3, Ireland’s largest high speed network, today announce an agreement with Google to provide its customers with a new Cloud Computing bundle, allowing small businesses to enjoy, at a fraction of the cost, the same latest technology that has traditionally been affordable only for large companies.

The offer, which is exclusive to 3, includes Google Apps – a powerful and intuitive web based suite of communication and collaboration tools, a free mobile handset and dongle from 3.  With costs starting at €7 per user per month, small businesses can save up to 84% on their IT expenditure, while benefiting from Google’s extensive security measures and 24 x 7 technical support.

Today more than ever, small businesses are having had to adapt to a new economic reality to remain competitive.  Cloud Computing is an easy and effective way to increase efficiency and add new capabilities without the need for significant investments in new IT infrastructure, extensive staff training or expensive software licenses.

Companies taking advantage of this new offer from 3 and Google can enjoy the flexibility and mobility that cloud computing permits, allowing people to access their e-mail and documents at anytime and anywhere, using 3 Broadband.

With over 130 new features introduced only last year, Google Apps benefits from constant innovation and offers including: Gmail with 25GB of storage per account and integrated IM (Google Talk); Google Calendar which allows users to easily share their calendars with others to efficiently co-ordinate schedules, as well as organise events and meetings; Google Docs allowing users to create, edit and share documents, presentations and spreadsheets in real time; Google Sites an application that makes creating a website as easy as editing a document; and Google Video for Business, which makes company content and communication more personal, visual and engaging.

Commenting on the launch 3’s Damien Gallagher, National Broadband Scheme and New Business Director said: “As Ireland’s largest high speed network, our goal is to continually strive to provide competitive offers for our customers. This meeting of two brands dedicated to innovation and positive user experience is exciting and we look forward to continuing to support our business customers with compelling cost focused products that are complimented by excellent customer service.  .”

The offer is based around Google Apps and includes a free phone on the Business Solo and Sharer tariffs and a free dongle on the broadband plan. Handsets include the latest 3 business mobiles including the HTC Wildfire, which operates on the Google Android platform. For further details on these offers, please visit www.three.ie.

Neil Delaney, Head of SMB Sales & Operations, Google Enterprise EMEA comments, “With more than 2 million businesses around the world already enjoying the benefits of Google Apps, we are committed to helping companies improve the way their employees communicate and collaborate.  We welcome this opportunity to work with 3 to offer Irish SMBs access to innovative, reliable, secure and cost efficient IT tools which can transform their businesses, allow them to remain competitive and benefit from a new way of working that cloud computing brings and which, we believe, is the future of IT.”