Customer Story

Globeflight

"Once we had shown everybody that you could work live on Google Sheets with multiple users, that changed everybody’s life. Instead of having to email a spreadsheet, we can edit live with it, we can chat and it doesn’t matter where you are. Everybody from senior management to junior staff uses it now."

Gareth Watkins-Neethling, Director, Globeflight

Offering one-on-one customer service and a full range of transport options, Globeflight is one of South Africa’s leading courier and logistics provider. Since its launch in 1998, Globeflight has expanded operations across South Africa and beyond to the United Kingdom and Hong Kong. As the company grew rapidly and hired more staff, its email system was unable to cope, causing frequent outages and requiring special attention.

Globeflight turned to G Suite for an email solution that could scale with the company’s success. “When you’re paying IT staff specifically to sit and manage the email exchange servers, it’s a waste of money. Enough was enough,” says Gareth Watkins-Neethling, Director at Globeflight. “We looked to Google to take away the server management of emails and free up our people to work on improving the business.”

Improving communication, unlocking collaboration: delivering domestic and international logistics solutions requires crystal clear communication at speed. By 2014, with over 1,500 employees, Globeflight’s email servers were overwhelmed, impairing its ability to communicate. The situation was so bad that the IT department had to assign staff specifically to monitor the exchange server.

“As soon as somebody sent a big attachment, the exchange server would just crash and we’d be out for an hour while somebody fixed it”, says Gareth. In addition to the expense of the email solution, Globeflight was losing money indirectly on maintenance costs and time lost due to outages. Looking for a solution, Globeflight turned to G Suite.

Teaming up with Google Partner Opennetworks, to help implement G Suite and provide training, Globeflight made switching to Gmail, Google Docs, and Google Sheets a priority. With no new software to install or configure, the technical transition was quick and painless and Globeflight’s staff spent less time managing the size of their inboxes. Video calls with Google Hangouts Meet provided a simple, cost-effective way of bringing Globeflight’s managers across the world together for weekly meetings without paying extra for a teleconferencing service.

Globeflight’s sales team now uses Google Calendar to keep track of cross-team appointments, thus improving scheduling flexibility. Meanwhile, syncing important files with Google Drive, enables Globeflight to experience a cloudbased, secure backup. As time went on, Globeflight upgraded to Google Vault to provide its staff with even more storage space. “Once we had shown our staff that you could work live on Google Sheets with multiple users, it changed everybody’s life,” says Gareth. “Instead of having to email a spreadsheet, we can edit it live, we can chat and it doesn’t matter what your location is. The whole company, from senior management to junior staff, uses it now.”

Freeing resources with G Suite: without email servers to manage, and with Google Vault taking care of the company’s storage needs, Globeflight’s IT department can now focus on adding value to the business and providing better support to its smaller offices. “Our Head of IT told me G Suite was the best decision he ever made!” says Gareth. Switching to Google G Suite also improved collaboration in the company. The live editing features of Google Docs and Google Sheets, allowed people from different offices to work on the same file without emailing multiple copies to each other, making collaborative efforts less prone to error. In turn, better collaboration has meant less travel between offices, helping to cut costs and maintain Globeflight’s green credentials, says Gareth. “With everything we’re able to do now, whether it’s reducing travel with better collaboration or reducing the strain on our IT staff, we’ve made a considerable saving with G Suite."