Google Cloud Solutions Provider

"Google Apps for Work offers us a reliable, always-on IT service that supports mobile and flexible working, at a low and predictable cost." - Jamie Holyland, Epic's Director of Communications.

 

Epic CIC, an Employee-Led Mutual, provides a comprehensive range of youth support services to children and young people. Formed from the Youth Support and Development Services team at the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea (RBKC), Epic was established in January 2014 with the mission to inspire young people to achieve their potential and to make a positive difference to the communities in which it works.

The Challenge

As an independent organisation, Epic needed to move away from IT services provided by RBKC's IT department and create its own infrastructure.

Jamie Holyland, Epic's Director of Communications, says Epic selected Google Apps for Work as the core of this new infrastructure for several reasons: "It offers us a reliable, always-on IT service that supports mobile and flexible working, at a low and predictable cost. Our staff don't have to spend time running IT and we'll enjoy continuous improvements without having to install upgrades ourselves. We can exploit additional feature such as videoconferencing at no extra cost and, because it's an internet-based service, seamlessly integrate with technologies such as social media that will be vital to developing our services in the future. Finally, Google Apps helps us meet our goals to lower the environmental impact of the organisation."

The Solution

Following a rigorous commissioning process, Epic chose Ancoris to implement and support Google Apps. "Ancoris won the tender on the grounds of whole life cost, its experience with similar projects, its service and consultancy capabilities, and its commitment to environmental and ethical practices and principles," Holyland explains. The ability to deliver quickly was also key, with everything needing to be up and running in just a few weeks.

EPIC Chelsea Community Day 2014-15The solution has now been rolled out to around 140 users based on ten sites, who also regularly work from home or from other locations such as schools. They access the system through Chromebooks, Chromeboxes and smartphones, and are now using most of the functionality of Google Apps for Work, including Docs, Sheets, Slides, Forms, Drive and, of course, Gmail, Contacts and Calendar, as well as Hangouts for meetings. Users can also add free apps to their desktop to help with productivity tasks such as note-taking.

Alongside the deployment of the Chrome devices and Google Apps, Ancoris helped Epic migrate its data from RBKC's systems, both in Microsoft Office format and PST files (Microsoft Outlook email files) so that they could access all past documents and emails. Ancoris also provided Epic with initial training for users and ongoing training through its online Cloud Skills Academy.

The Benefits

Not only did Epic have its new IT in place ready to support the organisation's launch in January 2014 but it now has an infrastructure that provides a solid foundation for the future. More than that, says Ola Alilaj, communications officer at Epic, who is responsible for IT on a day-to-day basis, it has helped to drive the culture of the new organisation. "We've been able to become much more mobile," she says. "We all try to spend a day a week working from home now. When we are in the office, if we have a lot of work to get done and find there are too many interruptions, we can go to a nearby cafe to work. It's also easier to keep up to date, because you can check and deal with emails while travelling. It all makes work more enjoyable and flexible."

She adds that staff can also work much more efficiently. "Collaboration on documents, finding the information we need and the speed of work in general have all got faster," she says. "Hangouts, too, have helped us reduce time spent travelling and made it easier for people, especially in the Business Management Team, to attend meetings they otherwise couldn't make."

Similarly, Google Forms—available at no extra cost as part of Google Apps —are proving very popular with staff. "You can quickly set up a questionnaire and send it out, and Google Forms then collates all the responses automatically," Alilaj explains. "Because of the nature of the business, we have a lot of forms that need to be completed and Google Forms makes it much faster and easier to get that done."

On top of that, she says, when staff are working on site with young people, they can now take their Chromebooks or smartphones with them and catch up with paperwork during sessions. "They can take notes, check emails or capture registration data during breaks or while the young people are busy with an activity. They no longer have to set aside separate time or stay after hours to get that done," she says.

IMG 7380Another key benefit of Google Apps and Chrome is the security it provides. "We have to be very careful with the data we work with," Alilaj points out. "All the data is held on Google Drive and not on the devices and if a device is lost or stolen, we can use the Chrome Device Management to wipe it automatically. We can instantly reset passwords remotely if necessary and set up devices to automatically sign users out when the system has been idle for a certain time." Even when everything is running smoothly, the Chrome Device Management helps Alilaj manage quickly and easily the day-to-day tasks of looking after the hardware and user accounts.

Of course, there are cost benefits, too. Holyland estimates the system has helped Epic to save around £67,000 on IT costs in the first year and will continue to save it around £140,000 a year going forward, allowing the organisation to focus more of its budget on providing services for young people.

Finally, the system is shaping the services Epic can provide and the way it provides them. "In the past year, we've been launching on a variety of social media, such as Facebook and Twitter, and the technology has allowed us to keep up with that," Alilaj explains. "People can send updates from their smartphones or Chrome devices, while apps and extensions in Chrome make it easy for them to schedule multiple posts. Without the Chrome environment, it would be much more of a chore and people would be more reluctant to do it, so the technology has really helped the social media side of our activities take off."

Going forward, Epic will be bringing on board a significant number of new users, having won a contract to provide Play Services for 3 to 12 year olds. The ease and cost effectiveness with which new users can be added means IT issues needn't be a concern as Epic bid to provide more services in more areas. Epic will also soon begin trialling Chrome devices as public-access machines in its youth centres. Whatever the future holds, Epic feels it now has an IT infrastructure that will support it every step of the way.

 

Epic CIC, an Employee-Led Mutual, provides a comprehensive range of youth support services to children and young people. Formed from the Youth Support and Development Services team at the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea (RBKC), Epic was established in January 2014 with the mission to inspire young people to achieve their potential and to make a positive difference to the communities in which it works.

As an independent organisation, Epic needed to move away from IT services provided by RBKC's IT department and create its own infrastructure.

Read the full article.

 

Published in Ancoris in the Press

Epic CIC, the country's first employee-led mutual, looks set to save around £140,000 a year as a result of deploying a Google for Work solution that will allow it to focus more of its budget on providing services for children and young people. epic logo resaved

The organisation, which already provides a comprehensive range of youth support services throughout the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea (RBKC), selected Google Apps and Google Chrome devices as the core of its new infrastructure in order to save time, money and resources.

The solution has been rolled out to around 140 users across 10 sites, and in its first year saved Epic around £67,000 on IT costs, which is expected to rise significantly in following years.

As well as monetary savings, the new infrastructure means staff are now mobile and can collaborate on documents, thereby increasing efficiency. It is also shaping the services Epic can provide and how it provides them, such as social media, and crucially, the use of Chrome has also increased security throughout the organisation.

"We have to be very careful with the data we work with," said Ola Alilaj, communications officer at Epic. "All the data is held on Google Drive and not on the devices, so if a device is lost or stolen we can use the Chrome Device Management to wipe it automatically, and when things are running smoothly, the CDM helps me to manage quickly and easily the day-to-day task of looking after the hardware and user accounts."

Following a rigorous commissioning process, Epic chose Ancoris to implement and support the Google for Work solution, thanks to its experience with similar projects, service and consultancy capabilities, its commitment to environmental and ethical practices and principles, and the ability to deliver quickly.

Alongside the deployment of Google Chrome devices and Google Apps, Ancoris also helped Epic migrate its data from RBKC's systems so they could access all past documents and emails. Ancoris also provided Epic with initial Google Apps training for users and on going training through the Cloud Skills Academy, its online training portal.

Jamie Hoyland, Epic's Director of Communications, said: "As an independent organisation we needed to move away from IT services provided by RBKC's IT department and create our own infrastructure. As well as numerous other benefits, the infrastructure has provided us with a solid foundation for the future.

"Having recently won the contract to provide play services for 3-12 year olds, we will be bringing on a number of new users, and thanks to Google Apps, adding them to the system will be easy and cost effective. Moving forward, this means we are able to bid to provide more services without IT being a concern."

David McLeman, CEO of Ancoris commented: "Spending less money on more secure, worker-friendly and flexible technology is really helping the team at Epic to focus on the important work they do supporting youth services throughout the Borough of Kensington and Chelsea. Investing in a Google for Work solution is a really simple way for any organisation to dramatically increase efficiency and save money."

 

Published in Ancoris Blog

Atmosphere Live, Google first digital event on interactive media was attended by over 20,000 viewers and went ahead without a hitch for over three hours. The event is now available on demand and here are the two keynotes which caught our eye.

The Next Generation of Cloud (Scroll to 1.36) - Urs Hölze

At Google for 15 years, Urs Hölze is responsible for the technical infrastructure for all Google products and is the leader of their cloud business, Google Cloud Platform.  In his keynote, Urs explains that the debate has shifted from “Do we move to the Cloud” to “How do we move to the Cloud”.  Although most organisations mention simplicity, freedom from infrastructure complexity, ability to work anywhere and reducing their carbon footprint, the main driver remains the need for agility and innovation.

Developers spend 80% of their time on fix and fiddle and only 20% on the next thing.  Google’s mission is to inverse this and allow central IT to become the enabler of change, pushing business forward with shorter time to market and faster innovation rates.

Urs goes on to highlight the economics aspect of cloud and how Google keeps its commitment to Moore’s Law that states that overall processing power doubles every two years.  Although Google reset the economics of the cloud in March 2014 with billing per minute, he announced a further 10% drop on Compute Engine.  Incidentally, Urs also announced the opening of a 4th Data Centre in Europe, located in the Netherlands and reminded us that it is the only cloud company to operate carbon neutral data centres since 2007.

Inspired Innovation: Bringing Visionary Products to Market (scroll to 2.04) - Sundar Pichai

Sundar Pichai, SVP of the Android, Chrome and Apps teams for Google, explains how serving businesses is a natural evolution for Google.  Productivity is a founding goal for all their products and this started as far back as April 2004 when Gmail was launched.  Since then, Google Apps, the Doc suite of editors, has been a major area of focus and investment.  Google takes great care to get the suite to work across all platforms, online and offline and the goal of is to have full compatibility with Office.

Google Drive for Work has doubled to 240m active users, with 350% growth year on year on mobile.

The other areas of focus are computing platforms with Chrome and Android, which are part of the whole solution stack.  Chrome already works for companies with chromebooks which in just 18 months have moved from under 5% to close to 50% market share in the education sector. Their success come from the fact that they are easy to deploy, manage and scale.  The big wiin is also that they enable to bring computing to parts of the organisation which could not have it before.

The next big thing will Android for Work, the combination of Android and an ecosystem of Apps.  This is an important project and there are still of number of issues to resolve: how to make it easy to deploy lots of devices and keep them secure, how to segregate personal from corporate data, etc.

His advice to get started is to identify an important subset of the organisation to get on the journey, deploying either Apps or Chromebooks.  This gives everyone an opportunity to learn and take their first steps in the Cloud.

Published in Ancoris Blog
Friday, 07 February 2014 12:06

Google Chromebox for Meetings

Chromebox for Meetings combines Google+ Hangouts and Google Apps in a low-cost, easy-to-manage Chromebox, making it simpler for any organisation to have high-quality video meetings without the need for expensive bespoke equipment. Now every meeting room can be a video-conference room and remote users can join from any device, PC, tablet or smartphone in their offices, on-the-road or at home. 

The best meetings are face-to-face: we can brainstorm openly, collaborate closely and make faster decisions. Meetings need to catch up with the way we work—they need to be face-to-face, easier to join, and available from anywhere and any device. Now they can be: Any company can upgrade their meeting rooms with a new Chromebox, built on the Chrome principles of speed, simplicity and security.

To buy Chromebox for Meetings please visit Chromesales UK or call us on 01344 203403.

Meetings with anyone, anywhere

fm-features-meetingsMeet with anyone on any device – from the conference room, at home or on the road. Join meetings with up to 15 participants – meet with colleagues, or invite customers and partners.

Instant collaboration

One click from your remote starts the conversation – no more clunky dial-in codes. Share your screen wirelessly and collaborate on documents while you meet.

Easy to manage

Plug in your display, complete the setup wizard, and you’re done. Chromebox for meetings is always up to date with the latest features and security fixes. 24/7 support included.

Chromebox is powered by Chrome OS, which means it’s fast, secure and easy to manage. Management and support is covered by a $250 per device annual fee.

Google Hangouts integration with existing voice and video conference systems (option)

Leading VC vendor Vidyo has announced a new software-based solution "VidyoH2O™ for Google+ Hangouts" that enables H.323/SIP video conferencing and IP PBX systems to connect users into Google+ Hangout Sessions. The new product will extend usability by allowing connectivity with existing business voice and video solutions from Cisco, Polycom, Lifesize, Avaya and Vidyo and will be offered on a subscription basis both on-prem and as a cloud-hosted product. Please contact us for more information.

Specifications

fm-specs-chromeboxChromebox

4th generation Intel Core i7 processor
HDMI and DisplayPort++
4x USB3.0
Ethernet and built-in dual band Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n

fm-specs-cameraHD camera

Full HD 1080p (up to 1920 x 1080 pixels)
Automatically switches resolution based on available bandwidth
Carl Zeiss® lens with autofocus
Automatic low-light correction

fm-specs-speakersMicrophone / speaker

Wideband frequency response
Built-in DSP for speech clarity
Omni-directional microphone with noise filter
Mute, end call and volume buttons

fm-specs-remoteRemote control

Full QWERTY keypad on rear
RF based (no line of sight necessary)
Nano-sized USB adapter

Published in Google Chromebook

Although computers can seem like they're everywhere these days, there are still many jobs that have yet to be touched by IT. That's usually because previous generations of technology were either impractical – getting in the way of workers doing their jobs – or too expensive to deploy, maintain and support for a remote workforce numbering in the hundreds or thousands. Sometimes, both reasons applied.

In 2014, the combination of low-cost Android devices – in a variety of sizes and formats – and tools that allow custom cloud-based apps to be developed and deployed quickly and easily will allow organisations to transform the way staff work in areas that have traditionally not used IT. Google App Engine, for example, lets you prototype and deploy applications to users anywhere in hours, using the same robust and secure infrastructure that powers Google Apps, and lets you easily scale from a few users to thousands.

The result will be that tablets will increasingly replace paper for capturing data and allocating tasks in areas such as catering, retail, maintenance, warehousing and inspection.

Published in Ancoris Blog

"Everyone is on gmail personally, so tools which work in the Google ecosystem are more popular,” said Antoine Lepine, HR Generalist at Demonware

Published in Appogee Products
Tuesday, 07 January 2014 15:40

ESNA manages absence with Appogee Leave

"A system that worked with Gmail and Google calendar was imperative”, explains Linda Ferrari, HR and Operations Manager at Esna

Published in Appogee Products

The first big storm of this winter got us thinking about how we deal with unexpected events, whether that's extreme weather preventing our staff getting into work or a more local emergency like a flood, fire or burglary at our offices.

Business continuity isn't the first reason (or even the fifth!) why we and our customers choose to use Google Apps for Business, but we've been reminded that the way Google Apps is designed lets us easily minimise the disruption to our business caused by snow, storms, floods and other disasters.

  • Because all our work is automatically saved in the cloud, we can access our email, calendars, documents and sites, and work securely, no matter where we are and what device we're on.
  • Hangouts let us hold impromptu face-to-face chats if we're stuck at home, as easily as walking across the office to someone else's desk. We can even hold meetings with a dozen or more people if we need to. Not to mention everyone being able to look at the same document, make edits at the same time, and see the changes everyone else has made, without needing to be in the same room.
  • We don't have to worry about losing data if something happens to a particular machine. That doesn't just apply to fire-damaged desktops or stolen laptops: because Google's infrastructure replicates our work across multiple servers in multiple data centres when it's saved to the cloud, we can go on working even if a whole data centre goes down, knowing we'll be seamlessly redirected to our data in another location.
  • It doesn't even matter if we're using a completely different kind of device than the one we usually use: Google Apps provides a consistent experience across all platforms and browsers.

We were lucky this time that our offices and our people weren't seriously affected by this morning's storm. Only one member of staff wasn't able to make it into work because of travel problems, but he's being just as productive working from home – and able to collaborate just as easily with the rest of us – as if he was here. We're glad we can rely on Google Apps to help smooth over the bumps in the road when the unexpected happens.

Published in Ancoris Blog

A technology company which makes online sharing and storing easier has made it into the finals of three national awards.

Ancoris, based in Lily Hill Park, Lily Hill Road, Bullbrook has been named as a double finalist in both the UK IT Industry Awards and the Channel Re-seller Awards, as well as reaching the finals of the E-Learning Awards 2013.

The businesses, whose Bracknell office was opened by Councillor Shelagh Pile Bracknell Town mayor last year, sells and manages Google Apps after acquiring Cloud Skills, a provider of e-learning and training services, and Google Cloud Platform development specialist, Appogee.

Read article

Published in Ancoris in the Press
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Google Apps for Work - Applications

GMail - a cloud based service for corporate email messaging. Ancoris helps UK based organisations to implement Google Apps for Business Email (GMail); a reliable, highly available, cost-effective and widely deployed cloud cloud-based service for the Enterprise which allows your company to replace its existing corporate mail servers (e.g. Microsoft Exchange, Lotus Domino, Novell Groupwise etc..).  Google now has an…

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On-line documents with real-time collaboration, information sharing and built-in security Ancoris helps UK organisations implement Google Docs to enable collaboration and innovation at work. Companies or departments can use these apps on their own to be more productive. Collaboration with people inside or outside the company in a secure manner is radically simplified. {tab=Overview} {loadposition p6qHhwAotoc} {tab=Why Ancoris?} Ancoris are…

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Introducing Google Drive. Now your employees can access files, even the big ones, from wherever they are. Share them securely and edit them together in real time. Access your files anywhere Google Drive on your Mac, PC or mobile device (or your browser) gives you a single place for up-to-date versions of your files from anywhere. In addition to any…

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Create secure web pages for Intranet, team projects or client Extranets. No need for html coding or web design experience. Google Sites is an easy way to organise information in a central location for secure collaboration between colleagues, teams or even external clients. Google Sites is a fully hosted offering; no software to deploy or servers to maintain.  You retain full…

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How could Chromebooks & Chromebox help your business? Faster. Easier. More Secure. Chrome devices are instantly personalizable and easy to manage, making them an ideal solution for bringing the power of the web to a variety of business environments. At Ancoris we are already benefiting from Google Chromebooks after we switched our sales team from PC's and replaced with Chromebooks.…

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Choosing a partner for Google Apps deployment

Ancoris is the UK's most experienced Google partner and one of the few top tier Google Apps Premier Enterprise Reseller and Google Cloud Platform development services partners. Since 2008, when we were the initial pilot partner in the UK, Ancoris has helped many UK and Irish headquartered companies to "Go Google". Our long track record of success with Google includes over 80…

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Google recommends engagement with partners for Google Apps for deployment and support and views their partners as a critical component of the customer experience. Google depends on their partners to provide: local customer relationships and expertise personalized reach a broad set of complementary services What are the benefits of purchasing through a reseller? Resellers provide essential services that allow customers…

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Ancoris is a UK Google for Work Premier Partner, one of the first to be elevated to Premier status in the Google Apps Reseller program. As a full Google for Work Premier Partner we are certified to supply Google Apps for Business and Google Drive for Work to large enterprises as well as mid-sized and small businesses. We can supply Google Apps for…

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Google for Work Services from Ancoris

Ancoris consultants can help you understand if cloud services and Google Apps for Business are right for your organisation. Ancoris is the UK's leading Google Enterprise Partner for Google Apps. We provide a suitability assessment program for organisations considering deploying Google Apps for Business, covering migration to Gmail/Calendar as corporate email service and/or the adoption of collaboration software as a…

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google enterprise
Comprehensive Google Apps Set Up, Deployment, Change Management and Support Services Ancoris provides a range of service packages designed to support organisations looking to deploy Google Apps for Business whether you wish to take a migration to Google Apps Email or to implement the collaboration services (Google Docs, Google Sites or Google Video) for your business. We can help you…

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Migrate to Google Apps Email from Microsoft Exchange, Lotus Domino, Novell Groupwise or other mail servers. Ancoris is the UK's leading Google Enterprise Partner for Google Apps. We provide a migration program and service designed to support organisations looking to deploy Google Apps for Business as their hosted email service. We have expertise in leading email platforms from Microsoft, IBM/Lotus,…

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google enterprise
Ancoris can develop custom Google Sites templates to match your corporate website look and feel or for specific requirements. Requirements vary from simple Sites templates to more complex sites with social integration or workflow automation developed with Google Apps Script. Recent projects include: Basic Sites templates to allow users to develop their own Sites, team workspaces etc. but with a common…

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Google Apps for Business support Ancoris is a Google Enterprise Partner and in 2013, we became one of the first companies able to offer Customer Success Services for Google Apps, approved by Google.  As a Google "managed partner" we have direct access to Google's escalation processes, support and management teams. Ancoris prides itself on offering vendor-level expertise in dealing with technical…

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Structured training to help your end-users migrate and transition to Google Apps for Business Your organisation has made a decision to deploy Google Apps Email, Docs or Sites. In order to ensure a successful project you need to ensure that your employees are fully aware of the capabilities of Google Apps and how to take advantage of the new features…

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