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

Computerworld
Show Comments

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Emily Tyson

MSI GE63 Raider

If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.

Laura Johnston

MSI GS65 Stealth Thin

If you can afford the price tag, it is well worth the money. It out performs any other laptop I have tried for gaming, and the transportable design and incredible display also make it ideal for work.

Andrew Teoh

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

Touch screen visibility and operation was great and easy to navigate. Each menu and sub-menu was in an understandable order and category

Louise Coady

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

The printer was convenient, produced clear and vibrant images and was very easy to use

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Walid Mikhael

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

It’s easy to set up, it’s compact and quiet when printing and to top if off, the print quality is excellent. This is hands down the best printer I’ve used for printing labels.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?