Microsoft who? Capgemini says it is using Google Apps successfully to power collaboration in a customer service center.
Capgemini didnt take long to leverage its deal with Google, announcing Nov.
14 its first enterprise deployment of Google Apps at its new Customer Care &
Intelligence center in Junction City, Kan.
Some 165 agents and supervisors at the contact center are using GAPE (Google
Apps Premier Edition), which includes Google Docs word processing software,
Gmail and Googles Chat instant messaging software, to complement a
proprietary CRM (customer relationship management) system. For $50 per user
per year, GAPE is delivered as SAAS (software as a service) and is hosted on
It is the first of what will likely be several instantiations in which
Capgemini will use Googles applications as a complement or an alternative
to collaboration and productivity software from Microsoft, IBM and other
The CC&I agents have been using GAPE since Nov. 6 to send e-mail, submit
reports and create spreadsheets to work on and solve customer service issues
together. Agents use Chat to send instant messages to supervisors for
assistance with unique call scenarios. However, the CC&I center has not
experienced any downtime since starting to use the software, Robert
Brillhart, global practice lead for Capgemini CC&I, told eWEEK.
Brillhart said Google Apps helps make his agents more proactive in meeting
customer needs, a kind of holy grail in customer service whereby Capgemini
employees can react to trends on a given day before waiting for data
The news is a positive development for Google, which regularly steers clear
of comparing GAPE to Microsoft Office despite the number of corresponding
applications and functionality. Instead, Google chooses to position the GAPE
suite as a collaboration platform. However, its no secret that analysts and
prospective customers in the high-tech industry are watching the progression
of GAPE as a potential alternative to Office, IBM Lotus and other more
traditional platforms that are downloaded and perpetually licensed.
To read more
about Google and Capgemini
embarking on an Apps deal, click here.
The real-time capabilities mean agents no longer have to end a customer¹s
call, seek out answers and return the call.
here about being careful with
Of course, using GAPE in the call center also means Capgemini doesnt need
its IT staff to configure and support e-mail servers and file-share servers.
This frees up the technical staff to address more pressing issues that may
Capgemini originally vowed to support GAPE Sept. 10, catching the industrys
attention and thrusting Google into the spotlight as a threat to Microsoft
and other entrenched players.
However, analysts such as Burton Groups Guy Creese have taken a less
sanguine view of GAPE, citing a shortage of records management functionality
and Google¹s lack of enterprise experience as reasons to carefully consider
whether to use the largely untested software.
Check out eWEEK.coms for more on IM and other collaboration technologies.