Could Gmail Become a Corporate Solution?

By JR Raphael
Contributing Writer, [GAS]

Gmail is taking new steps toward becoming a large-scale client solution. In what’s billed as one of the world’s largest Gmail rollouts ever conducted, an Australian school system is dumping its Outlook setup in lieu of a completely Gmail-based e-mail system for its 1.3 million students.

The transition — occurring at the New South Wales Department of Education and Training — is part of a three-year deal inked with Google and Australian communications company Telstra. The deal is worth $9.5 million and will move students from a 35MB mailbox limit to Gmail’s generous 6GB storage space.

Perhaps more significant, though, is the potential the move shows for Gmail to move into the Microsoft-dominated corporate environment. Another Australian school — Macquarie University — shifted its 68,000 students and graduates onto Gmail last year. Whether more universities and big businesses will eventually follow suit may be the true test of the platform’s reach.

So, cast your vote: In a theoretical corporate democracy, would you choose Gmail over your company’s current e-mail system? What do you think it’d take for your business to actually make the leap?