RBTE 2016: All Saints using Google tech to boost internal operations

Fashion retailer All Saints is using Google Apps to help improve how its staff around the world communicate and collaborate.

James Wintle, global director of digital and technology at All Saints, said the business has made significant changes during the past few years in order to take advantage of digital technology.

Speaking at RBTE 2016 on Thursday, Wintle said the firm is a socially networked enterprise that includes thousands of employees globally. The aim of the transformation project has been to help people across the globe to collaborate more effectively.

"We're a fast moving business," he said. "Rather than having seasonal launches, we have monthly product drops. There are lots of people that need to communicate regularly, such as global design talent, which is an in-house team."

Wintle analysed available systems and services, with the aim of allowing the firm's 3,000 users to have a consumer-like experience. After a lengthy period of review, the firm decided to partner with Google Apps.

All Saints went to the provider with its business problem and Google suggested ways its technology platform could be tailored to fit organisational requirements.

Rather than being reliant on in-house IT and internal servers, the firm switched to Google’s cloud-based platform. Early adopters in the business were set up in less than 20 days. These initial starters helped push a full rollout for all 3,000 users within 100 days.

"Because it was Google, training was easy – everybody already knew how to use the technology," said Wintle. 

The firm’s internal intranet, for example, was transformed. Everyone in the company now communicates internally via Google Plus.

“We’re behaving like a proper social business – and that means everyone, from the chief executive to shop floor workers,” he said. 

More than 100 internal videos have been shared on YouTube using the platform for key areas such as training and development.

In creative terms, Google Apps allows designers, merchandisers and stylists to share ideas and images. In total, 51,000 files were shared in real-time on the firm’s platform in December 2015.