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IICD – A BetterCloud Case Study

David Politis

December 18, 2012

3 minute read

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IICD is our 28th customer. The organization has not only been using FlashPanel since its Alpha launch, but their Community Relations Services Officer, Andrei Barburas, who manages IICD’s Google Apps domain, has provided invaluable feedback and support since installing the product. For more on how IICD and Andrei make use of FlashPanel for their Google Apps domain, check out the case study. 

Employees: 35
Founded: 1996
Industry: Non-profit
FlashPanel Customer Number: 28

Based in The Hague, The Netherlands and founded in 1996 by the Ministry for Development Cooperation, the International Institute for Communication and Development (IICD) aims to support sustainable development for low income populations living in Africa and Latin America through access to and use of information and communications technology.

The IICD currently reaches 6 million people in eleven different countries and ultimately aims to assist 10 million people through its varied programs and services. By giving underserved demographics access to vital information, IICD is working to diminish poverty and inequality around the globe.

Transforming Access to Technology Within

While IICD relies on technology externally to change the lives of those in need, the organization underwent a technology revolution of its own nearly three years ago.

After operating on Microsoft Exchange for years, IICD employees encountered difficulty accessing company files remotely – a vital task as the organization operates in more than ten countries. Maintenance and license costs also sent the non-profit searching for a better alternative. The search ended with IICD migrating from Microsoft Exchange to Google Apps due not only to affordability, but also mobility, robustness and device security.

Broadening Google Apps Usage with FlashPanel

While IICD has incorporated every aspect of the Google Apps suite into its computing practices, much data still remains on local file servers. However, the organization’s Community Relations Services Officer, Andrei Barburas, has begun a massive push to move the majority of the company’s one million files to the cloud via Google Drive. Now, Andrei estimates between thirty and forty percent of data is stored securely on Google Drive and he hopes to see that percentage increase in the future. By moving data storage to the cloud, past problems of remote access are minimized.

To maintain control over Google Drive sharing, Mr. Barburas uses FlashPanel’s Drive security features to monitor how files are being shared – externally, with a link, publicly – and to view adoption trends. He’s even created organizational units to apply sharing policies depending on the specifications of a certain group of users. As IICD’s use of Drive grows in the coming months and years, Barburas says he doesn’t “see any other option except using FlashPanel more and more.”

In addition to FlashPanel’s Drive security features, Mr. Barburas makes use of a variety of the application’s other features to control and manage his domain.

Shared Contacts and Apps Butler

In an organization like IICD where colleagues are scattered around the globe, access to shared contacts is invaluable. When one employee travels to a certain location and establishes a useful business relationship, it’s important that that information is stored and distributed for the next time an IICD employee visits the same locale.

But when employees are traveling around the world, they need mobile access to these shared contacts so IICD makes heavy use of FlashPanel’s Apps Butler through Google Talk’s mobile app. The feature allows users to chat directory lookups to the Apps Butler and receive the appropriate information in return almost instantaneously.

IICD also recently invested in a business card reader, which creates spreadsheets of contact information that can be reformatted and uploaded to FlashPanel to update the organization’s Shared Contacts in bulk.

Email Auto Responders

Recently, Andrei made use of FlashPanel’s email auto responder tool when a colleague called in sick. She was unable to set the auto reply from home so Mr. Barburas was able to set the notification through FlashPanel without ever having to log into the user’s inbox. Before this incident Andrei had never thought about using this email tool, but has since said “you never know when you’re going to use a certain feature until you actually have to use it.”