20 Jan How creative agency Clinic London uses Google Apps for Work to increase collaboration and meet tight deadlines
Clinic are a London based, full-service creative agency who have been delivering creative solutions to clients for over 30 years. With a team of over 40, they specialise in advertising, design and brand communications for clients within the leisure and entertainment industry, working with the likes of Arsenal FC, Sega, EA and Barclays.
As a design agency, Clinic rely heavily on a Mac-based workforce. Running a Microsoft based infrastructure, Clinic faced compatibility issues between the two, with particular pain points when accessing mail, syncing calendars and sharing information from Mac’s to PC’s.
Guy Hatton, Digital Director, explains the struggles they faced with their pre-existing solution from Microsoft. “For us, using Microsoft on a Mac was just a really unpleasant experience. Microsoft didn’t support email on a Mac, we couldn’t synchronise calendars between Mac and PC, and people were generally unhappy with the service.” However, Clinic’s IT infrastructure is part-managed by an external IT consultancy , who have implemented and managed Microsoft accounts for the company for many years. Clinic identified Google Apps for Work as a possible solution to meet the needs of the business and worked with the external consultancy to the point at which a solution from Google was decided as the most appropriate.
Hatton explains the reason they considered moving from Microsoft to Google. “We spent so much time talking about what was wrong and how to fix it. We didn’t want to worry about the ‘how’, we just wanted a solution that would work and that we didn’t need to think about. We were at the stage where we had to make the decision whether to get an in house exchange server, but we just didn’t want to put money into it, there was no value in it for us. The cost of running it, cooling it, for it to just sit in the corner taking up space, it didn’t make sense to us.”
After successfully presenting their case to the external IT management company, Clinic decided to make the move to switch their infrastructure over to Google. Switching to Google provided huge productivity benefits to Clinic, especially for team collaboration and communication. For example, Clinic historically had a very linear process from the point of inception to completion of a client presentation, but using Google Docs this process has been streamlined, with a number of people collaborating at once.
Google Apps allowed Clinic to fix the issues they were having with mail and calendar integration across Mac and PC devices. The continuous and seamless experience from one device to another was a huge advantage for Clinic, when accessing mail, calendar or documents from different devices. Client presentations could now be created using Google Slides, and presented in meetings from any device. To compliment this, Clinic also rolled out Chromebooks for Work, to encourage a plug and play culture, working flexibly and seamlessly from one device to another. Clinic also started to utilise the sharing capabilities of Google Sheets as a centralised point to schedule work and resourcing, along with using Google Forms for internal training and assessments.
Hatton describes the changes they noticed as an agency since switching to Google Apps for Work.
You quickly forget the struggles of the past - we haven’t consciously counted how many days we haven’t spent talking about it anymore, we just know we don’t, and that’s when we know the solution is working.
Clinic have noticed a positive decrease in stress and complaints from staff. Members of the team are no longer worried about receiving information in time, and therefore productivity has increased. Time is no longer wasted waiting for large attachments to send via email, or amalgamating documents with amendments, and people no longer worry about getting work done and or meeting client deadlines.
Moving to Google Apps was just the start for Clinic, and it has now opened up other considerations of how they can work smarter. Clinic are hoping to upgrade to Google Drive for Work, providing them with unlimited storage for all of their files. Clinic aim to build a repository of shared content, which can be securely stored on Google Drive, and hope to also be able to start storing artwork files in the cloud, allowing more freedom for creative artworkers to download files and work remotely.