Need for a mutual document management system

Tapaus is an international events agency that offers companies a full event services from planning to execution.

In the beginning of the year 2016 TAPAUS was part of a company group that had three different event agencies: TAPAUS, Eastway Impact and Kohu-live. During the spring they decided to re-organize themselves into one organisation. This meant that they needed to find a mutual system for their 40 employees where all the files could be stored and where everyone had an access.

Until now all these three agencies had operated with different systems because they had their own backgrounds. However, the new bigger organization needed to be able to collaborate without any obstacles so the work would genuinely be efficient.

“We all used Microsoft email and calendar but sharing and storing files to a mutual system was impossible”, explains Joonas Patama, the Production Director at TAPAUS. “Updating the whole communications system at once seemed like a challenging thing to do when we were going through so many changes and we had several customer projects going on at the same time. So we decided to first find a joint system for document management which is an important tool for us in project management”.

Before the merger TAPAUS had been using an FTP network for document management which had worked fine in the first years after the company was established. At that time the amount of personnel could be counted with just one hand. But when the amount of employees and data grew this system started to slow things down. The connection was not stable, logging in didn’t always work but also uploading and downloading files was challenging.

At the same time Eastway Impact was using a server-based system and they had their own physical server located where their old office used to be. The VPN connection was working nicely as long as the employees were at the office but not so much if they were working from somewhere else. The third agency Kohu-live had Dropbox in use and they were happy with that.

“It’s essential for our business that all employees can access data when they need it. Also archiving files in a well organized manner is the cornerstone to our business”, says Patama.

Google Drive was recommended to TAPAUS

When TAPAUS organization decided to look for a new solution they examined M-files and Dropbox among others. Google Drive was recommended to Patama by an old acquaintance who was working with IT. He believed that Drive would be a suitable solution for Tapaus.

“Gapps was able to explain the service in an easy to understand way. Also the team of young and productive people was similar to our own team”, describes Patama.

When TAPAUS discussed with Gapps it became evident that with Google G Suite they would get a lot more value out than from Dropbox. On the other hand M-files seemed to be a bit heavy solution for a smaller organization like TAPAUS. In the end, the Google’s brand affected the decision because for TAPAUS it presents dynamism and ongoing development.

“We wanted to get on top of the technology wave with Google”, says Patama. “When we decided to deploy Google Drive I made a joke to our employees that from now on when you’re even thinking about a file it will just appear on your screen”.

Our work efficiency has increased for sure. By estimate we save 15 minutes time per employee each day.

- Joonas Patama, Production Director, Tapaus

Deployment was easy with an experienced partner

When three agencies merge there are lots of data to be migrated. At first TAPAUS wanted to try if they could do the deployment by themselves based on instructions Gapps gave. However, transferring such a mass of files turned out to be challenging and finally TAPAUS asked Gapps to do the migration.

The migration was planned and executed in a way that employees could keep working pretty much us normally without any interference. A well planned migration was a key so all possible risks were known and tackled already beforehands. It was also communicated to all employees what would happen in different phases of the project.

“The deployment went well and migration didn’t show up as a negative thing to our employees. I feel I received a good service”, comments Patama.

Google’s tools and their benefits have been a positive surprise and taken into use with excitement

There has been lots of positive feedback about the new tools. Many users have come and thanked Patama because they no longer need to stare their screen and wait for the hourglass to roll when trying to connect to a document system.

“We had planned to keep using Microsoft Office tools but when we tested the Google’s equivalent tools we realized right away that these we will start using”, Patama says with a big smile. “Our work efficiency has increased for sure. It’s difficult to calculate the exact minutes or percentages but as an estimate we save 15 minutes time per employee each day. In a company of 40 employees that is a big benefit”.

The project began because there was a need to manage and share documents easily. Collaborative work with Google Docs brought surprising benefits. Now TAPAUS is wondering when would it be a good time to start using Gmail and Google Calendar so they could get all the benefits out of their G Suite tools.

“I recommend G Suite to every company that is in a similar situation where we were and wanting to modernize their environment. Been in contact with Gapps has been very easy and our partnership has worked out splendidly. The service as a whole has been excellent”, explains Patama.