Why Customers Choose G Suite with Ian Nairn and Tord Ripe
In the last of our series with C-Learning’s Ian Nairn and Symfoni Next’s Tord Ripe, we sit down to discuss why customers choose G Suite over Microsoft solutions. Keep reading to find out more – and, as always, follow Damson Cloud for more inside insights on changing the way we work.
As we kick off our final conversation in our series, we explore some of those initial barriers, obstacles and difficulties that customers face when making that first move to G Suite. C-Learning’s Ian Nairn shares that roughly 14 years into the advent of these products, customers within his field continue to debate over who was the ‘first’ to sign up for a Google for Education account. He argues that if the conversation is driven by the educators, they will seek things that are simple to use and easy to adopt – naturally leading them to the adoption of Google apps.
Changing Public Perceptions
“If the student voice is a key factor in the choice of a productivity platform, however, it will lean towards just that,” continues Nairn. “Meanwhile, if it is the choice of IT Managers and advisors, the path of least resistance is to go from Microsoft Exchange on-premise servers to Office 365”. He suggests that in many of these cases, little thought is given to the requirements of teachers and students. “In any case, it is the role of Google Partners to make sure customers are as comfortable on that journey as possible,” he adds.
For Tord Ripe, Norway is very much a “Microsoft country”, with 90 percent of his customers indicating a preference for Office 365 when moving on from Microsoft Exchange: “At that point, there is basically no other option – this is just what they know. It’s basically the same, but in new wrapping. Plus it’s ‘cloud’, so it’s cool!” he laughs.
Nairn points to conversations with school headmasters where they suggest that they want to change the culture of their organisation: “If I’m just using new versions of old tools, then really I’ve not taken people out of their comfort zones. It’s about the vision of the leaders and their leadership skills to say, “this is the problem we are trying to solve and we can’t do it by just messing about at a bits and pieces level” – sometimes, they have to make a bigger change.”
The Role of Forward-Thinkers
Ripe highlights a conversation with a Symfoni Next customer, who suggested that whilst there are now many opportunities to collaborate, no one is actually collaborating internally. “People don’t run towards change; so for us, the best customers are those who actually decide on the need for significant internal change. That customer saw the need to collaborate, and they were more inclined to choose G Suite – specifically because it wasn’t Microsoft.”
Continuing our discussion around those initial challenges when moving to the cloud, Ripe shares his own experiences as a beginner: “At the beginning, I thought it would be much harder. I thought nothing could replace Excel! Then I realised that all the features were there, and many of them were easier to use. The time I save every week now that I can collaborate properly fully makes up for those slow months at the beginning when we were still figuring it out. Now, there is no one in our organisation that would consider moving back [to Microsoft].”
Ian Nairn admits that in some cases, Office 365 may actually be the right choice, according to the nature and demands of that business. However, in many other cases, that simply won’t deliver that digital transformation so urgently needed “from the top to the bottom”.
Change is Inevitable
There are many years ahead before IT departments realise that this change is inevitable, according to Ripe: “With that in mind, it’s better to dive into it than being the last one there. G Suite solutions work easier and better. Some IT departments can spend their time more effectively, rather than fixing Windows laptops that won’t start Microsoft Word. Essentially, G Suite customers can better focus their time.”
In the mobile-flexible era, the Martini advertising mantra of ‘anytime, anyplace, anywhere’ has become a must for modern businesses, organisations and schools, claims Nairn. “If they’re in the corridor and want to learn, let them learn. If they’re outside sat on a bench, let them learn. Taking away those barriers is something that the IT department is absolutely critical in delivering.
“The infrastructure we want them to invest in is amazing internet and amazing WiFi, delivered in a secure and safe way. If they make that infrastructure available, that is the ‘21st century roof’ on the building which allows that teaching and learning to take place.”
The team at Damson Cloud shout out a massive thanks to Tord Ripe and Ian Nairn for lending their insights to this really valuable series. Stay tuned with Damson Cloud to keep updated on all-things-cloud, digital transformation and changing the ways we work!
As a longstanding member of the Google Cloud Partner program, Damson Cloud specialise in bringing people and ideas together through new ways of working. We champion change management and digital transformation using some of the internet’s most trusted solutions, including G Suite, Happeo and Jamboard. To find out more about our services, check out our library of tutorial videos or our blog.