Google is certainly trying hard to get some mileage out of two enterprise customers are adopting GAPE.  One of them, Hamilton Beach, is doing a webcast next week and guest blogged on the Google Enterprise blog today.  When this case study first appeared a few months ago, it was pretty easy to dissect.  The blog entry today, authored by Louis Gray from Hamilton Beach, makes things easier:

Because of the complexity, we upgrade our Lotus Notes/Domino environment about every five years.
It's hard to reconcile the cost assertions made in these case studies with the fact that they were only spending money on upgrading these 500 users once every five years.  The whole "complexity" thing doesn't make any sense to me, either, since server upgrades for Domino are in-place and simple restarts, and clients aren't required to be upgraded with servers.  But let's move on...
We had so much e-mail, we estimated the upgrade might take more time than a three-day weekend to complete, with the email system shut down. So we took a look at Google Apps and found that it had all the enterprise features we needed.
I have no idea why an upgrade of a Domino server would require more than a three-day weekend, and why, especially with clustering, it would ever require the "email system shut down".

Moving on to the punch line:
Moving to Google Apps has reduced our total cost of ownership by 60% over a 5 year-period.
I wasn't an English major, but I think you can only use the pluperfect tense when something is completed....in other words, after that 5-year period.  Anyway, I couldn't figure out the math the last time this case study came up, and I still can't now.  The prior case study said the savings were projected to be about $900,000 over five years... meaning they now expect to spend $600,000 over five years or $240/user/year instead of $600/user/year.  Who spends $600/user/year on Notes/Domino today, please raise your hand?

Want to really know the story behind the decision?  Look no further than the next sentence in the blog:
But it also gives me the great pleasure of turning off all of our Lotus Domino servers that were dedicated to email!
Two things: 1) guess they are still running Domino servers that aren't dedicated to e-mail, meaning they are spending twice and 2) does this sentence not serve as a complete and total indictment of the decision as an emotional and political one?

Hamilton Beach will be doing a webcast on this case study next week on Wednesday.  You can bet I'll be on it to ask why the numbers on this one just don't add up.

Link: Official Google Enterprise Blog: Hamilton Beach: Migrating from Lotus Notes to Google Apps  >

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