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 Good Gear Guide newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags Microsoft exchangemicrosoft outlookGoogleMicrosoftGoogle Apps

Our Back to Business guide highlights the best products for you to boost your productivity at home, on the road, at the office, or in the classroom.

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

Sharon Gaudin

Computerworld
Show Comments

Essentials

Lexar® JumpDrive® S57 USB 3.0 flash drive

Learn more >

Microsoft L5V-00027 Sculpt Ergonomic Keyboard Desktop

Learn more >

Mobile

Lexar® JumpDrive® S45 USB 3.0 flash drive 

Learn more >

Exec

Lexar® Professional 1800x microSDHC™/microSDXC™ UHS-II cards 

Learn more >

Lexar® JumpDrive® C20c USB Type-C flash drive 

Learn more >

Audio-Technica ATH-ANC70 Noise Cancelling Headphones

Learn more >

HD Pan/Tilt Wi-Fi Camera with Night Vision NC450

Learn more >

Budget

Back To Business Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Azadeh Williams

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.

Andrew Grant

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.

Ed Dawson

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS 13

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Aysha Strobbe

Windows 10 / HP Spectre x360

Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!

Mark Escubio

Windows 10 / Lenovo Yoga 910

For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?