The Google email and calendaring system, which is hosted and managed by Google, replaces an old HP OpenMail legacy system. Key to the decision was providing services to its geographically disparate 1,800 strong workforce and the fact that the company already had a good relationship with Google built up from using its Search Appliance tool.
We were previously running HP OpenMail and that was a server-centric solution with Microsoft Outlook as the end client, but there was no real mobility or scalability. We languished on that platform for a couple of years and then mid-2007 we approved a set of requirements, said Rob Ramsay, director of IT at Taylor Woodrow. As an organisation we were very distributed, and we had mobility issues, with contractors and stakeholders who were not employees in need of email access.
Ramsay looked at three different scenarios to solve its email requirements: a traditional client server approach which could be priced up very easily, externally hosted through a large provider, or a totally different approach offered by Google.
Cost was a motivator – the company is saving £1m on infrastructure and support costs, but ease of use and simplicity were also key. The firm’s anti-virus, mail management and content filtering had previously been on disparate sources, which was costly to manage, but the Google service will streamline security. Having archiving included in the service is another bonus, said Ramsay.