Woolies to move 26,000 staff onto Google Apps

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Woolies to move 26,000 staff onto Google Apps

IT shift for office workers.

Retail giant Woolworths will shift 26,000 staff in its national and state offices onto Google Apps in "coming months".

The move marks a major expansion of the company's adoption of Google technologies, which started mid last year when 890 supermarket store managers were given Gmail accounts, and a custom app to log support requests was developed on the Google App Engine.

"Our decision to move to Google Apps is a key element of transforming our workforce computing to achieve a step-change in our collaboration and productivity," chief information officer Dan Beecham said today.

"We are in the process of moving to Google Apps for mail, calendar and instant messaging and feedback from our early adopters is that they like the new tools."

Beecham also flagged potential corporate use of the Google+ social networking platform, Google Drive cloud storage service, and Google Sites wiki service "to transform the way we approach other aspects of our business."

About 3500 national office staff would receive retraining to use the Google-based environment via "technology coaches and a tech centre", he said.

Beecham told The Australian the deployment of Google Apps would occur in three tranches, beginning with about 15,000 office-based employees.

He also reportedly revealed plans to adopt hardware underpinned by Google, such as Chromebook laptops and Chromebox thin-client devices.

Cloud Sherpas confirmed in a tweet it was involved in the Google Apps migration project, but did not specify its role.

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