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Google Eyes the Enterprise Market

Google Eyes the Enterprise Market

The search giant is showing signs of making progress in the enterprise as it targets Microsoft’s cash cows of Office and Exchange

Rapid migration

Speed of change is also critical, with many adopters taking just a few months to move to the new system.

"We went through due diligence but we did it very fast," says Leeds Metropolitan's Colledge. "We started thinking about it in December 2007, made a decision in January to pilot Apps and in February we signed up volume numbers of students who wanted to take that forward. We had 3000 students signed up and students were very positive about the benefits."

Having flexibility is also attractive, with TMG's Cheesbrough saying that using Google's Postini online backup system means that, if necessary, another supplier could be swapped in.

Ubiquitous access is one of the most attractive reasons for using web-based systems of any kind. "We have embedded teams within clients, we sponsor over 100 students and we have major projects such as Heath-row and the Docklands Light Railway," says Taylor Woodrow's Ramsay. "Gone are the days where people work on a site nine to five, five days a week. The model of communicating has changed and we were keen to move into a situation where mail was accessible from anywhere."

LMU's Colledge stresses the global possibilities afforded by using an anytime, any place, anywhere service like Google Apps.

"It was important that we served students in Leeds but also provided access all over the world because we have students in Zambia, Hong Kong and even Alaska. We open up our library all day, every day, so students can come in any day, even Christmas Day, and we wanted the same from Google," she says.

"The other thing important to us was brand association. We felt this was a global brand used by students and we wanted to be associated with this. We can keep the Leeds brand [on Google Apps] and give our students email for life."

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