Google Apps Premier Edition got the stamp of approval from technology
consulting and outsourcing firm Capgemini today. It’s a big deal for
Google, industry watchers say, because corporate CIOs don’t all
trust Web-based services yet. Capgemini, however, is a trusted name.
Capgemini said it will include Google’s Web-based
applications, including Docs & Spreadsheets, Gmail, Google Calendar and
Google Talk, as a part of its Global Outsourcing desktop offering.
The product covers product procurement, installation, deployment and
management, according to a statement.
Launched in February, Google Apps Premier Edition also includes 10
gigabytes of storage per user and phone support, and it guarantees that e-mail will be available 99.9 percent of the time. Google also offers
application-level control for administrators who want to adapt
services, such as calendars or spreadsheets to business policies.
Until now, Google positioned Google Apps Premier Edition as a product for small to medium sized businesses (SMBs). But that will start to shift today, Google spokesman Emmanuel Evita
“As the first Google Enterprise Professional partner with global
expertise in the integration of collaboration solutions for large
enterprises, Capgemini is a great fit to help our larger customers
take full advantage of the power of Google Apps Premier Edition,”
Forrester Research analyst Ray Wang told InternetNews.com he
buys the hype. Capgemini will be a great fit for Google, Wang said,
because the technology consulting firm is a name corporate buyers
Wang said that one of the reasons Yahoo Enterprise failed was that it
went to the enterprise with a direct sales force, and corporate CIOs
didn’t trust a Web company with their software.
If, however, a trusted adviser such as Capgemini introduces corporate
buyers to Web-based applications, vouching for their security and
utility, “that’s a whole different game,” Wang said.
Whenever Google makes a push for the enterprise, the question always
comes up as to how much the move will impact market leader Microsoft.
Typically the answer is not much.
But this time, Wang said, Google might have found a market more ready
to migrate from Microsoft than most.
Wang said Capgemini’s strength
is in Europe, where the enterprise is more eager to try out
software-as-a-service (SaaS). According to a recent study Wang authored
for Forrester, 13 percent of European large enterprises are
“currently or planning to pilot” SaaS. In North America, that number
is only 8 percent.
And according to the study, those European businesses are looking for
what Capgemini and Google will offer. At European businesses of all
sizes using or piloting SaaS, 52 percent are using messaging, e-mail
and calendar applications similar to Google Apps Premier Edition.
In July, Google acquired security firm Postini to protect,
encrypt, archive and enforce policies for the Web applications
included in Google Apps Premier Edition.