Google Apps-based intranet: Ahold case study


Back in October last year I asked, can you run your intranet using just Google Apps or Salesforce Chatter?

Since then I've shared some interesting case studies about companies using Salesforce Chatter and Microsoft Yammer. But I've been quite keen to find a Google Sites example, if only because I'm a little dubious about the results that could be achieved. Thanks to Entopic, I can now point you to a case study presented by James Nunn at their Congress Intranet 2013 conference about Ahold.

Ahold is an international grocery chain based in the Netherlands, that in 2011 launched a new intranet (a "Distributed new and content platform with real time collaboration") using Google Apps - the slides are available to download (PDF). Nunn provides a scorecard about their experiences of using the Google platform for their intranet that is worth reviewing on slide #24.

One thing to note in particular, as emphasised in the slides, this isn't just about hosting a content-driven intranet, but actually about creating a complete intranet solution using Google Apps that is used for communication, collaboration, content management and content creation.

Some of the bad points of working with Google Apps appears to be that Ahold have a "Limited view of [the] Google product roadmap" and they can experience "Sudden changes in behaviour" when features change. Personally this probably flags for me the major reason for not using Google, which is that they don't really understand the enterprise beyond messaging (i.e. Gmail, Calendar, etc). But again as other case studies have shown, this hasn't stopped Ahold from getting on with the job of using the Google stack to run its intranet. In fact they have plans to create a even more enhanced social business environment based on Google.

Hat tip Samuel.