Google shows off big enterprise wins

It's been a big month for Google in the enterprise. Not only did it just sign on its biggest Apps customer to date (30,000-seats at auto parts supplier Valeo), but it also convinced kitchen appliance maker Hamilton Beach to dump Lotus Notes/Domino in favor of Apps in the cloud. Could it be turning a corner in terms of enterprise acceptance?

In a blog post on the Valeo win, Google's Laurent Guirard explains that Valeo is making the move to Apps in order to better support its "distributed workforce of 192 business entities in 27 countries and five continents." And that's just the type of large, distributed, multinational Google needs to sign in order to give Apps some true enterprise cred.

But the more tantalizing story is Hamilton Beach's. In a Google guest blog, Hamilton Beach IT exec Louis Gray explains the company's decision to dump Lotus Notes Domino in favor of Apps. A necessary upgrade of the firm's current Notes environment would have required new investments and downtime. As Gray says:

"We were looking at old servers that would need to be replaced, all of the desktop client software requiring an upgrade, as well as training for employees on the new look and feel. We had so much e-mail, we estimated the upgrade might take more time than a three-day weekend to complete, with the email system shut down.

By moving to Apps, Hamilton Beach got all the new features it needed, including instant global access, support for different languages, nearly limitless storage and a significant speed boost--all without making any significant internal investment. And since Apps runs in the cloud, the company doesn't need to worry about future upgrades and it estimates it reduced its total cost of ownership by 60% over five years.

It's been a while since Google's been able to convince a key enterprise customer--and a household name at that--to not only make the switch to Apps but to talk about it publicly as well. And Gray is even scheduled to give a webinar on the company's migration next Wednesday, May 20, at 1pm ET.

It's good news for Google and its PR team. And it will be interesting to see if the company can capitalize on the wins and start making true inroads in the enterprise.

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