Editor's note: As part of our Going Google Everywhere series, today’s guest blogger is Tom Ray, IT Manager of Melrose Resources plc. Learn more about other organizations that have gone Google on our community map.

Melrose Resources plc is an oil and gas exploration, development and production company headquartered in Edinburgh, U.K with over 400 employees globally. In 2009 they decided to switch to Google Apps with the support of Cloudreach, a UK based Google Apps reseller and a cloud solutions system integrator with deep skills in migration to, building of and management of cloud platforms.

We were motivated to move to the cloud by our need for business continuity in the event of disaster -- our goal being a four hour maximum recovery time for email. After consultation from Cloudreach, we felt that Google Apps would provide exactly what we needed in terms of handling the different geographies we operate in and uptime we required. We also considered replicating our Microsoft Exchange Server with a hosting provider but we soon realised that hosting Exchange would have been expensive, both in service fees and in management time, so there was a major financial advantage in choosing Google Apps instead.

Cloudreach was an obvious fit to manage our transition given their expertise in cloud solutions -- both implementing Google Apps and also integrating it with Active Directory without creating any disruption for users. In addition Cloudreach was critical to integrating Google Apps with Amazon Web Services at the company’s Edinburgh head office without any impact on email services.

Recovery time has been reduced to almost zero -- well below the four hour limit we’d set -- so the recovery headache has been totally taken away. We’re saving a significant amount of money now, but I estimate savings will continue to increase in the future since we’ll no longer have to carry out upgrades to server-based applications, or spend management time on it. To accomplish what we achieved with traditional hosted solutions would be almost impossible -- and certainly cost-prohibitive. We’ve also made ourselves less dependent on office infrastructure. Everything now runs smoothly with no intervention from us.