More and more businesses and organizations have “gone Google” by utilizing Google Apps to manage their data. The benefits of going Google are plentiful—whether it’s huge cost savings, the ability to access data from anywhere, or easier collaboration for users. IT professionals in particular love that it’s easy to set up, use, and manage.

As you might expect, there are plenty of tech companies and startups that have already made the move to Google—Salesforce, Box, and Warby Parker to name a few. However, you might be surprised to learn that huge corporations, universities, and even entire cities are going Google as well. Here are my top 7 surprises:

1. US Army

Last week, the U.S. Army announced that they’re going Google to cut costs, improve collaboration, and go mobile. This is huge news for the largest and oldest branch of the U.S. military. Initially, the rollout will be for a group of 50,000 Army and Department of Defense personnel. Within the Army, the increased collaboration capabilities are a big win in keeping soldiers connected with each other and loved ones. Soldiers can share documents using Drive, attend classes via Hangout, or keep in touch with friends and family using Mail.

2. Whirlpool

Whirlpool is the world’s leading manufacturer of major home appliances with 68,000 employees around the world. Innovation is key to their business, and finding faster and easier ways to support collaboration are critical to fostering it. Earlier this month, Whirlpool announced their decision to go Google to “think, share, and move faster” to bring products to market. Gaining Whirlpool as a customer is a huge win for Google given Whirlpool’s size and brand, but also represents a shift in large, world-wide enterprises adopting cloud technologies.

3. City of Boston

Entire cities are moving their employees to the cloud for its cost savings. Earlier this year, the city of Boston announced that it’s dropping Microsoft Exchange and moving 20,000 city employees to Google Apps, joining other cities like LA, Pittsburgh, Orlando, and Des Moines in going Google. Cost is a major driver for city governments in making the switch; while it’ll cost Boston around $800k to make the switch, they’ll save at least $280k/year by doing so. Those cost savings year-over-year work to save taxpayer dollars and increase funds for other programs.

4. University of Notre Dame

Universities are increasingly adopting Google Apps. In fact, 72 of the Top 100 Schools listed by US News & World Report have already gone Google, contributing to the over 20 millions students using Google Apps for Education. The University of Notre Dame is no exception, rolling out Google Apps to 12,000 students, 6,000 faculty, and 150,000 alumni. Their IT team adopted Google Apps in response to student demand for better reliability, efficiency and functionality. The best part—Notre Dame saved $1.5 million by making the switch in addition to benefiting from fewer help desk questions and higher user satisfaction.

5. Woolworths

It’s not just US businesses that are going Google. Woolworths is Australia’s largest retailer with more than 3,000 stores across Australia and New Zealand and over 200,000 employees. With an organization of that size and scale across different locations, having the right communication tools are an essential part of business. Woolworths adopted Google Apps to give staff an easy way to access and share information from any location on any device. This move was a key part of their strategy to not only improve employee productivity, but also customer experience. Through a custom app built on the Google App Engine, store managers can easily connect with their national support ticket, giving them the ability to spend more time on the store floor assisting customers.

6. Virgin America

Leading airline Virgin America is known for their innovative use of technology to improve the flying experience for travelers. Back in 2010, they made the switch to Google Apps to save costs and increase employee efficiency. On top of this, they saved over 18 terabytes of storage space by making the switch. Updates to systems in the cloud happen in real-time; no more waiting on time-consuming downloads for on-premise software. Their move to the cloud has helped them make their platforms faster and more efficient, allowing them to focus on their core business: elevating the flying experiences.

7. Roberto Cavalli

Increasing employee productivity is always in style, especially at Italian fashion house Roberto Cavalli. They switched to Google Apps to consolidate all of their communication and collaboration tools into one system. Roberto Cavalli employees are constantly working with large files such as fashion show videos, photographs, and product catalogues. Being able to easily store and share their documents without slowing down their computers was a huge advantage of going Google. They estimate that they’ll save up to 40,000 (approximately $50,000) per year in overhead costs and through increased productivity.

With over 5 million business already having gone Google, it’s clear that these seven are in good company. Has your company gone Google?

Photo credit: Håkan Dahlström