group, the leading real estate company in Singapore, with more than 2,000 agents. See what other organizations that have gone Google have to say.

Any large real estate company like HSR has to respond quickly to customer requests and market changes to stay competitive. Our agents are constantly out of their offices and showing properties. Their main access to email is via their tablets and smartphones. This isn’t really surprising, since smartphone use in Singapore is more than three times the global average.


Because mobility is so critical in our industry, it was important for us to find a solution that enabled access from any device. Our old email system also caused a lot of storage and performance bottlenecks. We wanted quicker, simpler access and easier ways to collaborate with each other and our clients. Google Apps was a good fit for our IT priorities and our business. From an IT-management perspective, Google Apps was intuitive for our users, scalable, and easy to manage.

Google Apps has helped HSR improve information flow and collaboration, leading to better engagement with our agents. We now use Google Sites to create intranets that provide our widely scattered agents with information on pipelines, co-broker opportunities, and training. Dashboards on these sites help us gauge each team's performance. Google Sites also allows us to share floor plans, maps, pricing, availability, and other real estate data, both internally and with clients. Google Docs serves as a company memo and lets colleagues update each other quickly on events, listings, and other important information. We track training sessions with Google Calendar, and share training content and attendance records with Google Docs.

We love Google Apps’ security features and cloud-based delivery, too. If an agent loses a phone in the morning, the data can be wiped remotely, and then—since contact information and other data are stored in the cloud—the agent can be up and running on another phone by noon. New government regulations also require real estate agents in Singapore to retain originals or copies of certain documents for at least three years. Google Apps provides simple archiving, and we now handle data retention through Google Postini.

Everyone at HSR is synchronized these days with Google Apps. We run our entire business using it, from selling to after-sales service. There’s no doubt—collaboration has never been made easier.