More than 93,000 real estate agents are planning a move to Google (GOOG) Apps for Business, instead of going with Microsoft (MSFT) Office 365. The reason for the move may or may not shock you, depending on which side of the rivalry you're on.
Keller Williams Realty, a real estate franchise in North America, said it will be moving its real estate agents to Google's cloud-based office suite to gain access to communication and collaboration apps, as well as integration cabilities with additional apps.
"We were attracted to the opportunity to integrate additional Google Apps like YouTube, Google Voice, Blogger, and Picasa into our enterprise ecosystem," Keller Williams Technology Executive Director Jason Tang told Talkin' Cloud. "We are also excited about the potential of the Google Apps Marketplace and its thousands of third-party apps to help our associates grow their business and enhance the consumer experience."
In addition, Tang said Google's solution provides a mobile approach needed for real estate agents, since "they rarely spend time in the office."
While Google was Keller Williams' final choice, the real estate franchise did take a look at Office 365 -- but the company wasn't too impressed with the value of the solution.
"Value, value, value," Tang said. "Google Apps for Business offers a significant cost advantage over Office 365, as well as the opportunity to leverage all of the other Google Apps that are available."
He also noted that Google's investment in research and development last year made the company "feel very confident partnering with a company that is committed to continuing to innovate and improve its offerings."
To implement Google Apps into the business, Keller Williams will break the implementation up into two phases, Tang said.
"Our first phase is educating and training our agents to incorporate the core apps into their business," he said. "The next phase is time-releasing additional Google Apps and educating and training our agents so they can use these tools to grow their business and deliver exceptional client service."
Keller Williams said it has been testing the new platform with groups of early adopters for several months.