European aviation giant Airbus is planning to abandon Microsoft Office and replace it with Google’s G Suite productivity tools.
The plane manufacturer’s 130,000-strong workforce will soon get access to Google’s online collaboration tools in a project that will take around 18 months to complete, but which could include a shift from Microsoft Office altogether.
Indeed, instead of removing Microsoft Office straight away, Airbus will trial Google’s competing software first. The firm’s chief information Officer, Luc Hennekens, revealed the news on Microsoft-owned LinkedIn last week.
He said that, as a result of continued growth, the company needs access to software that enables “rapid innovation, speed and agility in execution”. And he reckons that Google’s cloud-based tools are the answer.
Writing on LinkedIn, he said: “Large industrials anywhere in the world these days are working hard to become more agile and customer-centric and use digital technology to help achieve that.”
“Airbus recognised the transformative power of digital years ago and has been achieving real business results by investing in digitalisation.”
“But along the way, it has become more and more clear, that in any system change, it is the people and their ability to work together which matter most for true agility and customer satisfaction.”
Like a lot of businesses, Airbus has used Microsoft Office for years. But in recent times, Google’s G Suite has emerged as a significant rival – as well as, perhaps, a convenient means of forcing Microsoft to cut an advantageous licensing deal.
Nevertheless, Hennekens branded Google’s enterprise software as “the best digital tools” available for teams. He said the company is looking to shift away from “traditional organisation structures and ways of working”.
The announcement from Airbus is major news for Google because it has been working hard to get companies to invest in G Suite, which allegedly generates $1 billion every quarter for the firm.
“Our move to G-Suite will drive real transformational change from the grassroots up, enabling connections between employees like never before,” added Hennekens.
“It will give our people the tools to work in a way which is more natural, more collaborative and much more enjoyable.”
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