Rentokil exterminates IT costs – largest Google Apps rollout yet

13 Oct 2009

In what will be the largest deployment of Google Apps Premier Edition yet, global services giant Rentokil is to deploy the technology to provide web-based communications to 20,000 PC users as well as 15,000 “on the road” workers.

The services giant that provides everything from pest control and building management to e-security and courier services is to deploy Google Apps Premier along with additional calendar, IM, email translation and video communications.

The plan is to achieve a significant reduction in IT spend across the 35,000-user network spread across 50 countries.

The new platform will provide a single web-based communication and collaboration suite to replace the group’s existing 180 email domains and 40 mail systems across its six operating divisions.

Part of a plan

The move is part of the company’s five-year turnaround plan to enhance capability and introduce operational excellence.

As well as providing email access to the 20,000 regular PC users across Rentokil Initial, the company plans to extend access to a further 15,000 “on the road” service colleagues, who do not have a company email address.

The agreement will provide all colleagues with access to their company email account from any internet connected device. The mobile workforce are likely to use their PDA devices, home computers or shared PC within the local branch.

The deployment of Google Apps will also see a number of other benefits for Rentokil Initial employees including: Google integrated chat and video features to support training and improve productivity; powerful personal and shared calendars; consolidation and standardisation to a single mail system and global address book; improved collaboration within and between divisions and functions; and automatic email translation and real-time translation in Google Talk.

Achievements with Google Apps

“By deploying Google Apps, we can overcome a wide range of technical and communication issues, and enhance our ability to deliver operational excellence throughout the organisation,” Bryan Kinsella, chief information officer of Rentokil Initial explained.

“Importantly, the frustrations of not having access to a single company-wide email address database will disappear and the translation difficulties faced by those colleagues wanting to collaborate with others around the world will be lessened.

“Through easing the burden on the IT department, facilitating knowledge sharing and collaboration, we are confident that our use of Google Apps will be of huge benefit to our colleagues, customers and other stakeholders.

“This is an important milestone in the implementation of our groupware strategy at Rentokil Initial in addition to the other key projects we are undertaking to upgrade our key business applications, infrastructure and global networks,” said Kinsella.

Pilot project

The decision to implement Google Apps globally across Rentokil Initial’s divisions was taken after a successful 100-day pilot at Rentokil Initial’s Ambius division involving 800 users in global locations, which demonstrated the system’s suitability for the group as a whole.

“The international scope of Rentokil Initial’s business, with operations in so many different locations, presents a need for a homogeneous environment which unifies workforce, encourages collaboration and allows for a high level of flexibility and mobility,” Adrian Joseph, managing director, Google Enterprise EMEA said.

“We are thrilled that Rentokil Initial is adopting Google Apps and, as we continue to innovate and regularly introduce new features, we believe they will continue to discover additional benefits of moving to this new way of working,” Joseph added.

By John Kennedy

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years