Michael Anuzis (Relationship Manager) is responsible for providing strategic consulting for Google advertisers that target business and industrial markets. He also serves as a mentor for the Ann Arbor AdWords team, and provides advanced support for Google Analytics. Prior to Google, Michael established an entrepreneurial startup while completing his degree at the University of Michigan. His company, 2Core Inc, provided managed network security services to small and mid-sized businesses and state government. Michael, a graduate of the University of Michigan, has lived in Michigan his entire life, and is glad Google opened an office here.
Making an Impact: Google Apps for Education Can Propel Michigan’s High Tech Future
Making an impact is a common theme at Google. Through our AdWords product, which is the central focus of our Ann Arbor operations, we make an impact with customers who are seeking a measurable return on investment online. Through Google Cares and other community-centric efforts, we make an impact in the community. Finding ways to make an impact is encouraged and celebrated throughout Google.
For me, helping colleges and universities harness the power of Google’s Apps for Education is an exciting way to make a real impact. Google Apps can save schools upwards of $300,000 each year while providing students with enhanced communication and collaboration tools.
Yet, Google Apps is completely free to educational institutions, so we don’t have a large sales team actively promoting it. Reaching out to colleges and universities to raise awareness and answer questions seemed like a great way to make an impact.
The management team in Ann Arbor encouraged me to explore this opportunity and provided the resources I needed to make an impact in the educational space. I was able to connect with other Ann Arbor Googlers who shared my enthusiasm for helping educational institutions throughout Michigan, and together, we rallied around the idea of bringing Google’s Apps for Education to Michigan in a meaningful way.
The result of our collaboration and brainstorming: Several months ago, Google’s Ann Arbor office became the first to host an open house for colleges and universities to talk with them about Apps for Education. This event, organized by a team of Googlers who wanted to support the adoption of powerful online tools throughout the state, was designed to show the impact Apps for Education can have on an educational institution and provide a forum for IT professionals at various colleges and universities to share best practices.
The event was a success in so many ways. IT professionals from Michigan colleges picked our brains and learned how Google Apps tools can help students collaborate on a project, keep track of their calendars and benefit from a large e-mail storage quota.
The Google team learned about the challenges these professionals face in delivering technology to campuses throughout the state: Small IT departments make implementing any new products or services a challenge, and budgets often drive decision-making, sometimes at the expense of the opportunity to be an early adopter of technology.
Since the open house, and in preparation for our second open house that will be held in late February, with schools from around the Midwest participating. I’ve spent time following up with these colleges and reaching out to even more. To date, a number of Michigan colleges and universities, including Hope College, Aquinas College and Kalamazoo Community College, have saved money and resources with Google Apps for Education – a measurable impact we’re having on education in Michigan.
It’s fulfilling to see the results of hard work and effort and to know that educators and students are benefiting. As Google, and Googlers, continue to support these types of initiatives throughout the state, the impact of our efforts will grow. Ultimately, it’s Michigan colleges and universities that win, providing students with valuable resources through the adoption of leading edge tools.