One of the latest organisations to benefit from Google Maps Business View ( Now renamed by Google Street View Trusted ) and Striking Faces expertise is the RSPCA. Learn how this well-established Charity that turns 190 this year is keeping ahead of the game by using the latest technology from Google to enhance its work and save thousands of pounds every year.
Alan Moynihan is the Solutions Exploitation Manager for the RSPCA, the forward-thinking man behind getting the charity involved in using Google Maps Business View. The journey began for them two years ago when his role was created, triggered by their move to Google Apps.
“My role means that I work with all areas of the business with a team of applications consultants, to help the RSPCA get the best out of the technology we deploy to our team,” Alan explains. “This includes using Google Apps, from Gmail, calendar, drive and now more recently to looking at some of the bigger stuff. Last year we signed up for Google for Non-Profits. That means we get Google Apps. for free – it’s saving the society thousands of pounds a year.”
The RSPCA now deploy Google Apps. to their 500 inspectors and have provided them with android-based smartphones. “They have gone live this week and we have some really exciting projects in the pipeline that will enable the society to move forward.
And what of the “bigger stuff” you may ask? Well this has involved looking at maps, maps engine and Google search,
“then there are the interactive virtual tours, which is where Striking Faces comes in”
After seeing some impressive online Google Maps Business View tours of other prominent organisations, Alan realised that the RSPCA could really benefit from something similar.
Crucially for the RSPCA it is just not appropriate to have the public walking around all areas of their centres for a variety of reasons. Most obvious is that the noise and disturbance can upset the animals, along with security and sometimes legal issues. Introducing Google Maps Business View means that, for the first time, the public can really get to see for themselves what is going on behind the scenes at the Centres and feel more actively involved in the charity they are supporting.
“We had just finished our flagship Birmingham Animal Centre Hospital, and putting two and two together I thought, wouldn’t it be good if we could help people look around increasing awareness and transparency”.
Alan contacted Striking Faces and after an initial site visit, the Google Maps Business View experts were able to advise on the various possibilities open to the RSPCA. Through a series of meetings Striking Faces outlined what would work best for the RSPCA as an organisation. For example, on the same campus as the Veterinary Hospital, there is a Training Centre housed in a separate building. Striking Faces suggested this should have its own Google Place Page also with Google Maps Business View in order to maximise marketing the various facilities available to external audiences.
“We hope to exploit the Training Centre commercially in the future for school visits, corporate away days, tours etc., and to hopefully get some income out of it. People can now take a virtual tour, look around and get a feel for the facility and its suitability for their requirements”
Striking Faces worked with the management team at the RSPCA to accommodate and plan for any concerns, remembering this is a state-of-the-art working hospital with a multitude of animals, drugs and legal sensitivities.
Explore the Animal Hospital below
Striking Faces spent two days mapping the Rehoming Centre, The Veterinary Hospital and the Training facilities, and using their mobile office were able to edit content overnight such that it could be reviewed by the RSPCA management team the following day to ensure all sensitivities were covered.
“Striking Faces were able to take our original idea and guide us through the project in an efficient and comprehensive manner. They were excellent at identifying how to maximise Google Maps Business View for the specific needs of The Centre and more broadly speaking the RSPCA as a whole.”
Google Maps Business View has already had an impact, and the Virtual Tour has had an impressive 307k unique views since February 2014. Alan is in no doubt about the positive effect.
“I think for me, looking around inside the Veterinary Hospital, it clearly reveals the breadth and depth of the work that is being done there.”
So far the feedback from the Birmingham Centre has been extremely positive.
“The Centres love it.”
For Alan though, this is just the beginning. He is keenly interested in how technology transforms and opens up opportunities for charities in challenging times.
So what does the future hold for the RSPCA? How does Alan see it developing and growing from the advantages of Google Maps Business View?
“There are many more stories to tell. We would love to be able to show other facilities unavailable to the public, the real details of exciting things going on that people don’t get to see right now”
“Google Maps Business View enables us to show the breadth of our operation, our facilities and some of the intricacies of what we do in a way that has never been realistically possible before.”
Striking Faces is a leading provider of Google Maps Business View / Street View Trusted in the UK. Striking Faces has been busy developing and providing this service since its inception and today its clients include Kwik-Fit, BBC, Thompson Holidays, RSPCA, Rackspace, Traid and many hundreds of smaller organisations.
(1 April 2014)