Limber and flexible IT: YogaWorks goes Google

Friday, January 13, 2012 | 10:41 AM


Editor’s note: Today’s guest blogger is Jay DeCoons, COO of YogaWorks. Renowned for its excellence in classroom instruction and teacher training, YogaWorks delivers yoga training and classes in 60 cities around the world. Learn more about other organizations that have gone Google on our community map.

At YogaWorks, we first and foremost consider ourselves to be educators of yoga. Since opening our first location in 1987, we’ve expanded our reach across the world, which means we’ve had to figure out how to effectively scale a growing organization while continuing to deliver the best training instruction possible. When we first took a look at Google Apps, we thought it would be a great cost savings tool but as we’ve discovered, Google Apps has also allowed us to easily and flexibly connect our business throughout the world.

Prior to Google Apps, we used a hosted Microsoft Exchange server. While on Exchange, we had to set a 2 gigabyte inbox quota and had difficulty achieving a simple, scalable email deployment for our staff’s mobile devices. We also had a lot of offline processes that were cluttering the operations of our studio managers and producing a lot of excess paperwork, which ran counter to our goal of running a sustainable and eco-friendly company. At the time, our IT costs were roughly $130 per user per year.

When we were evaluating Google Apps, we realized that the solution would allow us to further our green-friendly mission by reducing our overall environmental footprint and would enable us to create a truly mobile workforce with anytime, anywhere data access. We also saw the potential Google Apps held for collaboration among team members, with its unique communication and sharing capabilities.

We went Google with the help of Google Apps Authorized Reseller Dito, who assisted us in setting up Apps and training our team. With Google Apps, we’ve been able to reduce our total IT costs by over 60%. The ability to share documents and reach out to teammates quickly has boosted the morale and sense of community across our team. Mobility has also been a key gain for us, as Google Apps allows us to work seamlessly while on the go across our 24 studios and 60 cities where we hold teacher trainings. Through Google Docs, we have been able to save paper and eliminate tedious offline processes, making our day-to-day operation more environmentally-friendly and efficient.

Google Apps has helped us create a more efficient, more excited and more productive workforce, which in turn has helped us focus on what we care most about: bringing safe, compassionate and skillful teaching of yoga to all.