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?

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22 Responses to Could Gmail Become a Corporate Solution?

  1. I would; ours is off-site host already, and the larger storage would be a boon to the users. Not to mention the ease of use.

    One thing to ponder, can we keep out @blah.com addressing?

    That might be the only hurdle to keep us from going Google.

    • You definitely can. All my e-mail — work and personal — goes through a Gmail account that no one ever sees. They've made it incredibly easy now to manage accounts from multiple domain names in a single Gmail configuration. I have at least five different addresses that I use through mine.

  2. I would; ours is off-site host already, and the larger storage would be a boon to the users. Not to mention the ease of use.

    One thing to ponder, can we keep out @blah.com addressing?

    That might be the only hurdle to keep us from going Google.

    • You definitely can. All my e-mail — work and personal — goes through a Gmail account that no one ever sees. They’ve made it incredibly easy now to manage accounts from multiple domain names in a single Gmail configuration. I have at least five different addresses that I use through mine.

  3. I live in Outlook at work, but do much of my personal email in Gmail after hours. I could make the move if Gmail offered a few of the organizational features that I'm accustomed to – folders are a biggie on my wish list.

    • For what it's worth, I personally use both Gmail and Outlook myself. I have my Outlook set up to be synchronized with my Gmail account via IMAP, so I manage my mail there from my primary computer and have things organized the way I like. If I'm working remotely, though, I can easily access everything through the Gmail web interface, too. A bit of an involved setup, admittedly, but it works great for what I need.

  4. I live in Outlook at work, but do much of my personal email in Gmail after hours. I could make the move if Gmail offered a few of the organizational features that I’m accustomed to – folders are a biggie on my wish list.

    • For what it’s worth, I personally use both Gmail and Outlook myself. I have my Outlook set up to be synchronized with my Gmail account via IMAP, so I manage my mail there from my primary computer and have things organized the way I like. If I’m working remotely, though, I can easily access everything through the Gmail web interface, too. A bit of an involved setup, admittedly, but it works great for what I need.

  5. I also heard that Penske, the truck leasing major, is also slowly moving to Gmail's corporate solutions by phasing out Outlook…!

  6. I also heard that Penske, the truck leasing major, is also slowly moving to Gmail’s corporate solutions by phasing out Outlook…!

  7. Folders…Folders…Folders…

    I am a gmail user and Outlook at work. I have heard all the talk from Google how their "tagging" is superior, doesn't matter, no one at work will accept it. We have tried. They need the folder paradigm to get in at work.

    If they had folders, it would all be over except for the switch!!!

    • Not sure why they don't think that Labels are any good … I'm in the process of switching our school here in New Zealand over to Gmail, and everyone's loving it so far. If messages are "Archived" so they're not in the Inbox, the labels work exactly like folders.

  8. Folders…Folders…Folders…

    I am a gmail user and Outlook at work. I have heard all the talk from Google how their “tagging” is superior, doesn’t matter, no one at work will accept it. We have tried. They need the folder paradigm to get in at work.

    If they had folders, it would all be over except for the switch!!!

    • Not sure why they don’t think that Labels are any good … I’m in the process of switching our school here in New Zealand over to Gmail, and everyone’s loving it so far. If messages are “Archived” so they’re not in the Inbox, the labels work exactly like folders.

  9. What about the whole Sarbanes Oxley can-o-worms? Our company is taking the exact opposite tactic, supposedly for compliance reasons. Soon, we will not be able to save any emails to PST files, and emails on the server will be deleted automatically according to a set schedule.

  10. What about the whole Sarbanes Oxley can-o-worms? Our company is taking the exact opposite tactic, supposedly for compliance reasons. Soon, we will not be able to save any emails to PST files, and emails on the server will be deleted automatically according to a set schedule.

  11. what about confidentiality ?

    Will companies accept to deliver (almost) all their information to Google ?

    I think companies won't neglect this point when evaluating e-mail solutions.

  12. what about confidentiality ?

    Will companies accept to deliver (almost) all their information to Google ?

    I think companies won’t neglect this point when evaluating e-mail solutions.

  13. I am already using Gmail for office correspondence. There seems to be some problem with my Outlook and I am much more comfortable with Gmail.

  14. I am already using Gmail for office correspondence. There seems to be some problem with my Outlook and I am much more comfortable with Gmail.