Google goes postal down-under

Wellington, New Zealand – Search outfit Google has managed to score a big win for its cloud-based operations in New Zealand.

NZ Post announced a three-year deal that will see the State Own Enterprise’s 2100 postal services staff ditch Microsoft Office, Exchange and Outlook in favour of Google Apps Premier.

NZ Post general manager of business enabling Tracey Voice told the National Business Review that she expects the move to Google Apps will shave $2 million in hardware costs over its three-year term. Data will be stored in Google data centers in the US and mean that the Kiwi posties don’t have to buy so much hardware.

Recently Microsoft had a bit of a blow when the State Services Commission – the body which oversees all NZ government departments – ended a deal with Microsoft that automatically meant that its software would be placed in all New Zealand government departments and state-owned enterprises.

Apparently New Zealand Post also trialed other cloud based software including  HyperOffice, Thinkfree and Zoho.

The Post Office did look at Microsoft’s forthcoming cloud platform Azure and Office 2010, due next year, which will include an iteration that runs inside a web browser.  However Voice said Google had a product that was ready today and she didn’t want to wait.