General Motors Chooses Google Apps over Microsoft Office 365

Google has reportedly inked an agreement to provide General Motors Corp. with the Google Apps cloud-based e-mail and collaboration suite for more than 100,000 employees.

According to a report in The Wall Street Journal Friday, Google has to meet certain requirements before the auto-maker ultimately decides to deploy Google Apps, which would displace an in-house version of IBM's Lotus Notes collaboration and e-mail software.

GM didn't confirm or deny that it is considering Google Apps. "GM's IT organization explores technology capabilities of various developers all the time -- we have to do that in order to be on the leading edge of workplace technology. GM has not made a decision to deploy Google Apps," a company spokesman said in an e-mail.

If GM were to deploy Google Apps enterprise-wide, it would be a major coup for Google, which has yet to publically clinch such a major deployment. Likewise it would be a blow to Microsoft, which is trying to gain traction with its own offering, Office 365, launched earlier this year. Both Google and Microsoft have competed vigorously for cloud messaging and collaboration wins a battle that has been heated.

A major win by Google would be welcome by the company, which has announced few large Google Apps deals to date. One of its marquee wins, the $7.2 million City of Los Angeles contract, was signed nearly two years ago, but it still hasn't been completely rolled out to LA's 30,000 employees. The lead contractor CSC has completed the deployment of 17,000 seats, while some agencies have held off on the rollout saying it doesn't meet security requirements, a claim Google refuted.

Google claims it has over 4 million Google Apps customers but the company does not break out how many run the fee-based offering verses the free service. Google recently received an endorsement from Gartner, which put out a report stating that Google Apps is now suitable for enterprise deployment.

Cloud e-mail only accounts for 3 to 4 percent of the overall enterprise e-mail installed base, according to Gartner, which is forecasting it will account for 20 percent by 2016 and 55 percent by 2020.


About the Author

Jeffrey Schwartz is editor of Redmond magazine and also covers cloud computing for Virtualization Review's Cloud Report. In addition, he writes the Channeling the Cloud column for Redmond Channel Partner. Follow him on Twitter @JeffreySchwartz.

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Reader Comments:

Mon, Jan 9, 2012

@ Johnson - It is not hard to find the same comments -- almost word for word identical and all critical of msft while finding some way to espouse msft conspiracy theories -- at the end of several stories on the gm/google apps potential deal. Seriously, I am a GM employee who agrees with the other poster, 365 would be more suitable for us considering we already use Office Professional anyways and realistically only need to add a good email program. People here would have had a much easier time switching to outlook rather than Google. But, I am no slappy, I see potential for Google Apps as well, especially its Groups function. Either way I and many, many others are extremely happy to see Notes going bye-ye.

Tue, Nov 8, 2011

Regarding GM who rcvd bailout money from the US, take a look at this USATODAY article titled: 'GM deal moves electric car development to China', here's an excerpt: "It effectively moves GM's future electric vehicle development to China".

Tue, Nov 8, 2011

I find that these decisions are often made by people who: a) don't understand the technology or what they need, but THINK they do, and b) make choices based on their personal prefs rather than what their business actually needs. I really find it hard to justify Google apps over Office 365 for most enterprise purposes. But hey, MSFT is fighting a verb here and the subconscious marketing it brings with it.

Mon, Nov 7, 2011 johnson New York

It is not hard to find the same comments -- almost word for word identical and all critical of google while finding some way to praise msft -- at the end of several stories on the gm/google apps potential deal. It is interesting to see how active the MSFT pr machine is on this story...can only imagine the number of consultants and consulting firms layered here to provide cover. Inappropriate and deceptive activity but there are plenty of firms who can be hired to do this kind of work...unseemly as it is.

Sat, Nov 5, 2011 Agile_IT San Diego

Given that GM still was on Lotus Notes, this isn't surprising given their former mindshare of not using Microsoft Messaging tools as 70%+ of businesses do. Shouldn't this be focusing on the loss to IBM/Notes and not Microsoft? Heck, I would pick Google Apps over Notes for email. GM also just deployed 85,000 copies of Windows it looks like Microsoft Office and Windows will be sticking around at GM for the near future. Hope their migration works out better than the previous Google Apps "poster child" City of LA, whom wants a refund (Google "Los Angeles Google Refund")

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