Author Bobby Hopewell is the CEO of Lansing-based Mobile Health Resources, and also currently serves the City of Kalamazoo as Mayor.

Google Hangouts has played a big part in both my work as Mayor of Kalamazoo and the CEO of Mobile Health Resources. It helps that Newmind Group plays a role in Mobile Health Resources’ IT work, and they use Hangouts often, but it’s become a great tool for bridging the gap between each of my offices—not just for communication, but for collaboration.

Seamless communication with external contacts

Being that Mobile Health Resources is based out of Lansing and our CTO Luke Reynolds is based in Kalamazoo, Hangouts makes it easy to collaborate remotely, and it’s been very important from a standpoint of understanding.

I’m a believer of personal communication—I prefer to be in a room with someone having a conversation, but if I can’t do that, being able to see their face and engaging with them in that way is really the next best thing, and I usually even prefer that over a phone call. On top of that, the collaborative aspect is huge. The way Drive integrates with Hangouts through document and screen sharing, it creates a really great environment for ideation.

Linking remote offices

While I’m the Mayor of Kalamazoo, I need to spend a lot of time in Lansing for Mobile Health Resources business. Hangouts provide me the connectivity and engagement that is sometimes lost when you’re not present, and that’s been pretty exciting for me.

When I started my work in Lansing about a year ago, I wasn’t sure how it’d work out in relationship to the mayorship, but Google Hangouts has helped very much. I’m only in Lansing a couple days a week, so when I need to get in touch with my MHR team, I can get together with them quickly and easily through Hangouts.

Some individuals prefer chat messages, while some situations need a video call—Hangouts offers both. When we’re trying to collaborate in a video Hangout, it’s been helpful to use the dial-in feature for users who don’t have access to Hangouts, or can’t participate by video.

Hangouts wins 8 fire departments for Medical Health Resources

Medical Health Resources just won a bid for the Mutual Aid Association for 8 fire departments, and Hangouts played a significant role while mapping a bid response to the RFP (request for proposal). I worked with our communications staff, our designer, one of my directors, and two of our performance improvement experts, all of us working from different locations. I was working from my conference room in Kalamazoo’s City Hall, where my Hangouts setup is a Logitech webcam mounted on a large display, connected to PC, and we weren’t restricted at all—we were going back and forth sharing documents, sharing screens—Hangouts made it a really seamless process for us to reach that end product.