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Microsoft prices, lack of help push one firm to Google

Sharon Gaudin, Computerworld | April 19, 2011
Global manufacturer Cinram International dumps Microsoft Exchange for Google Apps

"It's a no brainer, right?" said Murrey. "...We were spending $225 per user for Exchange and now we're getting new features and tools for a third of the price."

Cinram started a Google Apps pilot on July 1, 2010 with about 25 internal IT people. "We tried to blow it up and just didn't find any chinks in the armor," said Murrey.

After that, about 150 of the company's key business users were added for a second pilot that lasted about a month. That led to a full-bore migration to Google Apps, as Cinram went from facility by facility in North America. That was rapped up by the end of December, when the company began a migration of its European facilities that was completed by the end of February.

"Now we just have some clean-up, like distribution lists and shared contacts, calendars, etc.," said Murrey "We should be completely migrated by end of May.... The migration process has been excellent."

He added that Google Apps is costing Cinram about $700,000 a year right now. "Because we're still in the migration phase, there's all those expenses for moving data and everything. We're hoping to get that $700,000 number down to close to half a million a year."

And Cinram workers aren't just using Google Gmail. They're also now using a myriad of apps in the Google Apps tool box.

"When we did our cost calculations, it was just on email alone," said Murrey. "When you throw on all the other apps we get at the same price, that's just frosting on the cake."


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