Fred & Farid Group is the first French independent Digital Creative Group based in Paris and Shanghai. Founded in 2006 by Frederic Raillard and Farid Mokart, we create digital integrated ad campaigns for global brands such as Audi, Porsche, Diesel, Société Générale, Garnier, and Mondelez. We’ve grown extremely fast and now have more than 350 employees in our Paris and Shanghai offices and have won 129 digital distinctions since 2011.
Though Fred & Farid is known for its tech-savvy campaigns spanning web, mobile, social, video and music, until recently, we used old-school business applications like Lotus Notes and Microsoft Office. When I joined in 2011, I wanted to move our company to the cloud to improve efficiency and increase collaboration between our creative, technology, and business teams in France and China. I chose to roll out Chromebooks because Chrome OS is the perfect operating system for the cloud — it’s easy to manage and maintain, makes collaboration a snap, and offers integrated security and control.
Macs are a popular choice among the creative team. But I soon realized not everyone needs a Mac, especially the 60 percent of our employees who work in office roles like marketing, sales, IT, and administration. We recently rolled out 10 Samsung Chromebooks in a small pilot and plan to have 200 employees on Chromebooks by the end of the year. Our decision to adopt Chromebooks wasn’t based solely on price — though we expect to save a significant amount compared to deploying Macs — but also a desire to have faster collaboration. When you have a Chromebook, you think less about downloading stuff to your hard drive and more about sharing information in the cloud. With Google Drive, we’re able to store, sync and share all our important files easily, whether it’s when we’re on our Chromebooks or on our phones and tablets on the go.
We use Google Hangouts for all our voice communications — we don’t even have phone lines in our offices anymore. In the Paris office alone, we conduct more than 50 Hangouts each day. Of course, we also use Drive for document sharing and Calendar for scheduling.
From an IT management perspective, Chromebooks are a dream. Using the management console, we can push apps onto employees’ devices, including some in-house collaboration apps we’ve created like the Fred & Farid Bridge, a social network where employees share photos, videos, music, and other creative ideas. In the future, when we have 200 Chromebooks, we’ll explore new ways to use the Management Console, including for security and analytics.
Chrome OS is like a blank canvas, and we can’t wait to come up with new ways to use it. I’m thinking about installing scannable tabs on meeting room doors, and when employees enter they can check in with their smartphones so the rooms show up as ‘booked’ in Google Calendar. Creativity thrives when people can freely communicate, collaborate, and share ideas. Chromebooks will help us unify employees across time zones into one collaborative team — even as the company grows at an unstoppable pace.