Roche moving over 90,000 employees to Google Apps

Roche moving over 90,000 employees to Google Apps

Summary: Like many other businesses making the switch to Google Apps and other cloud-based solutions, The Roche Group suffered from "platform interoperability issues."

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TOPICS: Cloud, Apps, Google
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The Roche Group, a global corporation dedicated to research-focused and "personalized" healthcare, is making the switch to Google Apps in a very big way.

All of its employees (totaling more than 90,000) are being moved over to Google's cloud-based suite of productivity and collaborative applications, which includes Gmail, Google Docs and more.

Dr. Alan Hippe, both the chief financial officer and chief information officer of The Roche Group (and now guest blogger on the Official Google Enterprise Blog), explained his company's motivations for signing on to Google Apps.

Like many other businesses making the switch to Google Apps and other cloud-based solutions, Hippe lamented that Roche suffered from "platform interoperability issues" as it had two different email and calendaring platforms, which only became roadblocks to seamless collaboration.

Here's how Roche plans to make use of Google Apps going forward, according to the blog post.

The way our employees communicate and collaborate is diverse, and our employees are spread across over 140 countries. The integrated and socially-focused way that Google Apps enables collaboration is very compelling, and we expect this to not only bring our company closer together, but give us a strategic advantage. Additionally, being able to deploy Google Apps by simply enabling them via a control panel versus planning for and deploying complex infrastructure in our datacenters will help us focus on our core business -- helping save patients' lives

Employees will be able to access their email and documents from any web-enabled device, without using remote access systems such as VPN. This will make it easier for employees to work from home or on the go and it will reduce the strain on our IT support teams. Removing barriers to communication and innovation while enhancing mobile access is a key part of our Roche IT strategy.

The Roche Group is Google's second largest Apps customer to date. The top one is Spanish bank BBVA, which announced in January that it would be migrating 110,000 employees to the platform.

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Topics: Cloud, Apps, Google

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25 comments
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  • Not surprising, Genentech has been using it for years.

    And since Roche acquired the remaining part of Genentech it didn't already own under terms that clearly indicated that Genentech people are now running the show, it only makes sense that their IT policies will percolate up.
    matthew_maurice
  • A question:

    Are Google's enterprise users subject to the same analytics and ads as the consumer market?
    Userama
    • Ask Roche

      @Userama .. that's actually a valid question, but i don't believe for one second that you came here to be productive ... just to troll.<br><br>A question for you: do you think for a second Google would jeopardize and antagonize such a massive enterprise client deal the size of the just publicly announced one with Roche, by carrying out dishonest, hidden activity upon them? By deceiving them? I mean, for real?? Do you realize the world of legal hurt Google would be in if Roche's I.T. staff discovered any 'unannounced, non-contractual' activity going on in the background.<br><br>Listen, if you have something of value to add to the subject / discussion, by all means, enlighten us. If not, take a hike and get real. Seriously.
      thx-1138_
      • RE: Roche moving over 90,000 employees to Google Apps

        @thx-1138_@... It is a valid question, are you able to turn off the google analytics engine? I believe you can opt-out from seeing adverts in corporate email its not clear to me if you can turn off the processing that goes on in teh background?
        ta11438
      • @ta11438 .. did you read the opening line in my reply?

        ... clean your glasses you silly mug. I realize it's validity .. just not from a s#!t stirrer looking to flame (like Userama) for the sheer h3ck of it.

        If you can't tell cynicism or glean subtext from a person's comments (in this case, Userama's), then you've got bigger problems than worrying about [i]"googles analytics engine"[/i].
        thx-1138_
      • RE: Roche moving over 90,000 employees to Google Apps

        @thx-1138_@... whats with all the anger?
        ta11438
      • RE: Roche moving over 90,000 employees to Google Apps

        @thx-1138_@...
        Seemed like a valid question. I actually read your post because for a second there, I thought you might answer the question. Instead, you wasted my time. It is you that is not adding anything to discussion.
        kstap
      • RE: Roche moving over 90,000 employees to Google Apps

        @thx-1138_@...
        Google's more than 90% business comes from Ads. For them end-user is the product which they sell to Advertiser. So the question is very valid !!
        nt_prashant@...
      • RE: Roche moving over 90,000 employees to Google Apps

        @thx-1138_@... The reason I worry about this stuff is I'm a risk officer and have to assess corporate risk from lawsuits that may arise from breaches of EU data privacy.
        ta11438
      • @ta11438 ... if you had

        ... stated your stance in your original post:<br><br>" ... The reason I worry about this stuff is I'm a risk officer and have to assess corporate risk from lawsuits that may arise from breaches of EU data privacy. "<br><br>.. i would never have been as 'direct' with you in my reply.<br><br>Now, at least, i understand your interest and motivations on the subject matter *and* obviously couldn't before as my 'mind-reading powers' are not what they once were.<br><br>Seriously though, taking an educated guess (..and staying with my initial sentiments [see reply to userama]), i'm going to say Google Corporate will go out of their way to ensure, for Roche, the analytics engine is subject to one of:<br><br>(a) Optional / toggle on off - in all use/business-case scenarios<br><br>(b) Off by default - in all use/business-case scenarios<br><br>or<br><br>(c*) absent by custom design requirements - i.e. Roche is exempt from Google's analytics, enterprise-wide (* most unlikely business-case, of the three, but shouldn't be ruled out, as yet)<br><br>The reason it would have to fall into one of those THREE scenarios is (again see reasonings explained to userama) that Google simply cannot afford any (..further?) bad press, PR and generally bad, word-of-mouth if they try anything deceptive with Roche. That not only makes logical sense but also business and reputational sense. Add to that, very real LEGAL and contractual obligations and leaves simply no room for skulduggery on Goggle's part in the deal.<br><br>I'll go on to say, this is a great opportunity for Google to really test their enterprise-readiness (..or not). I doubt they want to shoot themselves in their proverbial foot. I hope, for their collective sakes, that they don't screw up.<br><br>Are we on some kind of wave-length similarity now?<br><br>{ n.b. sincere apologies for being short with my reply to you earlier, it's just the straight-shooter streak in me. }
        thx-1138_
      • RE: Roche moving over 90,000 employees to Google Apps

        @thx-1138_@...
        Google lives by spying on its users. The fact that all user data will be stored on Google's servers should give anyone thought.

        The whole of Swiss banking secrecy was broken down when one disgruntled employee of UBS thought he could make some money by selling out to the IRS. Soon, a flood of others started selling CD's full of client lists. Just wait til a Google employee starts doing the same.
        jorjitop
        • Now THIS is metallic haberdashery

          In other words, tin hat talk. Google doesn't spy on anyone. It's very upfront about the fact that, on its CONSUMER products, it collects data for use in serving targeted ads. Even there, it does not provide that data to 3rd parties or allow employees to access your personal information.

          On the enterprise side, it does not use the data for ad purposes at all. It does scan your email via an automated process, but only for functionality-related purposes such as spam filtering, which is the same thing that every other productivity suite on the planet does, unless it sucks.
          Bob Buchko
    • RE: Roche moving over 90,000 employees to Google Apps

      @Userama - their TOS suggests it is.
      HypnoToad72
      • Thanks.

        @HypnoToad72
        It was a serious question. Thanks for the serious answer.
        Userama
    • RE: Roche moving over 90,000 employees to Google Apps

      @Userama I think they are. Have seen ads in an enterprise account.
      mm71
  • wow 90000 pissed off employees

    Is this guy getting a huge kickback or what? Everything mentioned office 365 does 10x better and it's cheaper per user. I smell a payoff.
    Johnny Vegas
    • RE: Roche moving over 90,000 employees to Google Apps

      @Johnny Vegas - Office 365 has limitations as well. Going from the full desktop client to web-based WILL include a learning curve, and some unhappy users. But who said users have rights?
      HypnoToad72
  • This won't last long

    We migrated from exchange to Google apps and after a year we went back. Google apps is bloody terrible for email if you plan to try to use regular email clients rather than the web mail client. Google docs is a joke and drove us all up the wall because it just plain does not work well and we quickly went back to regular docs and excel files.

    Not to mention if you have a google apps account and you also use stuff like analytics, Adwords erc you will have all kinds of problems with the 'dual' accounts. It literally drove me nuts! Worst decision we ever made.

    I am seriously looking at office 365 as a solution to maybe get rid of our exchange server and move it all to the cloud.
    KendallBennett
    • RE: Roche moving over 90,000 employees to Google Apps

      @KendallBennett
      I have heard a few stories now where companies switch to Google docs and switch back after a trial period. It simply cannot match MS offerings at this stage.
      kstap
      • May be so ...

        ... but are you willing to put your money where your mouth is, mortgage your house and bet against this particular deal working out in the long run?!?

        Get back to us when you have.
        thx-1138_