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How Consumerization of IT Led Kaplan to Google Apps

Kristin Burnham | Jan. 18, 2013
At Kaplan, a genuine enthusiasm for technology comes from the top: Its CIO embraces the consumerization of IT and wants employees to be as excited about technology as he is. That culture led Kaplan to migrate from Microsoft Exchange to Google Apps and, mostly recently, to Google+.

4. Experiment and Have Fun

Google Hangouts, Google's video chat capability, is one feature of the Google+ suite that Hanapole and his team-as well as others-are using frequently.

Before Hangouts, Hanapole's team used Microsoft Office's Live Meeting, which he says was a "pretty heavy download" and caused a lot of user frustration. Hangouts, he says, has a much shorter learning curve and is fun to use.

"We use Hangouts for staff meetings and sharing screens," Hanapole says. "It's fun, it's easy, and we're starting to see more and more of our employees with Web cameras and other devices that let them consume a Hangout-it's something they're identifying more with."

Most recently, Hanapole used Hangouts during a team outing where his department held an award ceremony for the top performers in IT. Using a Hangout made it easier to relive the event and share photos-something that previously would need to be sent and uploaded through the internal communications group onto an intranet, he says.

"Hangouts are just simple to use and it's a more modern way of bringing together your team, which used to be cumbersome and costly and not as easy of a user experience," Hanapole says. "And Google+ as a whole is just a very straightforward approach to solving a communications issue and bringing together teams at a very low cost."


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