Roche to move 90,000 employees to Google Apps

It will be the second-largest Apps deployment to date

Health care and pharmaceutical company Roche Group will standardize its email and calendaring system on Google Apps for about 90,000 employees worldwide, the companies announced on Thursday.

Roche has had two different email and calendaring platforms for the past two and a half years, a situation that has created "interoperability issues" that have harmed collaboration, according to a blog post from Roche's CFO and CIO Dr. Alan Hippe.

This will be the second-largest Google Apps deployment to date, after the also recently announced plan by Spain's Banco Bilbao Vizcaya to roll out the Google suite to its 110,000 employees globally.

Roche expects that the cloud-based model of Apps will improve collaboration among employees as well as reduce the cost and complexity of maintaining software and hardware on the company's premises.

"Employees will be able to access their email and documents from any web-enabled device, without using remote access systems such as VPN. This will make it easier for employees to work from home or on the go and it will reduce the strain on our IT support teams," Hippe wrote.

The blog post doesn't say what other email and calendaring platform Roche has been using. A Google spokesman said via email that neither Google nor Roche are disclosing the platform that is being discarded.

Juan Carlos Perez covers enterprise communication/collaboration suites, operating systems, browsers and general technology breaking news for The IDG News Service. Follow Juan on Twitter at @JuanCPerezIDG.

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