Trinity Mirror, publisher of The Mirror and Sunday Mail among other publications, has begun a migration of its email system from Lotus Notes to Google Apps for Business. The move will deliver savings of at least £750,000 over five years.
The company's 6,500 employees will have access to a range of web-based features, including Gmail with integrated Google Talk, Google Calendar, Google Docs and Google Sites.
Employees are spread across 60 locations and the new system will help better collaboration across these sites.
The rollout began in September and between 1,500 and 2,000 employees, including Media Wales and certain functions such as the IT department, have now been provided with the technology.
It will be rolled out to all 6,500 employees by the third week in November.
Steve Walker, director of IT for Trinity Media Group, explained that to have provided users with storage and the type of collaborative service provided by Google Apps would have required an investment in infrastructure of £750,000. "After running a business case, we forecast the move would save us a six-figure sum over five years," he said.
Google Sites has been used to build the company's intranet, containing news and company information. This will appear as a personalised Google homepage, alongside Calendar and Mail, whenever staff access Google.
The company looked at several other cloud-based collaborative solutions, including IBM's Lotus Live and Microsoft's Exchange.
"In the end, we felt Google Apps for Business, with its email, collaborative functionality and site-building facility, provided the most cost-effective solution," he said.
Staff have been provided with training, with some people acting as volunteers to give additional support. In addition, Google has standard links to training videos on YouTube that explain the package. These have been provided to all employees.
"We have been looking at Google Apps on and off for a couple of years. By the middle of this year, we thought the proposition had reached the right level of maturity for business. Many of our competitors in the media have taken up the solution [these include The Telegraph Media Group and National Geographic] and we have heard some really positive feedback," said Walker.