Google Closing In On Major Enterprise Deals (another large Lotus shop)...
From eWeek: Google Closing In On Major Enterprise Deals
Google is close to striking a deal for an enterprise-level Gmail implementation with Prudential for 40,000 seats, unseating IBM's Lotus Notes in the process.
This would be a huge win for Google, not least of which because of draconian risk and security policies in place at the financial services giant. Every piece of email sent by a Prudential employee is at least machine-scanned, with searches for words like "guarantee," or for certain types of numbers, and some segment of the Prudential population has each email they send looked at by human eyes.
I find this reported migration rather interesting, as it starts to show migrations for firms which have traditionally taken security and auditing *very* seriously. The "I don't trust my data to be off-site" argument in relation to regulatory requirements has always been one of the major points in my mind *against* outsourcing your email environment. If companies like Prudential start to migrate, and *if* they show a solid track record of meeting regulatory standards, it doesn't bode well for the on-premise email infrastructure contingent. Without a solid offering "in the cloud" to sell to your customers (or new customers), you're at a distinct disadvantage.
Now having said all that, there's a large leap between striking a 40000 seat deal, and the following statement:
According to my sources, Prudential's IT operations are trying to secure corporate approval for a 50-seat pilot.
Do you strike a deal first, and then do a pilot? Or do you attempt a pilot, with the plan that you'll buy the whole offering if it works out OK?