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article imageAirbus chooses G Suite for its digital transformation strategy

By James Walker     Mar 19, 2018 in Technology
Airbus is to abandon Microsoft Office in favour of Google's G Suite. The decision is a significant win for Google, which is currently competing head-to-head with Microsoft for cloud productivity dominance. The move will affect over 130,000 Airbus workers.
The news was first reported by The Register, which obtained an internal staff memo detailing the change. Airbus currently relies on Microsoft's Office productivity software but will switch to Google's G Suite tools in a pilot program this year. It expects to run the two competing packages simultaneously for the next 18 months as it prepares to transition entirely to G Suite.
Airbus is clearly aware of the magnitude of the change. In the memo, company CEO Tom Enders described the shift as a "decision that will shape our company." Enders directly cited the need for "digital transformation" as the major factor in the decision, explaining G Suite will be more suitable for the company's future operations. He said G Suite will enable Airbus to become "fully collaborative."
Airbus is currently reliant on Microsoft's desktop Office suite, a package used by enterprises across the world. However, it's been losing popularity to cloud-based solutions, particularly Google's G Suite.
Airbus' decision to move to Google's cloud, instead of Microsoft's alternative Office 365, is a highly significant loss for Microsoft. The company is positioning its own cloud environment as the ideal option for enterprises undergoing digital transformation, particularly those that are already using Office.
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The reasons behind Airbus' decision not to use Microsoft's cloud aren't immediately apparent. The Register contacted the company to request more details but has not heard back. It is unclear whether Airbus also evaluated Office 365 before resolving to run its business on Google's cloud. Microsoft "politely declined" to comment.
G Suite launched back in 2006 as an innovative online alternative to the established Microsoft Office suite. Since then, Microsoft has also refocused Office around the cloud and now deemphasises the role of its traditional on-premises desktop authorship software.
This move has been largely successful, with sales of Office 365 up 41 percent year-on-year during 2017. However, Office's realignment hasn't been enough to keep every enterprise reliant on the software.
G Suite is now thought to generate $1 billion in quarterly revenue as Google's continuing to see strong growth in business subscriptions. The two platforms are now broadly equivalent in terms of core feature parity, with each regularly gaining new productivity features designed to facilitate digital transformation.
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