A move to Gmail improves flexibility and saves the eyecare experts time and money

Scrivens, experts in eyecare for over 75 years with over 170 branches nationwide, was experiencing a number of problems with their email infrastructure including cost, flexibility and productivity issues.

The company’s infrastructure grew with their success but had become complex, with an outdated and cumbersome email system. Forward plans included a ‘virtualisation project’ to replace their old email servers including Exchange and VPop; there was also a need to migrate some of their in-house Microsoft Office applications to the Cloud.

Scrivens considered both a Gmail and an Outlook solution but due to license costs and flexibility, Google Apps for Work with Gmail was clearly the better choice. It also meant that there was no need to virtualise the email system. Looking ahead, there would be wider benefits in increased collaboration across the business.

Refractiv, a Google for Work Premier Partner, undertook a managed pilot to demonstrate how Google Apps and Gmail in particular would reduce their workload and IT costs.

Gmail offers great flexibility for mobile workers who can use email and other Google Apps functionality on a range of devices, including smartphones and tablets.

All 360 email users were subsequently transitioned to Gmail, using Backupify to protect their valuable corporate data. Office-based and mobile staff are also using Google Calendars.

As an Optical and Hearing Care Medical Service, the confidentiality of patient information was of  paramount importance, so to ensure compliance with Scrivens’ security policies, Refractiv recommended SSOeasy, a 3rd party tool to help improve the security of email outside of work.

The next phase of the project is to implement Google Drive and reduce the company’s exposure to Microsoft costs.

Gmail has not only reduced Scrivens’ licence costs, but has allowed them to take advantage of Google Hangouts to replace some face to face meetings with Regional Managers, saving on travel expenses and time. It has also reduced the number of servers, increased flexibility and provided a mobile environment which allows staff to work from any device.

As a Cloud-based system, Google Apps has reduced the workload for the internal IT team in terms of managing users and the removal of the hardware used to operate the email system has eased the move to a virtualised platform.


Having experienced the benefits of Gmail, we are keen to implement the rest of the Google Apps platform as soon as possible. Gmail has delivered cost and time savings and also improved collaboration between branches, so we’re already feeling the benefits across the business.