Google Apps has been on something of a roll lately, sealing deals with a number of American universities and businesses. But it seems to have achieved success on a grander scale in Australia, where two very large companies today announced plans to "go Google."
We'll give you the official description of both businesses in case you're not familiar with Australia's corporate landscape. A post on the Official Google Australia Blog explained, "Flight Centre is Australasia's largest travel agency group with more than 2,000 shops and businesses in 11 countries." And "Ray White manages over $30 billion worth of real estate sales across Australia, New Zealand and Asia, writing $6 billion in home loans each year."
As for how Google Apps enters the equation, Flight Centre is looking to the software mostly for email, and expects to decrease its email costs by about 30 percent thanks to the switch. Ray White, meanwhile, wants to give its employees and customers "standardised communication and collaboration platform," and has also created "a dedicated rental property management system" on the Google App Engine platform.
These developments count as major wins for Google, in any event. They represent losses for Microsoft, too, since both organizations previously made use of Outlook Exchange.
Looking forward, it should be interesting to see if Google's able to press this advantage. Other organizations may be eager to follow the lead of Flight Centre and Ray White, after all (at least after making sure nothing goes wrong during the transition process).
We'll of course be sure to report any significant updates.