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Hillingdon Council heads to the cloud with Google Apps

London council hopes for £3m savings in four years with SaaS platform

By Steve Evans

Hillingdon Council in London has announced that it will be moving to Google Apps for Business in a move that it hopes will save millions of pounds over the next few years.

Starting early next year, the Council’s 3,500 staff will start using Google’s cloud-based platform, which will include email, calendar, documents, word processing, instant messaging and voice and videoconferencing, according to the Guardian’s Government Computing network site.

The Council claims it is the first organisation of its kind to head to the cloud with Google and estimates that it will save £2.8m over the next four years thanks to reduced PC maintenance costs as well as reduced spend on servers and storage space.

The council also said the move should help it improve collaboration and productivity because workers will be able to access documents wherever they are.

"Going with Google makes the most sense for Hillingdon economically and it will enable us to realise the tremendous opportunities afforded by cloud computing," said Cllr Jonathan Bianco.

"Doing this means we’re ahead of the curve in anticipating the changes in technology over the coming years. It also means we’ll have more opportunities to look at how we communicate with local residents and organisations in the Borough, such as remote working. Simply, it makes both financial and business transformational sense to make the change," he added.

The Council worked with reseller Cloudreach on the deal, it says.

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Google Apps for Business has seen a steady rise in adoption over the last few years, with customers such as Motorola, The Telegraph and the Guardian, Specsavers and salesforce.com going cloud-based with the search giant.

In January 2011 the company promised no more planned downtime for Apps as it tried to strengthen its appeal to the enterprise market.

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