Following a successful 100-day trial with 800 users, Rentokil Initial is deploying Google Apps Premier Edition globally to “up to 35,000 colleagues” by the end of 2010, in what the press release says is the:
Largest deployment of Google Apps™ Premier Edition to replace multiple email systems with a standard global email solution … The new platform will provide a single web-based communication and collaboration suite to replace the Group’s existing 180 email domains and 40 mail systems across its six operating divisions.
Note that the focus is on email, though the release also talks about “communication and collaboration”, including Google chat and video and shared calendars.
Rentokil is keen on the translation service which Google offers:
…the frustrations of not having access to a single company-wide email address database will disappear and the translation difficulties faced by those colleagues wanting to collaborate with others around the world will be lessened
says CIO Bryan Kinsella.
There is no mention of word processing, spreadsheets or presentation graphics in the release, suggesting that a wholesale move to Google for documents is not currently envisaged. That said, I suspect that once an organization signs up for email and collaboration services, they will end up using other parts of the platform as well.
Google’s progress in the Enterprise is interesting to watch. If it successful, it will have a profound impact on the IT industry, and there will be less work for all those support organizations that spend their time keeping Microsoft systems up and running.