Google Apps Fuels BBVA Email for 110,000 Employees

By Clint Boulton  |  Posted 2012-01-20

Google Apps, the cloud-based collaboration software for businesses, is set to turn 5 years old next month. Apps BBVA.png

Google celebrated early in landing BBVA as its largest Google Apps deployment to date, spanning 110,000 employees.

BBVA, which is short for Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Argentaria, S.A., is the second largest bank in Spain and seventh largest financial institution in the Western world, according to Wikipedia. BBVA operates in over 40 countries. So it's darned big.

Importantly, those seats are paid. The simple math shows that at $50 per user per year, the cost of the contract is at least $5.5 million. That's revenue that doesn't come from advertising, Google's lifeblood.

Given its size, it's natural BBVA has a lot of employees spread across remote offices using a lot of computing infrastructure. They won't need as much of it now with Google hosting Gmail and other tools for the company. BBVA CIO José Olalla wrote in a blog post for Google:

Integrating the Google Apps for Business suite with our own tools will allow us to introduce a new way of working where employees have access to all the information they need with just one click, no matter where they are or what kind of device they use, and can reap the benefits of using advanced collaboration tools.

A BBVA spokesperson confirmed for me BBVA replaced Microsoft Outlook/Exchange systems with Gmail for the company's intranet, and will use Google Talk, Google Sites and Google Docs for communication and collaboration. The migration is ongoing.

Any way you slice it, this is a big win for Google, whose largest paid Apps deployment before BBVA was Ahold at 55,000 users.

More importantly, it's a win over Microsoft, especially now. Why? A couple years ago, Microsoft didn't really have a cohesive cloud collaboration play. Now it does -- Office 365 is a solid, solid product by most accounts.

So Google was able to poach BBVA from Microsoft despite the presence of a competing Microsoft cloud collaboration suite.

Not too shabby. Google could use more of these, and less of the Los Angeles partial contract fiascos, in 2012.

If the company starts to tack on more banks or government institutions where the install bases are large, the momentum could snowball for paid Google Apps.

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