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November 1, 2010

Ocado takes delivery of cloud apps from Google

Online retailer signs up for Talk, Docs, Sites, Video and Gmail

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Online grocery retailer Ocado has signed a deal with Google to join the growing number of companies using its Apps suite.

Ocado, which delivers groceries from Waitrose, will use Google Talk, Docs, Sites and Video as it looks to enable remote working, improve productivity and boost internal communication, the company said. 1,250 workers will sign up for the Apps for Business suite, enabling them to access their emails, documents, calendar and other internal information from any computer with an Internet connection.

They will use Google Sites to develop a dedicated branded landing page for staff, which will give the marketing team the opportunity to produce internal announcements via Google Video. Staff will also be using Gmail with a 25GB storage capacity. Ocado says this will reduce the chances of workers hitting their message limits.

Ocado hopes that moving to the cloud will provide it with a reduction in IT costs by decreasing server, back-up space, support and maintenance needs. "At Ocado we aren’t afraid to challenge conventions and do things differently. Part of this is keeping a close eye on the latest cutting-edge technology to hone our efficient delivery model and ensure we can continue to provide our customers with the best possible service," said Jon Rudoe, head of retail at Ocado.

Ocado will also use the Postini Message Security feature included in Google Apps to replace its legacy spam filter system.

The phased roll out will be completed by early next month.

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"For companies like Ocado with a large number of mobile workers, and where speed is of the essence, the ability to access and share information whenever and wherever they need can be of huge benefit," added Robert Whiteside, head of Google Enterprise for UK, Ireland and Benelux.

Ocado joins an increasing number of companies in using Google’s cloud-based Apps suite. Food retailer Ahold recently announced that 55,000 of its employees will switch to Google Apps Premier Edition, while Italian fashion house Roberto Cavalli is making the switch to Google Apps in a phased migration for 500 users.

Support services firm Rentokil Initial moved 35,000 workers to Google Apps last year, joining The Telegraph Media Group and Guardian News and Media Group in the cloud. Most recently Google agreed a deal with airline Virgin America, with 1,700 employees switching to Google Calendar, Docs, Talk and Gmail.

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