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J.L. Monte Galiano

Universitat Oberta de Catalunya (SPAIN)
The Universitat Oberta de Catalunya (UOC) is an innovative university that is rooted in Catalonia and open to the world, offering people lifelong learning to help them, and society, advance. Its educational model is based on personalization and student mentoring via e-learning; in fact, it was the first online university in Spain.

The implementation of Google Apps at the UOC is an innovative, highly transformative project whose purpose is to make collaborative, highly productive tools available to everyone involved in the institution's academic work, management and governability.

Google Apps are an innovative, constantly evolving platform that covers most communication and cooperative work needs. The project to implement Google Apps at the UOC goes beyond the mere acquisition of a work and productivity platform. From the very beginning, the UOC's intention has been to integrate Google Apps in all of the institution's technological and organizational activities in order to give an integrated, transparent, quality response to all of the institution's users.

How are we doing it?
We have performed a number of actions to make the user's transition to the cloud more comfortable:
1. UOC Google Guides group
One of the most valuable and positive initiatives in the implementation of Google Apps. Thanks to a group of highly proactive people, it has been possible to implement Google Apps in the entire organization's daily work. These people have acted as ambassadors, they have settled doubts and shared concerns and some very good ideas.
2. Support material, self-learning videos and Google Apps help website
One initiative of this project has been to create a Google Apps help website on which we have put all sorts of useful information so that the user can find answers to any doubt he or she may have in the use of Google Apps. The self-learning videos that have been created to answer the most frequently asked questions have been particularly appreciated.
3. Training
We organize training activities at regular intervals for the staff on the main Google Apps. We will also create an immersion protocol in Google Apps as part of the welcome package for new employees.
4. Information campaigns throughout the project
The information campaigns play a basic and very necessary role in the inclusion of Google Apps. Advertisements, interviews, posters, etc. We have used key times during the project to focus the user on a common goal.
5. Key technology transition and adaptation actions
So that the entire institution could transition to Google Apps, it has been necessary to undertake a number of technology adaptation and improvement actions. For example: it was necessary to close the old room booking system when Google Calendar was implemented. During 2017, we are planning to make many improvement adaptations on our Campus with the goal of making Google Apps accessible to the entire community.

During these years of intense work, we have learned that Google Apps is a platform that can be adapted to the specific needs of each community at the UOC. The project's fundamental and non-negotiable premise is the respect for each community's diversity and unique needs and to respond to the general demand for continual adaptation and innovation as part of our DNA.