US automotive giant General Motors has signed a preliminary agreement with web giant Google that may lead to the company rolling out its hosted desktop application suite Google Apps, according to a report in the Wall Street Journal.
The deal could lead to more than 100,000 GM employees using Google Apps, the report claims. However, Google still has to meet certain unspecified requirements before GM agrees to roll out the service.
General Motors currently uses IBM’s Lotus Notes for employee collaboration. Last year, it rolled out the mobile version of the Notes, with chief strategy and technology officer Kirk Gutmann saying "we’re building a workforce that’s mobile, connected and equipped for anything, anytime, anywhere".
If the deal with Google goes ahead, it would represent an endorsement of both Google Apps in particular and hosted desktop software by one of the world’s quintessential enterprise organisations.
So far, enterprise-wide implementations of Google Apps have been the exception, not the rule. Examples include German materials manufacturer BASF, biotechnology pioneer Genentech and UK pest control giant Rentokil (which shares a London office with Google).
However, the number of organisations at which some users have adopted Google Apps for collaboration is likely to be much larger.