Google Docs and Google Sheets are getting more useful for consumers and enterprises with the addition of third-party tools that enable neat new functionalities.
How Microsoft totally blew it and lost this contract to Google Apps
Reed.co.uk -- the largest online job site in the United Kingdom -- occupies a rare position in the market. As the web face of Reed, a 53-year-old employment agency with three thousand employees and 180 offices across the country, it has a little extra exposure and a lot of extra cachet. But as a 250-seat startup within the larger Reed corporate mechanism, Reed.co.uk can focus on agility and innovation.
It's that call for agility which first led Reed.co.uk to revamp its approach to IT and go to the cloud, says Director of Technology Mark Ridley -- and which ultimately led it to Google Apps over Microsoft Office 365. In an unusual turn, Google's Chrome devices could also displace Citrix-powered VDI solutions.
First, some context. In the UK, recruitment agencies hire for a much broader range of positions than you might see in the United States, and so more people find their way to employment with their help. To that end, Reed.co.uk was founded in 1995 to share Reed's job posting information with the masses.
After the dotcom bubble burst in early 2000, Ridley and the executive team decided to expand Reed.co.uk past just Reed's own listings and enable anybody to post them. It became a a business in its own right, distinct from the mothership.
From 2000 to 2007, the total number of job postings ballooned from 20,000 to 350,000. In 2007, Reed.co.uk doubled down on its monetization model and started to recruit, going from a 25 people then to 250 today.
During that journey from startup to SMB, Reed.co.uk relied primarily on Lotus Notes for e-mail. The company also dabbled in the cloud here and there, deploying Salesforce.com in 2007 for a five-man sales team.
But come January 2012, the company decided that if Reed.co.uk was going to continue delivering a cutting-edge job-seeking service, they needed a new IT infrastructure that was just as modern. IT service delivery was never a particular strength within the company, and Ridley strongly believed that legacy applications were fundamentally lagging in quality behind their sleek, browser-based cloud counterparts.
"Legacy applications just aren't from the same era of development," Ridley says.
Long story short: Lotus Notes was out, and the cloud was in.
Over the next several months, Ridley says that Reed.co.uk engaged in four Microsoft Office 365 trials, putting the cloud collaboration suite through its paces and finding it a suitable hosted infrastructure. And the licensing tier that Ridley was leaning towards would include a desktop copy of Microsoft Office for everybody in the company.
But three things kept Ridley from closing the deal: