“I would recommend SADA Systems – the value they have added makes real sense for us.”
- Francis Lau, Director of IT, First Mortgage
First Mortgage Leverages Google Apps for Anytime, Anywhere Collaboration
First Mortgage Corporation (FMC) is a direct, residential mortgage lender headquartered in Southern California and serving borrowers throughout the Southwest since 1975. In addition to its corporate headquarters, FMC has more than 40 branches serving employees remotely throughout the Southwestern states.
FMC was serving roughly 300+ (now 450) employees using Microsoft® Exchange 2000 as their email solution. Eventually, the limitations of this system began to impact the size of user email boxes (some of which were large by necessity). This hindered the company’s work performance and forced them toconsider an update of their then-current system. FMC had the option to either spend $100,000 to update their OS, Exchange server and licensing, or consider new alternatives. The limitations of their then-system, combined with exponential growth in sales and staffing, left FMC’s IS/IT team seeking a more accessible, flexible and cost-efficient email and collaboration suite.
With employees and affiliates scattered across locations, FMC needed an email solution that was easily accessible and intuitive to use. After conducting internal research, FMC decided to implement Google Apps for Business. This gave FMC use of Gmail, with 30 GB of email/IM storage for each employee and attachments of up to 25 MB. Google Apps for Business also included Google Drive and Google Docs for file sharing and collaboration. With FMC’s employees and other’s ability to access email, as well as share and collaborate on documents from literally any location at any time, the decision to move to the cloud with Google Apps was an easy choice.
Google referred FMC to SADA Systems, a Google Apps Premier SMB Partner, to aid the company with the implementation. Their team has worked closely with FMC Director of Technology, Francis Lau, as well as the rest of the IS/IT team (Dave Hillenbrand, James Stevens and Jose Gutierrez). A great team effort between FMC and SADA Systems resulted in the migration of all FMC email data from Microsoft Exchange to Google Apps with complete fidelity. “It wasn’t difficult, but it took time and attention for the data to be migrated,” said Lau. “We had a good group of people willing to work hard and overcome any problems. We got a lot of assistance from SADA Systems.”
Results and Benefits
As FMC users have grown accustomed to the Gmail interface and Google functionality, the reception to the platform has become increasingly positive. The company now has an always-accessible, web-based email platform, and its employees are making good use of the always-available nature of Google Apps, including the ability to share documents.
As a bonus, FMC has tied Google’s domain-level authentication to the company’s intranet. The Single Sign-On (SSO) service has been invaluable. FMC’s Windows-based domain has integrated well with Google. “For those of us on the IT team, technical service has always been prompt. Whether we use the online knowledge base, phone support or other methods, help is always available. Normal response times are ‘same day,’ and often within an hour. They are always on top of our updates,” says Lau.