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Management Strategies

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BBVA Migrates From Microsoft to Google Apps for Business

BBVA's massive internal migration to the cloud-based app system from Google signifies not only an operational shift, but a shift in the industry's perception of cloud computing and the value it can bring to banks.

BBVA has signed an agreement with Google to adopt its enterprise communication and collaboration suite, Google Apps for Business. The migration will move the institution's 110,000 employees in 26 countries from Microsoft Outlook to Google Apps by the end of 2012. The rollout will be staggered, starting with 35,000 BBVA employees in Spain.

Tools in the Google Apps for Business suite include Gmail, Google Chat, Google Calendar, Google Docs, Google Groups, Google Sites and Google Video. The cloud-based tools will support communication, real-time collaboration, productivity and workflow within BBVA.

Migrations such as this one represent a shift in thinking surrounding cloud-based computing, according to Enrico Camerinelli, senior analyst at independent research and advisory firm Aite Group. "This announcement confirms that banks are looking at cloud computing with more trust," he notes. "Having seen that a bank has approached the cloud for internal aspects is a step forward."

Camerinelli says that once BBVA becomes acquainted with the benefits of a cloud-based system, the next step might be extending the same platform and services to customers. "That's where the real value for banks will be perceived," adding that it will help the bank move from being a product-centered business to one that is centered on customers.

[BBVA's futuristic ABIL ATM prototypes are yet another step toward the institution's goal of being a customer-centric bank.]

As a guest blogger on the Official Google Enterprise Blog, BBVA CIO Jose Olalla confirmed that BBVA is pursuing a major operational shift with its migration to Google Apps. "We were looking for a technology that would transform our business operations -- not just make our workers more efficient," he said.

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