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10/23/2009
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Google Inks Jaguar Land Rover Apps Deal

The automaker has purchased 15,000 seats for Google Apps, incuding Gmail.

Google has added another big company to its list of enterprise customers: Jaguar Land Rover. The automaker has signed on for 15,000 yearly subscriptions to Google Apps.

The announcement reportedly came at a Google conference in London on Thursday. A spokesman at Google's Mountain View, Calif., headquarters confirmed the deal, but said no further details were available at this time.

Ford Motor Co. sold Jaguar and Land Rover to India-based Tata Motors for $2.3 billion in 2008. Jaguar Land Rover is based in Conventry, United Kingdom.

Hamilton Beach, Fairchild Semiconductor, Genentech, and Johnson Diversey are among the large companies that have purchased thousands of seats for the Google Apps productivity suite. Among these large wins, CIOs seem primarily interested in Gmail, as an alternative to upgrading their aging, on-premises implementations of IBM Lotus Notes or Microsoft Exchange.

CIOs cite low cost (priced at $50 per seat, per year), low maintenance, and quick implementation as top factors in their choice of Google Apps. Johnson Diversey, a $3.4 billion-a-year manufacturer of commercial cleaning products, went live with Gmail for 12,000 employees, located in 70 countries, on a single day last May. Gmail replaced both Notes and Exchange platforms at the company.

Despite these wins, Google's enterprise customer roster for its fledgling Apps business remains tiny compared with Microsoft Office or IBM Lotus Notes. In general, large-business interest in the documents, presentations, and spreadsheet apps in the suite is more experimental, and often used as a complement to Microsoft Office.

Johnson Diversey's primary desktop app suite remains Microsoft Office, said CIO Brent Hoag in a recent interview.

Other than Gmail, use of Google Apps is "informal," Hoag said, and the company has also stuck with Lotus QuickPlace for its official document storage platform rather than Google Sites, although "we've used them both [Apps and Sites] extensively and they've increased productivity." Still, Hoag said, their functionality is limited compared with Office and QuickPlace.


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