Detroit Regional Chamber logo.

The Detroit Regional Chamber is one of the largest and oldest chambers of commerce in the country. Its members employ over 750,000 people in southeast Michigan. The Chamber’s mission is carried out through economic development initiatives, advocacy, strategic partnerships and providing benefits to members.

Newmind Group is an IT managed service provider specializing in cloud uting solutions. Newmind has deployed Google Apps for over 700 organizations nationwide and internationally. Recently named to the Talkin’ Cloud 50 list of top cloud computing firms, Newmind’s certified deployment engineers, certified trainers and custom development teams work with businesses large and small to make their work more productive, profitable and fun using cloud solutions like Google Apps.

The Detroit Regional Chamber is a large organization with an active work- force. Over time the its needs had outgrown its legacy Novell Groupwise email system with its costly updates, limited storage capacity and lack of productivity features. Mobile productivity was also suffering, with third-party software needed to support Blackberries and no support available for other smartphones and tablets. The Chamber needed a new system up and running quickly and with minimal disruption. It also needed employees to be trained quickly and efficiently.

Detroit Regional Chamber President Sandy K. Baruah, right, with John Xia and US Senator Debbie Stabenow.

The Solution The Detroit Regional Chamber looked at a migration to Outlook and Exchange, but after doing research and cost analysis began to seriously consider Google as a viable alternative. After performing a pilot of Google Apps with just a few employees in key departments, they decided to proceed. The chamber worked with Newmind Group to rollout Google Apps throughout the organization. Newmind set up the chamber’s accounts, migrated data from the Groupwise system and worked with IT staff to get the new system working with employees’ computers and mobile devices. Newmind scheduled a series of training sessions with employees and were on-site at the chamber to answer user questions and deal with issues during the migration process.

Saved $500,000 over 5 years
Increased Collaboration

Detroit Regional Chamber employees have wholeheartedly em- braced Google Apps and the various tools it has made available. Departments are using Google Docs to collaborate with chamber members and have even designed a system where employees use Google Docs forms to register for medical benefits. Chamber officials say moving to Google Apps will save the organization $500,000 over alternative email solutions.