Editor's note: Today’s guest blogger is Jay Kenney, CIO of Lincoln Property Company, a residential property management and development company. Prior to joining Lincoln Property, Jay was a Managing Director at BearingPoint for eight years and spent 19 years at SBC (now AT&T).

Last year Jay inherited a Novell Groupwise system powering email for 950 of his firm's approximately 3,500 employees. After careful consideration, Lincoln Property migrated from Groupwise to Google Apps, saving the company $200K – and enabling Jay to provide all 3,500 employees with company email.

Jay will be available on a live webcast this Thursday at 11:00 a.m. PST, 2:00 p.m. EST, 7:00 p.m. GMT to share his experience and answer questions about Lincoln Property Company's experience in switching to Google Apps. Michael Cohn from Cloud Sherpas, a Google Apps Authorized Reseller, will also be on hand to answer questions about the migration process.

Lincoln Property is the fifth largest property manager in the United States. When I joined the company, 950 of our 3,500 employees were using Novell Groupwise for email. We were maintaining an expensive infrastructure including servers, a SAN and data center space. It was difficult to maintain our email archive. It was also tough to find IT staff skilled in Groupwise. At the same time, we were looking to outsource as many of our mission-critical applications as possible.

Evaluating our options, we first considered remaining with Groupwise or switching to Microsoft Exchange. At the prodding of one of our tech-savvy partners, we tried out Google Apps and liked what we found. We did a comprehensive TCO analysis that included licensing and maintenance, data center costs, spam protection, server, SAN, migration costs, you name it.

The business case was clear. At approximately $200K per year cheaper than the existing system and infrastructure, Google Apps would provide email, instant messaging, great mobile options, and AV/AS protection for just $50/user/year. And, we would be able to equip all 3,500 employees with company email instead of just the 950 who were on the legacy on premise system.

After trialing Gmail, Google Calendar, and Gmail's integrated chat, we made the move to Google Apps. Cloud Sherpas was instrumental in helping us extract email and contacts data out of GroupWise and migrate it into Google Apps for 950 users in a phased migration. They also provided webinar and video training to ease our users through the transition.

Now we are on track to migrate our remaining 2,500 users in 2010. The results so far have been stellar. I’d be happy to share the lessons we’ve learned – what we did that I’m glad we did!

Please join me for this live webinar.

Lincoln Property Company finds a new home with Google Apps
Thursday, February 11, 2009
11:00 a.m. PST / 2:00 p.m. EST / 7:00 p.m. GMT

Posted by Serena Satyasai, Google Apps team

Find customer stories and research product information on our resource sites for current users of Microsoft Exchange and IBM Lotus Notes/Domino.