Going Google

Diversey Inc., a chemical cleaning company in Sturtevant, Wis., has moved its 10,500 users to Gmail.

The company is highly dispersed, with a presence in 175 countries and physical buildings in 50 countries. Before switching to the cloud, its e-mail servers were just as diverse as the locations; Diversey used Lotus Notes and other platforms, especially for calendaring, which caused frequent headaches. In fact, the company could not deploy one e-mail server to the entire organization.

"About 60% of our workforce is remote and do not come into the office regularly, and about 70% are seldom at their desk," says Kiran Vedak, director of IT architecture and planning at Diversey. "We needed to be able to provide communication services at a level of anywhere and anytime. That was our primary reasoning" for going to the cloud, he explains. There were other considerations, including a desire to reduce the company's server footprint.

Citing another advantage of Gmail, Vedak noted that the employees who make up Diversey's global workforce speak multiple languages and if the company had deployed on-premises e-mail, it wouldn't have been able to handle as many languages as it can with Gmail.

Vedak acknowledged that security was a concern with Gmail, but he determined that the risk was the same as it would be with an internal e-mail server. Gmail for Business is more controlled and managed than public Gmail, he says, and it turns out that Diversey was able to adjust its authentication structure. In other words, it did not have to create any new authentication or security layers to support Gmail for Business -- it just relied on what Google provided.

This story, "Going Google" was originally published by Computerworld.

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