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Google lands a new blow on Microsoft with Rentokil Initial email agreement

GOOGLE yesterday announced its biggest ever email deal with support services firm Rentokil Initial, estimated by analysts to be worth up to $3.5m (&pound;2.2m).<br /><br />The internet giant will replace rival Microsoft, after it secured the contract to provide email to 35,000 of the rat catcher&rsquo;s employees using its Google Apps product &ndash; which includes a calendar, integrated chat, email translation and video communications.<br /><br />The so-called &ldquo;cloud-based&rdquo; system &ndash; where emails are processed online and not on in-house servers &ndash; will replace Rentokil&rsquo;s Microsoft system.<br /><br />Rentokil&rsquo;s chief information officer Bryan Kinsella estimates that Google&rsquo;s web-based service will save the firm up to 70 per cent on its current costs. The deal was agreed after a 100-day pilot involving 800 users.<br /><br />The Telegraph Media Group moved 1,500 workers to Google Apps in July 2008, while the Guardian News and Media Group migrated 2,400 earlier this year.<br /><br />Several universities are also using Google Apps to provide email to students and staff.