Kaplan produced training videos and hosted lunch-and-learn sessions to introduce employees to the Google Apps suite and show them how to use the platform. While many employees embraced the service-and already knew how to use it-there were some who were less enthusiastic, Hanapole says. Over time, though, they too have come to praise the collaboration features.
"Making these types of transitions as a tech leader helps to raise the level of awareness of the entire employee base," he says. "You're helping them become more aware of what's possible with cloud computing and how that can benefit them in the work they do."
When Gmail first launched, Hanapole and his team prepared by staffing the helpdesk, expecting to get an influx of calls-but that never happened.
"During the two releases we did, we were consistently amazed by the lack of volume coming into the helpdesk," he says. "With the hype around IT consumerization, it becomes real when you go into a massive rollout that affects everyone's desktop, and yet the phone doesn't ring. Customers and employees are already used to using these tools."
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.