Most of Australia's largest metropolitan councils have said they are not immediately interested in adopting Google's Gmail or Apps corporate packages, despite comments by one of the search giant's local partners to the contrary.
In August, Paul Cooper, director of business solutions for SMS management and Technology, which was involved in the NSW Department of Education and Training's migration of 1.3 million students from Microsoft Outlook/Exchange to Gmail, said that some of the largest city councils were also looking at the Gmail option.
However, when ZDNet.com.au did a call around to the central councils of the nation's four biggest cities, interest was not burning bright.
Brisbane City Council said it had a contract with Microsoft for the next two years, and was not willing to talk about any future contracts.
The City of Melbourne said it wasn't ready to look at alternatives to office applications such as Google Apps until 2009 when its current agreement expired, although IT operations manager Adrian Ong added that the council would consider the Gmail option as an addendum, not as a replacement for the current system.
Before replacing any office applications, many things need to be considered, according to Ong. "We'd really need to investigate the applications' compatibility within our environment. We also have to consider these applications within the legislative context," he told ZDNet.com.au.
Sydney City Council, however, wasn't looking for an alternative mail solution. "Our current email system is sufficient as it's integrated with our document management system," a spokesperson for the council said. As for Google Apps, the council said its current systems did the job.
City of Perth Council chief information officer Jonathan Stoate said his council wouldn't be adopting either the apps package or Gmail as a stand-alone.
The news has the potential to dampen local enthusiasm for Google's business packages. Australian interest in the solutions has varied over the past couple of years, with large organisations such as the Commonwealth Bank of Australia testing out the solutions but ultimately declining to adopt them, and early adopters such as De Bortoli Wines espousing their advantages.
Thus far, Google's offerings have yet to make much headway against Microsoft's ubiquitous Office and Outlook packages.