Google looks to woo enterprise, sock it to Microsoft

New synch software can use Microsoft Outlook, then store data in Google's cloud

In another move by Google Inc. to woo enterprises to its hosted software, the company today unveiled Google Apps Synch for Microsoft Outlook.

Synch for Outlook is designed to let people use Microsoft Outlook, the software vendor's popular e-mail, calendar and contacts software, and then store the data in the Google Apps cloud infrastructure. It's set up to enable e-mail, calendar and contacts synchronization. Users, for example, can schedule meetings with coworkers, whether they use Google's calendar or Outlook's.

"It eliminates the last hurdle in letting go of Exchange," said Bob Rudy, vice president and CIO of Avago, a Google Apps customer. "The people we've had using it are loving it. They find it exactly the same as Exchange."

Just last month, Google unveiled the Google Apps Connector for BlackBerry Enterprise Server in another move to make its hosted applications more attractive to business users. That tool is designed to make it easier for BlackBerry users to access hosted Google applications like Gmail, Google Calendar and Contacts.

During a press briefing today, Google product manager Chris Vander Way said the decision to support Outlook is not an indication that Google is cutting back on its efforts to lure enterprise users over to its own e-mail offering - Gmail.

"Many business users prefer Gmail's interface and features to products they've used in the past," said Eric Orth, a software engineer on the Google Apps team, in a blog post today. "But sometimes there are people who just love Outlook. [The new software] enables Outlook users to connect to Google Apps for business e-mail, contacts and calendar. And they can always use Gmail's web interface to access their information when they're not on their work computer."

Dave Girouard, who leads Google's enterprise group, said during the press conference that the company is trying to make it easier for enterprises to adopt Google Apps, and to let users switch to its software at their own pace.

Dan Olds, principal analyst with the Gabriel Consulting Group, called Google's latest move a smart one. "The ability to work with Outlook gives Google a crucial feature that will open up a much larger market to them," he added. "Many of the customers they would like to capture are currently using Outlook and are not wild about adding yet another tool to their belt. However, being able to use Google Apps with Outlook integration might make a difference to them."

The product is available immediately as part of the existing Premier version of Google Apps, which costs US$50 per user per year. It's available to educational and nonprofit customers for free.

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags MicrosoftGoogleMicrosoft exchangeGoogle Appsmicrosoft outlook

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.
Sharon Gaudin

Sharon Gaudin

Computerworld
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Tom Pope

Dynabook Portégé X30L-G

Ultimately this laptop has achieved everything I would hope for in a laptop for work, while fitting that into a form factor and weight that is remarkable.

Tom Sellers

MSI P65

This smart laptop was enjoyable to use and great to work on – creating content was super simple.

Lolita Wang

MSI GT76

It really doesn’t get more “gaming laptop” than this.

Jack Jeffries

MSI GS75

As the Maserati or BMW of laptops, it would fit perfectly in the hands of a professional needing firepower under the hood, sophistication and class on the surface, and gaming prowess (sports mode if you will) in between.

Taylor Carr

MSI PS63

The MSI PS63 is an amazing laptop and I would definitely consider buying one in the future.

Christopher Low

Brother RJ-4230B

This small mobile printer is exactly what I need for invoicing and other jobs such as sending fellow tradesman details or step-by-step instructions that I can easily print off from my phone or the Web.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?