Rentokil Initial, the pest control company, has confirmed it is on track to standardise on Google email by the end of the year, with 11,000 staff already using the system.

Bryan Kinsella, CIO of Rentokil Initial (see full CIO interview here), told the Cloud Computing World Forum in London yesterday that by the end of this year, the company will have moved its entire business to its cloud-based email system.

Rentokil decided to move its email system to the cloud last year, moving from 35 different email products, including Novell GroupWise and Microsoft Exchange, 80 systems and 180 domains. It chose Google’s solution after a six-month trial with 700 users across the company in March 2009.

“Their [the users'] view was ‘we like it [Google]’,” said Kinsella. “This wasn’t about saving money. We have a collaborative ability, being able to communicate as we couldn’t before.

Although Rentokil had originally planned to roll out the Google Cloud solution to around 20,000 PC users, it is now rolling it out to 35,000 employees as it realised that the solution would also be useful for its mobile workers.

“One big reason why we went this route is because we are a company that travels a lot so the mapping technology is very useful for us,” Kinsella (pictured) said.

He explained how the company has combined its legacy systems with the Google cloud service by uploading customer details files, which includes their addresses, from the legacy systems on to Google Maps.

As well as the email and map features, Rentokil uses Google’s video facility to provide remote training.

“We are playing with that at the moment and it is going well,” said Kinsella.

So far, 11,000 Rentokil employees are using Google’s services, and the company is planning to build its entire intranet world in Google – thus standardising the 45 intranets it currently runs in the company. The new intranet is set to go live in September.