Google has signed Jaguar Land Rover for its Apps collaboration and productivity suite.
“The vehicle maker has taken out a licence for 15,000 seats, adding another name brand to Google's roster of big paid-for wins yet, alongside those of Rentokil University of Westminster, Valeo and others.
“More importantly perhaps, the deal will act as another showcase for Google as it attempts to wrest Microsoft's stranglehold on email, collaboration and productivity.
Jaguar Land Rover CIO Jeremy Vincent said, "Six or seven months ago I didn't know what cloud computing was but I was invited to speak at a conference on it so I thought I had better learn.
“I did and it fundamentally changed my attitude to IT and I started to preach the gospel wherever I could. I've been recruited on a change agenda and needed something to raise my flag.
“If you do the same as everyone else don't expect to be better than anybody else. [Cost] enabled me to get the approval process signed off quickly but in the future it will give us access to a commodity solution across the workforce."
The agreement was announced at Google's Atmosphere conference in London today, aimed at convincing the business world that the search giant is now a force to be reckoned with in enterprise IT as more firms move to services delivered over the internet.
The conference pulled in an impressive speaker line-up including business author Nicholas Carr, Amazon.com's Werner Vogels and Salesforce.com CEO Marc Benioff.
They all align themselves with Google's message that the cloud provides a more efficient, flexible way to deliver services than corporate datacentres with their characteristic complexity, high capital expenditure charges and cost of administration.
"The cloud is something new in the world but it has precedence and there are many things that don't change even as technology changes," said Carr, author of The Big Switch and IT Doesn't Matter, who compared the movement to cloud computing to the way electrical power moved from private supply to central utilities.
"We're coming in to a new era of IT that will free up some of that capital companies are putting into IT."