Goodbye Hosted Exchange. Corporate Floors Goes Google.

Headquartered in Grapevine, TX, Corporate Floors is a full-service flooring contractor with satellite offices in Houston, Austin and San Antonio. Thomas Holland, President and founder of Corporate Floors, has enjoyed considerable growth over the last 18 years and has been a  Fortune 5000 company for the last 3 years. Holland recounts his IT challenges; “Initially all IT support was in house. As we grew, and added new locations it became increasingly difficult to manage our systems.”  Corporate Floors moved from an on-premises Exchange Server to a Hosted Exchange account 2 years ago.

The change to the Hosted Exchange was a good one. Reliability on the server side was much better than on-premises, but the configuration and upkeep of desktop systems continued to add operational overhead. Holland explains, “We have 30 field techs, each at different locations, with 90% of their work being done after hours. Supporting these systems was taxing on our resources.”  Email storage added additional headaches. After two years of receiving large CAD files from clients, inbox quota limits on Hosted Exchange began to present a serious problem. 

Corporate Floors explored their email hosting options and were drawn to the 25 GB inboxes Gmail offers, but it was the power of collaboration in Google Docs that ultimately lead them to choose Google Apps. After initiating a 30 day trial, Holland searched on the Google Solutions Marketplace for expertise in migrating from hosted Exchange and found Google Partner Umzuzu. Google provides robust tools for migrating data out of an Exchange environment, but some hosted Exchange vendors are keen to “lock in” their clients’ data. Umzuzu was able to work past these barriers and successfully migrated Corporate Floors’ data to Google Apps.

At Go Live, Umzuzu provided employee training and answered questions regarding life after Outlook. Thomas Holland expected more difficulty, “These were lifelong, 20-year Outlook users. We gave them the option to continue using Outlook, but a few weeks in, no one was still using it. We now have fewer support issues than we had before.”

Excited by the success of the email migration, Corporate Floors looked to eliminate their Sharepoint server. Holland elaborates; “The SharePoint server required a lot of overhead. We had to administratively create share points and maintain VPN tunnels for our remote users. Our users had taken to just emailing the documents instead.”  In Google Docs, collections were created to share Operations Docs and Sales Docs. With Docs, Corporate Floors was even able to share scheduling docs directly with clients.

To ensure that external sharing with clients was being conducted in a manner consistent with company policy Mr. Holland turned to the Google Solutions Marketplace. After trying several options Mr. Holland found that CloudLock best met their security needs. Corporate Floors also deployed Backupify from the marketplace to protect company data from being lost due to accidents or user error.

Thomas Holland sums up his Google Apps experience:

Google Apps will continue to grow with us. (Google's) Marketplace gives us access to test tools and processes without any commitment. We have been exploring marketplace options for a CRM solution that can tie together our Google Account, operations system, and accounting system. In the end, we foresee an enterprise solution using all Google Apps Marketplace tools. Being able to turn on and off applications to test before commitment has saved us thousands. Umzuzu and Google have been great partners for Corporate Floors and we expect to work with them for the next 18 years!