Over the years Google has released several tools designed to both inspire and aid transition over to Google Apps. Several of these offerings were updated this week -- specifically those built to steal away Microsoft's customers -- in one last jab at the enterprise for 2010.
Updated Data Migration Tools
Google Apps Migration for Microsoft Exchange: This tool lets admins migrate data for batches of users from Microsoft Exchange to Google Apps. The updates version features performance improvements and supports several additional IMAP servers. Users may migrate email from Gmail accounts as well, and support for PST files and Hosted Exchange has been improved.
Google Apps Migration for Microsoft Outlook: This tool allows end-users to migrate e-mail, contacts and calendar data from Microsoft Outlook profiles to Google Apps. The new version adds support for 2010, as well as 64-bit versions of Microsoft Outlook.
Google Apps Sync for Microsoft Outlook: This tool actually allows Google Apps customers to continue using Outlook as their primary e-mail service. But of course, Outlook e-mail, contacts and calendar data is kept in sync with Google Apps in case you change your mind.
Google Calendar Connectors for Microsoft Exchange and Lotus Notes: Because some customers still choose to operate in a dual-deployment environment, Google Calendar connectors allow bi-directional look-ups of calendar free/busy information for users still on Microsoft Exchange or Lotus Notes. The new versions of the Calendar Connectors also now support the new Google Apps account infrastructure that brings over 60 additional Google applications to Google Apps accounts.
Is it Working?
The updates certainly fall inline with Google's endless attempts to become the only stop on the Internet, but we can't help but wonder: How effective are they?
According to the Internet giant's official announcement, this year alone customers have migrated over 3.5 billion e-mails to Google Apps, over 100 million calendar events and 25 million contacts.
The company is poised to bring over more users in 2011, but whether or not this will take a significant bite out of Microsoft's pie remains to be seen. Though Web-based solutions are all the rage, plenty of enterprise-y folk are still concerned with the security issues that cloud computing raises. Further, Microsoft has been making its own moves in the Web applications space. Needless to say, it's going to be a good fight.