San Francisco's Social Imprints is a full service printer that offers higher paying professional employment to at risk adults, including ex-offenders, recovering drug addicts, economically challenged individuals and veterans.
The company, founded in 2009, was awarded Business Week's prestigious 2011 Most Promising Social Entrepreneurs award, and their clients include well-known tech companies like DropBox, Wikimedia Foundation and Dolby, as well as big brands like JetBlue and even singer Matt Nathanson.
Like many other small companies - they currently have nine employees - Social Imprints initially began using Google for two very simple reasons - email and calendar.
"We brought on Google as our email server to reduce downtime and increase reliability. It also integrates well with our homegrown ERP," said Social Imprints COO Kevin McCracken.
"We primarily communicate with our clients through email, so it was a really easy decision."
Some of these "little decisions" have yielded big financial wins for Social Imprints.
"Setting a calendar for our offsite fulfillment department and using WebHR (a Google-compliant HR solution) to manage time-off have been huge for us," McCracken said.
Oddly enough, Social Imprints is not even a full-fledged "paying" Google Apps customer yet. They currently use the free business version of Google Apps. For smaller companies, it's often enough, and they can still have robust Google usage.
"We use Google Docs, Analytics and Calendar. [Social Imprints CEO, Jeff Sheinbein] Jeff and I also use Chrome as our browser," McCracken said.
"Although we're not currently a Google AdWords advertiser, we plan on looking into it this year."
The implementation has had only minor challenges.
"Overall we have had a great experience," McCracken said.
"Being able to work offline is always an issue with any web based application. 99% of the time we have a connection, but that 1% of the time can be a real challenge," he said.
McCracken also has a little bit of product vision.
"It would be great to putting all docs, apps, and calendars right on the mail dashboard home page so we don't have to click into a new page."
Then again, they might have to pony up the $50 per user per year to get the Google Apps team to seriously evaluate that suggestion.Special Disclaimer: Social Imprints is a client of my company, the social concept, but I do not work with them on any Google Apps assets, and I did not sell them their Google products.
Adam Metz is the VP of Business Development at Metz Consulting the social concept, a social customer management-consulting firm, based in Oakland, California. Metz has consulted with companies since 2006 on how to acquire, manage, monetize and retain customers from the social web. Metz's customer community, at http://metz.customerhub.net has nearly 500 members, and offers a no-cost 9-hour training course on social customer relationship management.Metz's second book, The Social Customer, was released on 9/16/11 and has hit #1 on the Amazon marketing charts. Adam's first book, There Is No Secret Sauce, has sold or downloaded over 3000 copies, and is currently in its third printing. He has additionally published an eBook, The Metz Way.Metz specializes in social media marketing and social customer relationship management (social CRM) for awesome consumer brands and loves lifestyle, travel, apparel and consumer-packaged goods (CPG) companies.Metz has consulted with nearly 100 consumer and B2B companies, including Hershey's Chocolate, Waggin' Train Pet Food, Wente Vineyards (top 30 winery) Pirate's Booty, MBT Shoes, Maestroconference, Obama Girl (Barely Political), Lynda.com, Passport Resorts, Hollywood Park Racetrack, The San Francisco Convention and Visitor's Bureau, Mighty Leaf Tea, Timbuk2 bags, and dozens of others. Adam Metz also worked on the first social media program for Pulitzer-Prize winning author Thomas Friedman.Metz has lectured at the University of California, Berkeley, the University of Washington, and University of California, Santa Cruz and has given keynote talks at numerous conferences and associations including the California and Minnesota Chapters of the American Marketing Association, the San Francisco Chamber of Commerce, the Western Association of Convention & Visitors Bureau Technology Conference, and the Hospitality Sales & Marketing Association.Metz lives in Oakland, California with his fiancee Susan.