Google smoothes the road to Google Apps with Microsoft Exchange migration

Over the past year or so, Google has been improving its online suite of business apps, Google Apps, to make it easier for businesses to switch over from their current office software. Today it’s announcing another feature in this vein — the ability to easily migrate email, contact, and calendar data from Microsoft Exchange.

Many companies use an Exchange server to store and sync the data accessed by Microsoft applications like Outlook. With the new Migration for Microsoft Exchange tool, Google says IT administrators can move the data of hundreds of users to Apps by just walking through a simple four-step process.

This follows past announcements of the ability to sync Google Apps with Outlook and the BlackBerry enterprise server, and of a similar migration tool for IBM’s Lotus Notes collaboration software. These features fall into two camps, said Google’s Enterprise Product Management Director Matthew Glotzbach: features like the Outlook Sync that allow users to access Google Apps using the software that they’re used to, and features like the Exchange migration, which eases the transition process to Apps. Moving a large, enterprise-scale company to a new email system can take months or more, but with these easy migration features, that time gets cut down to weeks.

Glotzbach added that Google is adding these features in part as a response to Apps’ changing customer base, which now includes 25 million users.

“Some of the very early adopters in the Google Apps cloud tend to center around Notes environments, so we prioritized and focused initially on the Notes toolset,” he said. “Then, as we’ve gotten more and more traction in large enterprises, we see more and more customers who are making the move from a Microsoft environment.”


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