Like many other small companies, Social Imprints initially began using Google for two very simple reasons - email and calendar.
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.