Google is making it easier for businesses to switch to its Apps for Business productivity suite from Microsoft’s Exchange and Office 365 services. The company today added a new migration tool to the Apps admin console that makes bringing over employees’ contacts as easy as filling out a form, according to its blog post.
In an announcement shared on Google’s Enterprise blog by Boston’s chief information officer, the city has announced it will officially migrate some 76,000 city employees, police officers, teachers, and students to using Google Apps and email services from a variety of alternative systems including Microsoft Exchange.
The Boston official noted the city’s success in adopting Google Apps, particularly for boston.gov email addresses for every city official, due to the minimal effort in maintaining the system thanks to Google’s existing and scaling infrastructure. Read more
Google has been signing up a lot of Google Apps for Government customers over the last year, including Colorado and the US Naval Academy, and today The Boston Globe reports that Boston is soon making the switch from Microsoft to a Google Apps environment for city employees.
As noted in the report, Boston was previously relying on Microsoft’s Exchange for much of its tasks and making the switch to Google will save the city around $280,000 a year:
It’s not just the gee whiz factor: It’s also a matter of money. It will cost Boston around $800,000 to move over to Gmail, Google Docs for word processing, and Google’s cloud service for storing documents. But by dropping some Microsoft products, the city government will save at least $280,000 a year.
Microsoft responded to the decision in a statement to the Boston Globe, claiming, “Google’s investments in these areas are inadequate, and they lack the proper protections most organizations require.” Read more
Google announced on its official blog today that it would do some “winter cleaning” by discontinuing a number of services in the near future. Among the services shutting down as of Jan. 30 is Google Sync, which allowed users to get access to Gmail, Calendar, and Contacts using the Microsoft Exchange ActiveSync protocol. As an alternative, Google recommended IMAP for mail and the recently launched CardDAV and CalDAV protocols. Google also confirmed it would continue offering the service to existing consumers and Google Apps for Business, Government, and Education customers.
Google also said it would shut down some of its less-popular Calendar features starting Jan. 4:
You’ll be unable to create new reservable times on your Calendar through Appointment slots, but existing Appointment slots will continue working for one year. In addition, we’ll discontinue two Calendar Labs—Smart Rescheduler (we recommend Find a time view or Suggested times as alternatives) and Add gadget by URL. Finally, Check your calendar via smsand Create event via sms (GVENT)—U.S.-only features for creating and checking meetings by texting information to Google—will be discontinued today, as most users prefer mobile Calendar apps.
Another victim of the winter cleaning is the Punchd app for Android and iOS that will officially shut down on June 7, 2013. At that time, retailers will no longer accept the service’s loyalty cards. Google’s full list of apps and features on the way out is below: Read more