One of Spain’s largest banks, BBVA, has announced that it is switching its 110,000 staff to Google's cloud-based enterprise software.
The deal could be a breakthrough for Google’s cloud-based services because it shows that even banks are moving to the public cloud, but BBVA will use Google’s tools only for internal communication, according to the BBC.
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The bank and Google have also pointed out that the system will meet the demands of banking regulators and data protection officials, and be as secure as any solution on the bank's premises.
The move is aimed at achieving a cultural change by getting the whole company working together across 26 countries through using cloud-based Google applications like e-mail, calendar, documents (storage), chat, video conferencing and other collaboration tools.
Recognising the need to manage the change, the bank says it has a training programme in place to prepare staff for the move to the browser-based online world.
BBVA’s move to the cloud has also been prompted by the increasing mobility of the bank’s workforce, but the bank has emphasised that all customer data and other key banking systems will remain in its own data centre and be completely separate from Google’s cloud-based services.
The bank claims that a pilot with 7,000 staff did not identify any problems, but IT staff will monitor traffic because of concerns about whether BBVA's network will be able to cope with the increase associated with cloud-based services, particularly when video conferencing is involved.
BBVA chose Google over other cloud-based services because of a better price, security and experience in the market, according to Bloomberg.
Google is stepping up competition with Microsoft as companies seek to cut software costs and improve productivity in adverse economic conditions.