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Synapse – A BetterCloud Case Study

BetterCloud Monitor

April 9, 2013

2 minute read

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Just last year, Synapse, a leader in engineering design services, left behind an aging Exchange server for Google Apps. Read on to learn how this cutting edge company is making the most of Apps with the help of FlashPanel.

Employees: 300
Founded: 2002
Industry: Engineering Design Services
FlashPanel Customer Number: 1,907

Founded in 2002, Synapse works with the world’s leading companies to help them turn ideas into reality. Matching engineering and technology expertise with product management oversight, Synapse enables organizations to create products and experiences that change the way we live.

Based in Seattle with offices in San Francisco and Hong Kong, Synapse has helped companies like Nike, TomTom, Samsung and General Electric conceptualize and produce some of the world’s most inventive products.

Overcoming Growing Pains with Google Apps

While Synapse was producing cutting edge technology for its clients, the company’s email system was left to run on outdated on premise Exchange servers. As the company continued to grow, Synapse’s IT Director, Brian McFarlane, knew a change was in order.

In April 2012, Synapse made the switch to Google Apps. “In one year we doubled in size and we simply didn’t have the IT staff to double our capacity on Exchange,” explained McFarlane. “Ramp up times for new hires are faster on Google Apps,” he added, “ more people are familiar with setting up Google than Exchange.” For Synapse, making the move to Apps was a no brainer.

In addition to Mail, Calendar, Contacts, Groups and Chat, Synapse has embraced Google Hangouts to provide seamless communication between its offices and rolled out Google Drive, which allows team members to simultaneously edit and collaborate – a boon in any creative environment.

Managing Google Apps with FlashPanel

While Synapse initially installed FlashPanel as a solution for Shared Contacts Management and mobile contact syncing, McFarlane and his team have found the application’s reporting and end user tools tremendously helpful.


FlashPanel’s in depth reporting tools allow McFarlane to provide vital statistics to company managers. Data on email and storage quotas, the number of Google Drive documents that each employee creates and how each document is shared is all information McFarlane gleans from FlashPanel.

While Synapse has yet to set up sharing compliance or alerts for Google Drive – at any given time the company has between 60 and 70 projects all with their own sharing regulations – FlashPanel’s Drive overview gives Brian and his team a clear snapshot of all Drive activity occurring within the organization.

End User Access

With offices around the globe, it’s important that employees remain connected and a huge part of that is knowing what role each employees plays in the company. Synapse has enabled end user access to allow employees to view team profiles, group memberships and vital contact information – all without having to ask the IT team or HR department.