Google Apps scored some enterprise street cred on Monday by announcing a huge customer: Whirlpool.
Whirlpool has 68,000 employees and 66 facilities around the world who will standardize on Apps, Google's cloud email and office productivity suite. Whirlpool did not ditch Microsoft Exchange or Office for Google. It was using IBM's Lotus Notes, its CIO Michael Heim told the Wall Street Journal.
Even so, Whirlpool is a feather in Google's cap for its sheer size and name recognition. Some 5 million businesses are using Google Apps, Google claims. The majority are small to mid-sized businesses.
Meanwhile, Microsoft has been crowing that its competitor to Apps, Office 365, the cloud version of its Microsoft Office apps, is the "fastest growing product" in company history on track to generate $1.5 billion worth of revenue on annual basis. It says it convinced 430 customers to come back to Microsoft after trying Google Apps.
Microsoft has also been snagging some giant contracts for Office 365 including a 100,000-employee deal with State of Texas early this year, a 600,000-seat contract with the Department of Veterans and a 200,000-seat contract with Toyota last year.
Toyota told Business Insider that it looked at Google Apps, but ultimately decided against Google largely because Google's enterprise sales team wasn't set up to deal with the complicated sales process of a huge multinational company. We heard a similar story from another enterprise earlier this year.
We've predicted that such a situation wouldn't last long because Google has been madly hiring enterprise sales folks for months.
Now, with Whirlpool, Google Apps might have all the pieces in place to serve large enterprises. That's got to be making Microsoft really nervous.
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