A study has established that in Africa, Google’s cloud-based email, calendar and contact management products have become the second most popular collaboration tool among business community after Microsoft Exchange.The survey of 2,000 African enterprises identified one in three as Google apps users. More than 47 percent used Microsoft Exchange, which remained a clear leader in the sub Saharan market. More than 10 percent of African enterprises are consuming groupware which is defined as email, calendar, contact and task management applications all under a cloud or hybrid model.Google’s 5.5-year-old, business-grade apps offering has now overtaken IBM’s Lotus Notes especially in more established states of Morocco, South Africa, Angola and Nigeria.Last year, Gartner research found less than four percent of enterprises using cloud or hosted email solutions at the time.
The firm expected that figure to grow to 40 percent by the end of 2016 in Africa, and reach a majority by the end of 2020.Most organizations in Africa continue to consume a mix of on-premise, hosted or cloud versions of Microsoft’s Office 365 suite for security and legal reasons.Only about 5% of the 330 enterprises surveyed consumed groupware through a pure software as a service model. Contador Harrison thinks that African enterprises will more likely move to groupware, web serving, content management, intranet portals, storage, search and document management to the cloud.Chief information officers and IT managers are also less likely to look to consume back-office software as a service, including accounting, billing and customer relationship management applications.