Home Care Assistance: Run your business on Internet time with Google Apps

Uploaded by GoogleApps on 15.10.2008


SERENA SATYASAI: Welcome, everyone.
My name is Serena Satyasai.
I'm a marketing manager with Google, and today we have a
couple of special speakers to talk to us about Google Apps.
Right now, you should be seeing a slide that has some
poll questions that we'd appreciate your filling out as
we wait for others to join our conversation.
The poll questions really are just a helpful tool for us to
understand and target your knowledge of Google Apps.
And as we go through this webinar, we hope by the end of
it, you'll have a really good understanding of how you can
use Google Apps to run your business.
So again, you should be seeing a poll
question in your viewer.
If you could take a minute to read through the questions and
let us know what your level of knowledge of Google Apps is,
it will help us tailor the content of this presentation
to make sure we get to your question.

Also, if you have questions during the presentation, in
your lower left hand viewer, you should be able to submit a
question to us.
We will be holding on to the questions until the end of the
session, and we will definitely--
if we're not able to address your question live during this
presentation, we'll definitely follow up with you offline
with an answer to your question.

OK, so I think it's probably time to get started.
Today, our topic for discussion is how you can use
Google Apps to run your business.
We have a couple of special speakers joining us to tell us
how, for example, Home Care Assistance had used Google
Apps to scale a national staffing franchiser from just
a single location to covering 50% of the United States in
just under four years.
We also have a partner, SADA Systems, on the line as well,
who is going to provide some more information on how
implementation of Google Apps can help support
your business objective.
So I hope you're on the right webinar.
Let's get started.

Next slide, please?
On today's phone call, we have Lily Sarafan, who is the COO
of Home Care Assistance.
She is responsible for the franchise's daily operations
and growth, and has implemented Google Apps to
grow the staffing franchiser, as I had mentioned earlier.
Welcome, Lily.
LILY SARAFAN: Thank you.
SERENA SATYASAI: We also have Michael Higby on the line.
He's the Director of Projects and Development at SADA
Systems. He has consulted extensively on Google Apps
deployment, including mail migration and company
intranets, and we'll have more on that in a bit.
SADA Systems is a Google Apps partner.
They have been an innovator and a leader in helping
businesses understand how you can use cloud computing
applications to run your business.
They focus on project management.
They can help you understand different integration and
network and system operabilities.
And the reason why, of course, we have them today here is
because they've provided superior customer service to
Home Care Assistance.
MICHAEL HIGBY: Morning, everyone.
So Home Care Assistance, just to give you a little bit of a
background, is a national home care franchiser.
They provide in-home caregivers for older adults.
They started the franchise, actually, just under four
years ago, and their current business footprint currently
covers nearly half the country.
And in 2008, they began an initiative to expand
Why we invited them to join us is because we think that they
have a unique franchiser business model.
They have grown their revenue 15 fold in
just under four years.
They employ a slightly different and unique model
with their franchisees, in which they award large
exclusive territories.
And they are always interested in
finding new ways to succeed.
Their growth has been made possible in large part by some
unique leveraging of internet technologies.
One was actually the use of Google Adwords to help
basically expand their potential reach for each
They're using consumer marketing techniques, which
are a little bit different from the way the rest the
industry actually finds new clients and recruits staff.
They've also used Google Apps to run their infrastructure,
including mail and other communications tools, as well
as Google Sites for collaboration.
I think what's interesting, too, is because of their
growth and their focus on quality, they've also garnered
significant media attention, including being profiled on
NBC's Today Show.
And so with that, I'd like to turn it over to Lily, who can
really give more of a background on their experience
with Google Apps, and then also Michael, who will help
you understand how you can implement Google Apps to help
you run your business.
Thanks, Serena.
So it may not be immediately obvious why a senior care
business would really need to be forward-thinking when it
comes to technology, and I just wanted to talk for about
a minute on that.
First, like most Silicon Valley businesses in the heart
of Palo Alto, we love technology and we wanted to
find a way to incorporate it into the business.
Most of our competitors are based in the Midwest, and so
we like to think that there's this dynamism in the Silicon
Valley that now is basically at the reach of everyone
Two, we were trying to distinguish ourselves from
some of the slightly older and more traditional home care
franchisors in our use of technology in order to
accelerate and, of course, improve business.
We think that's also helped us attract a more savvy
And finally, while our core service is providing the 24-7
live-in care to the older adult who prefers to live in
the comfort of home-- and in case you didn't know, that
does describe about 89% of older adults today--
at a franchisor level, what our goal is to provide support
and services to tons of franchisees.
So we basically have a number of start-ups within a
start-up, so technology is really key for us.
How our relationship with Google Apps started was that
we had a web-based email solution that was unreliable.
Around the time of a few email failures, we were really
seeking tools to be able to better communicate with
franchisees, as well as allow them to
communicate with one another.
When you have five or six locations, it's not too
difficult to employ a method where you're the only source
of information for all franchisees or all locations.
But when you begin to grow at a slightly faster pace, you
need to deliver tools that allow those locations to
obtain information not only from corporate headquarters,
but also from an intranet, from existing templates, from
one another, from consultants, and from a variety of
different sources.
We were also looking for a solution that would be just as
relevant to our two-year-old franchise that was doing
$100,000 a month in business as it would be to our
two-month-old location that was just bringing on its first
few clients.
And finally, we were seeking tools that would allow us to
work within a fairly limited IT resources budget, and also
be compatible with the different technical comfort
levels and geographic regions of each of our locations.
So the way the relationship started is that I was an early
adopter and fan of Gmail for my own personal use.
We've been very fortunate, as Serena mentioned, to have
become avid users of Adwords, which we attribute about 40%
of our business to.
We are the only non-medical home care company in the
nation whose client acquisition model is sharply
focused on consumer advertising, as opposed to
referral marketing.
So in short, we'd always had really positive experiences
with Google, and it was a pretty seamless transition at
the time of those email failures to then consider
Google hosted email for our email solution.
The threaded conversations were just perfect for our
environment, and it was also met with incredible excitement
on the part of our franchisees.
And to be honest, given the lack of time and energy some
weeks when you're trying to grow a business, if Google
Apps were sort of separate from their email solution, we
may not have readily integrated it the way we did.
But you're only going to look at a page so long, or so many
times, before you're tempted to click on the Documents, and
Calendar, and all the additional tabs in the upper
left hand corner and see what's going on.
So that's where we started.

So in any business environment, especially in an
environment where you have locations dispersed around the
country, sharing ideas is really critical.
And for us, there were some additional challenges, because
we were trying to share ideas within each location, and also
share ideas among locations.
The first tool that we used from Google Apps as a result
of having it available to us through our email solution was
Google Docs.
Google Docs, you can see a sample right there on the
screen of a number of different documents that you
can create.
It's basically like a Word tab, where you can take notes,
but you can choose for various people to collaborate on that
document, or also to just view the document.
So you have the option of how much access or editing ability
someone has with respect to corporate documents.
We started using these for site interviews.
And site interviews not only apply to a franchise
They really apply to any environment in which you have
people from a corporate location going out to visit
another location across the country.
It allowed us to document action items, and it also
allowed us to know exactly where we were with follow-up
on those items.
So for instance, I would go and visit
a location in Boston.
During the visit, I would furiously take notes on our
Google Doc, come back, share it with people at our
headquarters, make that available to not only home
care assistant staff, but also the consultants that we're
working with, for them to see what's going on with this
location, where they are in business, and then also share
that document with the actual franchise staff in Boston, so
that they can take notes and they can write in feedback and
let us know what they think and where they are with
progress on each of those items.
We found it's just been incredibly helpful.
We obviously have always had servers where we stored
information locally, but to be able to have information
that's so readily accessible and transparent across all
locations was just a fabulous tool.
It's also made it so that for future followup visits, we
know exactly where we can all revisit to see where we are
with that location and how much progress has been made
from the point of 6 months to the point of 18 months.
SERENA SATYASAI: Lily, it's Serena.
I just wanted to ask a quick question for you.
SERENA SATYASAI: Google Docs seems like such a really
simple tool.
And I know that when we've talked, you said that before
you had Google Docs what you would do is email around a
version of the site interview.
SERENA SATYASAI: What other pains has it
helped you to solve?
It sounds like it helps keep everyone current, as to the
latest action items for a franchisee, for example.
LILY SARAFAN: Well, that's a really great question.
And if you can imagine when you're just sending a document
over email, well it's something that people can
collaborate on, and write in their notes, and send it back,
it sort of tends to get lost. I think that when you have an
email system, if you're looking at something from a
year back, that email is never going to come up again.
The document's never going to come up again, and for all
practical purposes, you're starting over each time.
When you have a Google Doc that's stored right there on
this virtual web-based server that everyone can access 24
hours a day, I can't tell you how seamless it makes the
communication with that location, and also makes the
improvement schedule that you want to exhibit and also share
with those individual locations.
So it's a really great question and
we love Google Docs.
And soon after we started using Google Docs, we-- once
again, you see that little tab in the upper left hand corner
and you just want to know what you can do with it.
And one of them was Google Sites, which we are now using
for our company intranet.
So what I thought was really interesting is up until now,
we had seen Google Apps as a solution-- well, OK, we'll be
able to do our email.
OK, we can share documents with one another.
We never really knew what extent you could use these
applications to really manage your business.
And Google Sites has really played just that role.
I'm really excited to have you guys see some of the slides we
have coming up where we can show you exactly what we've
done with it.
So I'll put that on hold for just a second.
For now, you should know that basically, it's taken the
place of any other intranet that we've needed to manage
all of these locations, and we really think that it's going
to be the tool that we continue to use all the way up
until 120 locations.
We really at this point, looking at all the resources
available to us through the site, can't find any reason to
have to use another tool in the future.
Google Video, it's also something that's relatively
new, if I understand, and we're really excited about its
potential uses.
I think for any business, video stream is really the
wave of the future.
I mean, documents are great, audio streaming is great, but
when we're doing conventions, or when we have a caregiver
training module, or when we have some press coverage, the
greatest, the easiest, way to get that across to all
franchisees is to immediately pop something up on our site
with a video, so that people can relive that moment,
capture it, and any time they have someone in the office, go
back to one accepted meeting place and share all that data.
So that's something that we're also really excited about and
you'll be able to see that shortly.

So looking, now, at our next slide--
again, we had originally looked at Google Apps for an
email solution, but now so many other pieces of it have
become integral to running the franchise.
The first is Google Chat, Google Talk, rather, which is
Google's chat module.
You should know that when you have about 130 users on the
domain, which is what we have now, how nice it is that
Google allows you to populate all of those people
automatically within your email contact list and within
your chat list.
So prior to having the tool available to us, we tried to
use instant message through AOL and Yahoo Messenger, and
everyone had a different system, and it wasn't
Since everyone is using our Google email system, the
minute they become a franchisee, instead of being
the only one out there-- and like Serena mentioned, we
offer really large territories, typically around
1 million or more in population, so it's not as if
there's a neighboring franchisee
right down the street.
For them, instead of feeling like they're alone out there
in the ocean of their metropolitan area, to log into
their email and automatically see 100 names to the left,
many of them with green dots next to them which means
they're online--
and be able to send a chat, hey, my name is Lily.
I'm the new franchisee from Atlanta.
I'd like to meet you.
It's really a nice opportunity for franchisees to get to know
each other, which as you can imagine, has made our lives so
much easier because normally, that person would come
straight to us and ask us, who is it that I should be in
touch with?
How do I get in contact with them?
When's a good time?
It's just such a 24-7 tool, and since we're in different
time zones, it's been invaluable for us, for Google
Chat, both individual chat and group chat, which enables
people to all get together and share ideas.
The next tool is the calendar.
Google Calendar is just really phenomenal.
Again, we use it both in the individual location level and
also on the corporate level.
We have a number of different events.
Those include our annual convention, our monthly
conference calls with franchisees on the line.
Let's say someone sponsoring Alzheimer's Walk in their
individual area.
I mean, these are the sorts of events that people want to
know about.
They want to know when they're launching.
If we have a New York Times that it's going out in a
national subscription, our franchisees want to know, what
date is it coming out?
And so Calendar's been a really great way for us to
share that information with franchisees.
Every user of the calendar has its own color, and so it's a
pretty user-friendly system to see what's going on in terms
of upcoming events and also to review past events.
And of course, where it all started was the email, which
I'd say has just been phenomenal.
I mean, since we'd used two other web-based email systems
prior to working with Google, I can tell you that it's a
completely different system.
It's been entirely reliable.
We've really never had to delete any messages because
the amount of space we're offered is just enormous.
We can keep track of conversations, which in this
environment is great, because we send something out and
we're going to get just as many replies as we have
locations, so it's a great way to keep track of
what's going on.
And the search.
I'd say the search is probably my favorite piece of it.
If I'm on the line with a franchisee and they say,
remember that conversation eight months ago where I asked
you if we're going to be building a relationship with
this very specific insurance company?
I mean, I can just do the search for it right then, and
immediately the email exchange pops up, and it just makes our
conversation that much more substantial.

So I mentioned that we're going to be talking about the
Site, which I'd say is probably the most valuable
piece of this whole process and something that I can see
every company benefiting from.
What we're looking at right now is a screenshot of our
intranet home page.
So we recently built it out with the help of SADA Systems,
who you'll be hearing from in just a minute.
And it's really helped us keep all the information in a
single spot.
We have so many different tools and resources for our
franchisees, so to be able to have one place for company
announcements, strategies that we're releasing to them,
calendar events, industry news, new things going on with
I mean, everything--
a countdown to our convention--
we have one portal that everyone can log onto.
And again, what's so great about it is it's
web-based, it's 24-7.
Our franchisees are all over the place.
They can access it from home, from vacation, from in the
office, and we're really excited to continue to use
this for our business.
So at this time, I don't want to take any credit for this.
SADA Systems and Michael have been really our champions in
this progress.
So I want to let Michael share with you for a couple of
minutes exactly what they did with Google Sites and any
additional thoughts he'd like to share.
Thanks very much, Lily, thank you, and Serena.

One of the great things about Google Sites--
and, you know, we've been in the IT managed services, and
web and application development space since 2000,
which is almost a lifetime, I think, for
anybody in our industry.

We've built intranets using anything from Confluence to
SharePoint, Clearspace, and platforms like that.
But the great thing about the Google Site is
that it is so dynamic--
amongst many other things that we're going to tell you guys
about is that it is so easy to edit.
One of the things that Serena said to me as we were working
on this project was, she was like, oh my god, you guys have
done such a great job.
I don't know if I'm going to be able to keep up.
But that the truth is that Google makes it so convenient
so that really anybody-- you don't have to be a programmer
necessarily to be able to get in and on the fly, change
information, add information, add gadgets, pull down
information from the internet, add video,
all that good stuff.
So the value of that is your content has the most
opportunity to be as fresh as possible, which is going to
drive usage and adoption more than anything else.

So you can see here on this slide the home page that we
worked with HCA to build, including some custom gadgets
that we developed for a news feed to pull industry
information that wasn't available in one specific
place in terms of the parameters that HCA had set.
So we developed that.
That's very easy to work with a partner, or
anybody that's a coder.
Google has really put the tools out there with the APIs
and all of the developer resources that are available
to really allow you to pull and push from and to the
internet, literally any content that's going to be
useful for you.
So did we want to go to the next?
LILY SARAFAN: Yeah, let's go ahead and
go to the next slide.
SERENA SATYASAI: Before you guys to on, this is Serena.
I just wanted to say that as I saw you building the site
together, I think that one thing that was really
interesting in the creative process, so SADA, you helped
certainly with the project management and the technical
even though the technical implementation isn't really
but I thought something that was really interesting is in
the creative process, Lily started with a vision, and
SADA, it seemed to me like you helped
them expand that vision.
Would that be a fair assessment?
LILY SARAFAN: I'd say absolutely.
We started with a wish list, of course, shared Google Docs.
And that wish list was definitely expanded upon.
Originally, we thought OK, we want an industry news feed and
a calendar.
And SADA Systems came in and said, well, what about a place
to share video?
What about a photo album?
What about links to the various associations you want
your franchisees to join?
What about putting up presentations?
I mean, all these tools are available through Google
Sites, and SADA really opened our eyes to the different
resources that were available to us.
And so now, really, the sky's the limit.
We want to use them all and do it all.

SERENA SATYASAI: OK, and now do you want to move on to the
franchisee home page?
LILY SARAFAN: Definitely.
The franchisee homepage is absolutely aligned with what
we were just discussing, which is finding out that there was
so much more that we can do.
Originally, we were just looking for an intranet so
that we at corporate could share information readily with
our franchisees.
It was Michael's suggestion that we look into having a
separate homepage for each location, which again, has
just been really a fantastic tool.
Because not only is there information that we need to
share between corporate and franchise level, but also,
there's so much information within the staff level at each
location that needs to be shared.
So what we're looking at here is a sample
page for Saint Louis.
And you can see, one, we have the weather forecast up there,
which is not just for fun.
It's also really important, because in our business,
especially with the recent news of different weather
patterns across the country, it does impact caregivers'
ability to make it to clients' homes.
And it also makes it-- because we can actually track weather
patterns against the level of home care
that's going to be needed.
Because in certain seasons, people are
slipping and falling.
In certain seasons, their family members aren't around.
They're on vacation, and so they're not there to make
these home care decisions.
And so every tool on here is really
valuable for the business.
Company announcements.
So not only company announcements we want to make
to franchisees, but also the owner wants to make a company
announcement to his scheduler or to his client care
coordinator, to his staff, even to his caregivers.
So this tool has just been really incredible, because not
only are we building a stronger relationship with
franchisees who see that we're offering them the tools to
better manage their businesses, but also, this
just creates excitement within each location.
When you can log on and see the radio commercial, the
audio stream or the radio commercial, or a print ad that
just ran in yesterday's Saint Louis paper, it gets everyone
really excited.
And so you're taking a business where people are
dispersed around a large territory within individual
homes, and you're giving it a meeting spot.
You're giving it this virtual home where everyone can come
together and see what's going on, and post their own
feedback, and post their own news.
So this is something we're really excited about, and it's
just one of those tools that not only is going to help us
open new locations--
because these are exactly the tools that are going to
attract new franchisees--
but it's also going to make sure that at each location,
there's a high level of collaboration and
So we're really excited to have these individual pages
for every single location we open, corporate-owned or
SERENA SATYASAI: So, Lily, this history, it really sounds
like the franchisee homepage really enables the franchisee
to localize the kind of information, the kind of
collaboration that they would need to run their business.
Michael, a question for you.
As you were building this out, is this something that--
let's say a new franchisee opens up, how easy it would be
for them to build out something similar?
MICHAEL HIGBY: It's really easy.
I mean, we're talking in the past, probably a process that
took weeks, that can really be condensed down to days.
Google makes it that easy.
With the power of Sites--
and of course, as Lily has pointed out at least a few
times here--
again, this is all integrated within Google Apps.
And we'll show a little bit, I think, coming up in the next
slides, and talk a little bit more in the program, but there
are so many different ways to integrate all of these Google
tools, whether it's Docs, or Google Sheets, or
Presentations, and really, very quickly and very easily
assemble a significant amount of useful content and push it
to users, but the same time engaging them with all of the
great collaboration tools that are part of Google Apps.
Because we're in the cloud, and we're not sending multiple
versions of the same document back and forth, and email, and
having everything be static.
It's dynamic, and it's happening, and it's right now,
so it's a completely different model, and it really gives the
user and the businesses that are using Google Apps such a
tremendous advantage.

LILY SARAFAN: So if we can move to the next slide, I
think one of the other aspects of the Google Site that we
were really excited about is what we were able to do with
sharing of information from our annual convention.
Since we are a relatively new franchise, last year was, in
fact, our very first annual convention in Las Vegas.
And when we got back from the convention, we were thinking,
we have all these great photos, we have all the
PowerPoint presentations.
We were really fortunate to have five or six people from
Google, who were there to talk about Adwords in traditional
media, come out.
How are we going to share this information with franchisees?
And this has really been an incredible tool, because now
we have a single location for all information and news, not
only on past conventions, but also on future conventions.
And one thing I want to mention is what happens with a
franchise is you go through these cycles.
What happens with any business is you go through cycles where
you're opening new locations, or where you're really
involved in training.
And sometimes when a new person comes along, it's
difficult to remember all the tools that you've released
over the last two years, and you want to make sure you're
not missing anything.
By having a portal like this, where just as a small example
is a case study, where all of the convention materials can
be hosted on one site--
it makes it so that when someone comes in and they are
brand new, and they just opened their doors, they
really see this established presence.
They really feel like they're part of a larger network,
because there's information at their fingertips about, OK, I
wasn't at the convention, but I can see the videos from it,
I can read the presentations from it.
I can benefit from the information that was shared
during that convention.
And so again, it's making the communication with our
locations that much easier.
This convention page shows photos and video, also all the
related documents, which would be the presentation, and hand
outs, and the poll that we took, and
surveys, and whatnot.
And also, what's really exciting, and we'll show that
to you in a couple of slides, is you can actually sign up
for the convention and do all your registration
through this site.
And so that's something that's been really helpful for us and
that we're really excited to utilize in future years.
Looking at our--
SERENA SATYASAI: One thing that you touched upon, Lily, I
just want to expand upon, because I've heard a lot of
other customers say this, too.
Is that when you have a new person and you can send them
to a single site, it allows them to consume the
information at their own pace.
So you don't have to sit down with them in a meeting and
kind of go over everything.
You could just say, hey.
Go read through all this information.
If you have any questions, let me know.
And they can read that information in a day, or in a
week, or over the course of a month.
LILY SARAFAN: I can't stress that enough.
That's exactly right.
Because as with most operations,
we do have a training.
And that training is about four and a half days, and we
go through a 300-page operations manual.
But you better believe that you go back, and you're
starting to open your doors and get your licensing and get
going, and you're not going to retain all that information.
So having a place for them to go where all that information
and then some is available--
you're right.
It's made our job much, much easier.
That's absolutely true.
Looking at the next slide on our convention, we have here--
you can sort of see a snapshot of the various multimedia that
we are employing.
We have videos that we can show of the discussions from
the actual commission, a photo slide show, which is just
really nice, it helps people put names to faces, because we
have the award winners, and their
names and their locations.
It just really helps build a greater camaraderie among our
different locations.
And also, it's a place for us to store all the documents
from the convention.
Since we are sharing proprietary and really
valuable information at the convention, we want there to
be a very secure, private space where franchisees can
log onto and recapture that experience at the convention.
And so that's what this page is about, and we're excited to
continue to add photos and video in coming years for the
convention, as well.
Michael, did you have any additional notes to share on
this page and what you were envisioning for
our convention page?
MICHAEL HIGBY: Well, I think really, two things.
One, we want to give the experience to those who were
not able to make the last convention.
So that the information that was presented there, the
lessons learned, the camaraderie, which is very
important, particularly from HCA's model, is available, at
least in a virtual sense to the visitors.
And that Lily and her team have the opportunity to get in
there and on the fly make changes, and add things, in a
really easy, collaborative manner.
SERENA SATYASAI: So Michael, it's Serena.
You helped Lily build this site.
I believe you're the person responsible for uploading the
videos, et cetera.
How was that process?

MICHAEL HIGBY: In terms of--
SERENA SATYASAI: Embedding the videos--
MICHAEL HIGBY: It's very easy.
I mean, the functionality within Sites to lay out the
site and to organize everything is very easy.
I mean, it's almost like drag and drop.
You don't have to be a programmer.
I am not a programmer or developer.
I'm a marketing and management guy, but I was able to get in
here and work with Lily, taking her content and her
vision and using Google's tools to really
make something happen.
And again, being able to drop in gadgets.
For example, we have the Picasa,
which is a Google product.
The Picasa gadget here for doing a slide show.
And it'll also take them to the page--
so not only, say, for a convention, but one of the
things Lily and I talked about was being able to share
company graphics with the users in the field.
So if they've got logos or images that they want to
include in websites, or print advertising, or other types of
collateral, that we can create Picasa slide shows of that,
drop it into the site, and then the users can go to those
pages and download the material, rather than having
to email somebody at corporate or hunt around
for it on their own.
So again, it makes work more efficient, allows for
collaboration, and pushes the content to the users very
dynamically and with minimal effort.
LILY SARAFAN: And you know, Michael, you just brought up
something that I hadn't touched on that I think is
really important, and that's branding consistency.
I think for every company, branding is the lifeblood of
the company and its ability to be successful.
And when you have different locations with various owners
who have ownership of this brand but still need to
implement it successfully, it's so nice to have an
internal location, not only to pick up logos but
also to have examples.
When we have car wraps, or print media, or radio ads, and
they're all readily available on one site, when they're
meeting with the marketing reps from all the various
media within their local space, they can show them
examples to make sure that what they're running in their
individual locations is as consistent as possible with
our national brand.
So thanks for bringing that up.
That's also incredibly important.
What we're looking at now on our next slide is our annual
convention page registration.
That's something that we just started because we're getting
ready for next year.
As a perfect example, last year we wanted to find out
where to have the convention.
And we had a number of different suggestions,
Chicago, Las Vegas, San Francisco.
And we did it over email, and it was a little bit rowdy
because people did have different preferences.
So again, to have this available on each of the
different sites, not only to register and let us know
exactly who's coming, how many attendees, so that we know for
even the simple logistics like t-shirts and
pens what to prepare.
And also, to have a place where everyone can see what's
going on with the survey on where the franchise convention
is going to take place is really exciting.
And so we're looking forward to doing that for next year,
because next spring, somewhere around the country we're going
to be having another convention, and Google Sites
is going to be integral to that.
So that's an example of a registration page, just one of
the many tools that we can use through Google Apps.
MICHAEL HIGBY: And this is a Google Form, which is created
through Google Docs and Sheets.
It is very easy to do.
You have the option for creating different types of
questions, mandatory questions, optional questions,
multiple choice, drop down, paragraph, text,
et cetera, et cetera.
And then when the user completes these forms, as the
call out here that Serena says, it does embed it into a
Google Spreadsheet.
So then you can take that information and do with it
what you want.
I mean, Lily would be able to run off reports and be able to
track who's going to be attending for whatever
follow-up that's required.
She can share the spreadsheet with anyone on her team.
And then as she mentioned, let's say, we want to know
where are we going to have our convention?
Are we going to Vegas. are we going to Disney
World, come to Hollywood?
You know, or any number of different questions or data
that they're seeking from the users.
From the Google Forms and Sheets, you could then produce
reports with charts and graphs.
And it's actually pretty exciting.
It's very dynamic, very on the fly, and you can drop that
data into other pages on your Google Sheet or to Google Docs
or on Site.
So it's pretty exciting.
And again, it's all included.
It's all there as part of Google Apps.
So you're not having to go out and buy additional modules or
licenses, or seek other software solutions.
It's all integrated and it's all really easy to use.
Thanks, Michael.
That's exactly right.
You know, looking at the next slide, one of the things that
happens as you're starting to incorporate all these exciting
tools, you wonder what you would have done differently,
and it's always nice to share the experience and advice with
those who are maybe in the beginning stages want to know
what we would do.
Right now, we're working on technology integration and the
Google Apps have been really important for that.
As a perfect example, when we're getting started and
you're just trying to find a solution for that moment.
So you say, we need a billing and scheduling software, and
you sign up with a provider, and then
everyone gets on the system.
We need an ordering website for people to be able to order
branded materials that we're producing here at corporate
headquarters, and you come up with another solution.
So we're trying to understand more of the offerings from
Google, see to what extent we can integrate some of the
existing functions into what they offer.
And things like our billing and scheduling software, which
we're really happy with-- it's a telephone-based system where
caregivers check in and check out from the client's home, so
that there's no doubt as to accuracy of invoices.
We're certainly not going to switch systems, but to have
that centrally located as a link from their home page,
from their actual site location page.
And also, to be able to share announcements on progress
we're making with the billing and scheduling software
through the Site just makes everything that much more
So if our billing and scheduling software did come
out with a new update, we can immediately post that as a
company announcement.
So it makes things seem less disparate than they really
are, which I think that our franchisees benefit from.
The other thing that we'd probably do a little bit
differently, and we're just trying to do it, is obviously
our integration of Google Apps is relatively new.
I mean, we're a relatively new company to begin with.
And we want to make sure that we're not offering it in a
piecemeal fashion, which means, how are we going to
actually train franchisees all with different levels of tech
savviness on the use of Google Apps?
How much are we going to incorporate it into our actual
franchise training?
For those who didn't receive that training, how are we
going to go back and make sure that they're up to date on all
the different tools and resources that are
available to them?
We're really fortunate that Google does a stellar job of
offering PowerPoints, and help sessions, and tutorials all
through their website, So usually, it's as easy as
sending a link to someone and saying, read through this
tutorial and you'll be able to use the system.
But we're just trying to find out two things.
What are all the new ways that we can use Google Apps to meet
our goals on the franchise and franchisor level, and also,
how can we get people introduced to Google Apps and
all that it has to offer?
We know it's in the upper left hand corner of their screen,
but things get really busy day to day, and so we're still
trying to come up with the best ways and the most
effective ways of rolling out these products across all of
our locations.
We did a lot of this on our own, like Michael mentioned.
A lot of it is pretty easy to do and we saved money, because
like most relatively new and start-up companies, you don't
have a big budget.
But working with a partner like SADA Systems was just--
I see absolute value in that.
To tell you the truth, I tried to do the sites myself.
I'm a relatively technically literate person.
I set up the mail system for franchises.
Within our office, we create and delete users.
But it took me months to come up with a single page just
because of time, whereas SADA Systems came in and it's their
expertise, and they were able to produce
this site really quickly.
And if solutions are what you're looking for, you want
to roll them out quickly, you want to be at the forefront of
technology, I think it makes sense to work with someone.
So something I would do differently, would probably
work with someone a little bit sooner, and Michael in
SADA has just been a breeze to work with.
So that's what we would do a little bit differently if we
could go back.
Now what's been great, what we wouldn't do differently, is
basically, start using Google Apps.
Like Michael mentioned, like Serena mentioned, it's part of
their email solution.
So you never have to go outside and
look for another solution.
It comes with your system.
All you have to do is launch email solution for your
domain, and all of a sudden, all these applications are
right at your fingertips.
You can use them as you choose.
If you want to wait a few months to integrate them,
that's fine.
If you want to do it right away, that's fine.
If your older locations are going to get on board and you
want to provide a little bit more training to the newer
locations, all of that is absolutely available.
We love that you can do this at your own pace, because when
you're opening locations, some of them are new,
some of them are older.
It's great to have something that understands that.
It's great to have a tool that actually gets that everywhere
you are, you're in a different place in business.
And it's also allowed us to do things that we couldn't have
done on our own.
Google Video is a perfect example of that.
To share video with franchisees--
not only videos of our own convention, not only videos of
our own press coverage, but also to just pick up videos
from YouTube, like celebrities talking about Alzheimer's, or
a commercial on new legislation as it relates to
home care workers.
To be able to just embed that into our site and for people
to see the latest news that day, even if it's just sort of
a funny video, and you're just trying to brighten up the day,
and you want the franchisee to open their site and see this
funny commercial.
It's just really nice to be able to have constant data and
content that's new, that's exciting, that's innovative,
available to them.
And also, if you are using Google Adwords the way we are,
or really any Google product, it makes sense because you get
used to a certain way of operating.
You get used to the innovation, you get used to
how the tools are user friendly, you get used to
tutorials being readily available, being able to call
someone and have someone explain to you
exactly how it works.
It's difficult to go from an environment like that to
something else.
So if you're using a Google product, it's just so much
easier to actually use Google Apps.
And like I mentioned earlier, that's exactly how
it started for us.
And so at this point, I think if Michael wants to share some
of his tips and tricks for building this intranet, that
would probably be really helpful as well.
MICHAEL HIGBY: Yeah, absolutely.
Thanks, Lily.
So as I mentioned before, we have been around since 2000 as
an IT services and web
application development company.
So we're going off a lot of experience of managing
services for clients that are anywhere from enterprise to
the education space, small and medium business.
We've deployed Google Apps for enterprises that have
thousands of users, down to one-person consulting
And we were working in the cloud even really before
Google Apps came out in terms of managed service offerings,
hosted applications, and such.
So saying that leads us to the experience that we've had in
terms of being able to sit down with a client like Lily
and develop an intranet.
And some of the things that we want to talk about before you
even get to that process is, why are
you building an intranet?
What exactly is your purpose?
Well, Lily's laid that out earlier in the presentation,
and that the collaboration, and the information sharing,
and the communication was going to be so much enhanced.
And really, the intranet becomes mission critical to
the operation.
We need to develop who the core audience is going to be.
And that is, here, the franchisees, and the corporate
staff that HCA is reaching out to.
We want to be able to give them the opportunity to
collaborate, to engage in process improvement, come to
the conventions, participate in conference calls and
training sessions.
So that's really the call to action.
And then we want to provide them with relevant content,
which is in this case here the training material, company
news, industry news, documents, materials,
everything that's going to help with respect to the
overall mission of the company.
So that being said, the client or the organization is able to
address what actual outcomes you can expect to have by
using the intranet over any other tool.
Lily was talking about that they would email back and
forth, and they were on AOL instant messenger, and
everybody was on a different platform, and such.
And so in this case, we're able to really use the Google
tools to allow the user to make the best use of their
content, which again, is the news, training material,
documents, multimedia, events online and in person.
Really doing things to push the company's brand and
culture, which goes back to, in the case of HCA, the
photos, keeping up on trends, which seems to be something
that they're really dynamic and really engaged in.
And for different companies, that might be different.
Here at SADA, we have--
SERENA SATYASAI: Michael, Serena, I apologize.
I want to get to a lot of questions, and we only have
about 10 minutes left.
MICHAEL HIGBY: Sure, I'm sorry.
There are a lot of questions that are coming up, and I
wanted to make sure we get to them.
Let me move on to the next slide, and I'm going to try
and answer a lot of questions as we go through what is
Google Apps.
So as Lily and Michael have both mentioned, Google Apps is
really a suite of products, including a mail solution, an
instant messaging or chat solution,
and a calendar solution.
It also includes collaboration tools.
We've spent a lot of time talking about what we call our
WYSIWYG wiki, which is what Lily and Michael used to build
HCA's internet.
Also within our collaboration suite includes the Google
Docs, and Spreadsheets, and an online presentation tool.
And we've recently included a Google Video for your
business, very much like Google's YouTube service, but
really, this is more geared towards
using it in your business.
We also have security and compliance products, and
feature and functionality that are included in Google Apps.
So additional policy setting controls that you can put in
place, as well as archiving for recovery and discovery
All of these tools are included in what we call
Google Apps Premier Edition.
They are built on the Google Apps platform, which includes
a 24-7 customer service, and it's all included for $50 per
user per year.
A couple of the questions that have come up around these
tools have been, do they--
we're going to flip you through the
Premier Edition pages.
Couple of the questions that have come up around these
tools that Lily and Michael has been discussing, are they
interoperable with other software applications, so for
example, MS Office products?
And yes, you can upload a MS Word document, for example,
into a Google online doc if you want to leverage the
sharing capabilities that we provide.
You could also download a Google Spreadsheet into MS
Excel, for example, if you want to use the functionality
in Excel that may not be available in Google
Google's view of the world is we want to make things as open
and flexible to support the way you work today.
So you'll find that there is also built in import export
capabilities with other software applications
such as Adobe PDF.
The other question that people are asking--
it seems like there's a handful of
questions around here--
is the ability to add and subtract users, and making
sure if you terminate an employee or staff person, that
they no longer have access to the company email, company
docs, et cetera.
Lily, I know that you've said that you've
had limited IT resources.
How has it been administering user accounts for you?
LILY SARAFAN: It couldn't be easier.
Again, if we were using all of these different
functionalities on a variety of different platforms, it
would probably be a nightmare trying to deactivate users
from all of them.
The fact that all of this is integrated with Google--
I personally, or someone in my office, without additional
help-- we just go to the Manage Domain.
We can limit access, deactivate, add, or modify any
user in our domain.
So it couldn't be easier to make sure that those who
aren't supposed to receive access don't, and those who
need access get it right away.
It's in real time.
Within five seconds of activating a user, they're
already right on our site, and everything's
available to them.
Another question that is also coming up is
really around security.
I think this is certainly a valid question.
As you move applications and information to the Google
cloud, are you worried about someone else coming in and
looking at your corporate information online?
LILY SARAFAN: No, absolutely not.
Again, like I mentioned, the fact that we're able to manage
the domain, and see exactly who's our domain.
We can see when the last log-in was for each
There's really no possibility for an outside user to come in
and access the information.
Google's security and compliance tools are, in my
opinion, up to speed, and are industry leaders.
And so, much less than I would be with any other solution,
I'm really not concerned.
SERENA SATYASAI: And I think I will add to that, too.
We definitely have more information available on our
security practices, and I'd be happy to send that to some of
the customers here who have asked questions about privacy
and confidentiality.
But in sum, Google takes our customers' information
extremely importantly.
So we have implemented physical measures, for
example, to protect our data centers.
We have implemented technical measures to make sure that
someone can't hack into our data centers from outside.
And we also have implemented security protocols to make
sure that all of the processes that we've implemented do
abide by industry standard, and in fact,
industry leading practices.
A couple of things I definitely want to make clear
is that Google is definitely known for some of our consumer
products, but what we are talking about here today is
Google Applications for your business.
So a couple of questions have come up.
This is Gmail as a mail system, but as you might be
aware, you can actually have your name at your company dot
com, but hosted by Gmail.
So your business users won't have a Gmail.com address.
They'll still have a your company dot com email address.
The other thing is, you mentioned earlier on, Lily,
you've opened up lots of new offices domestically, but I
also understand that you are looking to expand
And there's a question from a customer about implementing
Google Apps overseas.
Do you see that as being any different from opening up an
office in Saint Louis?
LILY SARAFAN: No, not with respect to Google Apps.
I mean, it is different for our company, but with respect
to Google Apps, absolutely not.
We actually opened our first international location last
year in Montreal.
Really great example, because it is a bilingual environment.
And to be able to upload documents and brochures not
only in English but also in French is incredibly helpful.
And also, since it's a web-based system and Google as
a company already has a presence and just about a
footprint in every part of the world, it's probably the most
global solution that we could have found, which is really
important for anyone that--
MICHAEL HIGBY: Can I just expand on that real quick?
LILY SARAFAN: Yeah, of course.
MICHAEL HIGBY: Serena, just that SADA has--
even though we're based here in Southern California, we
literally implement all over the world.
The great thing about our solution and Google's solution
is that, unless there's a specific need that the client
has for an on site presence, 95% to 100% of the work can be
done remotely, just because of the technology.
And we've implemented in the Caribbean, and all over the
US, and have often not had to be on site.
So that not only makes things more efficient, but it really
cuts down the cost of the implementation.
LILY SARAFAN: As a perfect example, Michael's in Southern
California, I'm in Northern California, and
we've never met once.
And so I might as well have been in Beijing, and it
wouldn't have made a difference.
It's really that seamless.
We have a couple more questions, and one of them I'd
like to direct to Michael.
There are a couple of questions around training for
Google Apps.
How would SADA Systems suggest that
customers approach training?
MICHAEL HIGBY: Well, we definitely, in addition to our
implementation and technical
services, we do offer training.
In fact, as we speak right now, we have some of our staff
in the Bahamas--
I know, tough work--
and we're working with a telecommunications provider
there that's providing Gmail directly to consumers.
That's actually another space that Google has gotten into
where internet service providers and telephone
companies are offering that service.
So we're there right now providing training for their
help desk, as well as training resources
for individual users.
So our solutions in that space are very super custom.
And then one thing that I really want to point out on
that is that we are using the Google tools.
We build intranets and sites to teach people how to use
Google Apps.
We're using Sheets, and Docs, and the Presentation software
that Google provides to do the training.
So in sum, your users are going to use the tools that
they will wind up using to learn how to use them.
So that's really kind of exciting.
Really, I think we're our of time.
I apologize that we weren't able to catch everyone's
questions, but we do have a record of them and we will
certainly follow up with you individually.
Michael and Lily, is there anything else you want to add?
LILY SARAFAN: I'd probably just say really quickly that
there are some tools for the sake of tools, and Google Apps
is not one of them.
You know, our core service and our goal is to be North
America's premier provider of home care services.
And so our goal is not to be--

I don't even know the word is, to just be involved with
And all of these tools have allowed us to focus on our
core service.
So if you have a service, if you're not in high tech and
you want to be able to focus on that service, these
applications, in my opinion and with all sincerity, allow
you to focus on just that.
MICHAEL HIGBY: Yeah, I'd just ditto on that.
I mean, the last thing I think Lily wants to do is be messing
with servers, and licenses, and installing
software, and all that.
And through the Google solution, you really eliminate
a lot of those headaches so you can focus specifically on
what your mission is, and being successful at it.
Audience members, we've actually uploaded another poll
question for you.
We'd like to understand how informative this webinar has
been for you today.
So if you could please provide us your answer, we'd
appreciate it.
And again, we will follow up with you individually,
particularly for the folks whose questions we weren't
able to address.
We thank you for joining us and spending some of
your day with us.
If you do want information, please do visit us at
www.google.com/a and there, you'll find more resources,
some of the resources, in fact, that Lily and Michael
had mentioned to learn more about Apps, to learn more
about how to use Apps, and to see how other businesses have
implemented Google Apps in their workplace.
Thanks again so much for joining us.