Capgemini to Recommend Google Apps to Enterprise

French technology consultant company Capgemini will recommend Google's online office suite to its enterprise customers, giving the software a huge boost against competitors such as Microsoft.

The move should also put to rest once and for all the argument that Google is not attempting to compete against Office, and instead has its sights set squarely on grabbing a portion of the lucrative enterprise software market.

Google Apps Premier Edition includes a full suite of applications that together match the capabilities of Office - including e-mail, calendaring, word processing, and spreadsheets. In the near future, the suite will likely include presentation software as well.

Capgemini has the ability to steer companies towards software worldwide, amounting to approximately one million computers. It also works with Microsoft and IBM to recommend software from those companies to its clients.

"Our corporate vision is designed to help our clients achieve better, faster, more sustainable results by linking them with their partners, suppliers and the latest technologies," Capgemini CEO Paul Spence said. "Incorporating Google Apps Premier Edition into our offering is yet one more way that we are helping our clients adopt technological innovations within a robust and tested framework."

The cost for GAPE is $50 per user according to the Mountain View, Calif. company's Web site. It was not specified whether clients of Capgemini would pay this or a reduced free to obtain the software.

Even at $50, however, GAPE may look like a great deal to many companies. To license Microsoft Office for each user, a company may be paying two or three times that - if not more. GAPE would generally provide the same services at a lower cost.

"I would love to see Microsoft Office get some real competition. Competition would force Microsoft to be more responsive to user demands on features, pricing and more," noted Microsoft pundit Mary Jo Foley wrote. "Is GAPE -- in spite of Google and its partners' denials -- that head-to-head competitor? I still don't see it that way."

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