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Lincoln Property Company finds a new home with Google Apps

Lincoln Property is the fifth largest property manager in the United States. When I joined the company, 950 of our 3,500 employees were using Novell Groupwise for email. We were maintaining an expensive infrastructure including servers, a SAN and data center space. It was difficult to maintain our email archive. It was also tough to find IT staff skilled in Groupwise. At the same time, we were looking to outsource as many of our mission-critical applications as possible.

Evaluating our options, we first considered remaining with Groupwise or switching to Microsoft Exchange. At the prodding of one of our tech-savvy partners, we tried out Google Apps and liked what we found. We did a comprehensive TCO analysis that included licensing and maintenance, data center costs, spam protection, server, SAN, migration costs, you name it.
The business case was clear. At approximately $200K per year cheaper than the existing system and infrastructure, Google Apps would provide email, instant messaging, great mobile options, and AV/AS protection for just $50/user/year. And, we would be able to equip all 3,500 employees with company email instead of just the 950 who were on the legacy on premise system.

After trialing Gmail, Google Calendar, and Gmail's integrated chat, we made the move to Google Apps. Cloud Sherpas was instrumental in helping us extract email and contacts data out of GroupWise and migrate it into Google Apps for 950 users in a phased migration. They also provided webinar and video training to ease our users through the transition.

Now we are on track to migrate our remaining 2,500 users in 2010. The results so far have been stellar. I’d be happy to share the lessons we’ve learned – what we did that I’m glad we did!

Source: (2010, Google Enterprise)

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