Connected Workspaces

HubSpot embraces top tech tools like Google Apps to meet employee demand

Editor's note: Today’s guest blog comes from Jim O’Neill, Chief People Officer at HubSpot, the world’s leading inbound marketing and sales platform.


As a fast-growing SaaS company providing the world’s leading inbound marketing and sales platform, top technology solutions aren’t just a bonus at HubSpot; they’re an expectation. We aim to hire savvy employees who expect the benefits of modern, efficient tools for better collaboration and mobility. Our dynamic workforce appreciates the latest technologies, and as a business we need to stay up to speed. The relationship between people and technology is especially important to me as HubSpot’s chief people officer and former chief information officer; I’m particularly focused on how our people are adopting new technology.

We switched from Microsoft Exchange to Google Apps in 2010 when the cloud was still more of an idea than a reality for most businesses. We loved that Apps allowed us to work from anywhere and that many of our employees already loved using tools like Gmail and Google Docs. Plus, our costs are now more than three times less per user, per year, using Google Apps.

Apps eliminated worries about system maintenance and upgrades, while offering us the storage space we needed. For example, our co-founder and CTO Dharmesh Shah stores more than 20GB of data in his inbox alone.

Five years after going Google, employee adoption continues to drive our technology decisions. We observe the products that are gaining traction among our team and standardize on the ones that reach critical mass. We also collect feedback about our team’s technology preferences and usage.

In addition to Apps, we’ve also seen the growing popularity of other tools, like messaging platform Slack. A huge benefit of these types of products (similarly to Apps) is that they require little or no IT maintenance. We can measure this by the number of IT tickets we receive, which dropped from dozens regarding things like syncing issues and PST file corruption to nearly none as a result of using easy-to-manage, cloud-based tools like Apps.

In addition, we’ve integrated Chromeboxes and Hangouts into daily life at HubSpot. Nearly half of our conference rooms are equipped with Chromeboxes, and nine times out of 10 our employees request this set-up over proprietary third-party hardware that is historically quite expensive when compared to Chromebox. As an employee preference and more than 4x cost saver, Chromebox is an ideal solution for on-the-spot or routine team meetings. People love the flexibility to stay connected with their teams, whether through ad hoc chats or planned meetings. We even have a team member named Jordan who is based in Alabama and connects through video Hangout almost all day, every day. We also use Hangouts on mobile to chat on the go. When you’re constantly in transit, like I am, the mobile experience is key.

HubSpot is focused on creating a leading technology platform, and the products we use should reflect this goal. The future of work involves tools that are available on the public Internet — legacy systems with VPNs and private networks require more IT maintenance and cause friction, which just doesn’t cut it for us. We’re constantly prioritizing how we can offer our employees the latest and greatest tech, and Google plays a major role in helping us achieve this.