Google announced App-titude competition for colleges in August 2008 and the entire idea was to encourage students, faculty
Google received close to 6,000 sign-ups and based on evaluation (product usage), XLRI was declared the winner.
As a result of the challenge, more than 100 colleges across India are now in the process of implementing Apps in their institutions. – blog
Power of Lateral Thinking
From sales/business development perspective, bureaucracy in educational institutions is one of the biggest challenge in closing the deal. Convincing IT team as well as college management is an uphill task and I am sure Google failed in it’s earlier attempt to penetrate into colleges.
B-schools/Engineering colleges love to compete with each other and Google just used this hook to get it’s App inside the system.
“App”titude challenge surely worked for them – simple math will tell you how much of money Google saved with this challenge – and most importantly, 100+ deals were closed in just a few months (I am sure a godo chunk of tier-2 colleges would have participated in this challenge as well).
Above all, getting access to ‘impressionable mind’ is what Google Apps Free Education Edition is trying to do – so that the next generation of users will not be hooked onto MS Office, but to Google Apps.