Google announced App-titude competition for colleges in August 2008 and the entire idea was to encourage students, faculty members and alumni from all engineering and management schools throughout India to move their institutions to Google Apps platform.
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.