SaaS: Brown University Goes to Google Apps
Yesterday, we mentioned Google Apps Education Edition was making some SaaS waves in the academic market. Now, we’re back to report Brown University has signed up for Google Apps in a big way. Here’s the scoop.
In a blog post, Geoff Greene, Brown University’s director of IT support services, says that last year, the school put all 6,000 of their undergraduates on the Google Apps productivity platform. It worked great, he writes, but soon Brown’s faculty started coming to him asking when they get to go Google, too.
So now, Greene estimates they’re saving $1 million a year by putting every faculty member, every staff member, and every med student on their branded GoogleApps@Brown system and reducing or eliminating existing IT infrastructure. Better yet, they got the full field of Google’s SaaS messaging and collaboration applications all as part of their $0 contract — Google Apps for Education is free. (No wonder Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer has started pitching SaaS directly to prospective customers…)
Brown University is fortunate in that they had IT staff like Greene on hand to perform the migration to Google Apps. But we’d like to hear from MSPs: Are you assisting schools (k-12, colleges, universities) with SaaS apps or are the schools buying direct from the vendors?
Google’s in the middle of a pitched batter (here’s example 1 and example 2) vs. Microsoft for the hearts and minds of schools everywhere, but moves like this and the aforementioned Google Apps Education Edition partner program make me think Google is taking the offensive.