White goods giant Whirlpool is moving its 68,000-strong workforce to Google's Apps products in another sizeable enterprise contract for Google as it continues to tout its business services.
In an interview published on the Google Enterprise blog, Whirlpool CIO Michael Heim explained that the switch to Google Apps allowed the firm, which operates in 66 countries, to "collapse" its geography and let staff use IT tools without the need for training and guidance.
"One of the challenges we face is the need to innovate faster. The move to Google Apps isn't just a change in IT strategy, it's a shift in our company culture," he said.
"Google Apps is a simple solution in many ways, but the features are actually very sophisticated, enabling us to surround our business processes with the right tools to connect people. It allows us to unleash the talent in the company, without a lot of IT support, which is very helpful."
Heim said Google Apps allows Whirlpool staff to use sophisticated features without the need for much IT support, and that it promotes quicker sharing of ideas.
"We are becoming much more of a customer company in terms of how we think and act. This isn't always easy because we operate across so many locations internationally. I believe that our future success depends on our ability to build strong relationships and share and work together across the team," he concluded.
Google Apps includes cloud services such as Gmail, Calendar, Drive and Docs, as well as Google+ integration. The service suffered two high-profile outages in September, including a glitch that resulted in heavy email delays for customers using paid-for Gmail services.
Google admitted later that the problems had been caused by a "rare" double network outage and maintained that its services still hold a 99.9 percent uptime record.
The deal comes as Microsoft and Google battle for enterprise customers, with both firms touting customers that have moved from one firm to the other, in an attempt to undermine the credibility of each other's offerings.
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