Earlier today at the Clift Hotel in San Francisco, we convened a group of journalists, partners and customers for a discussion on Google Apps in the enterprise. We're pleased to report that the "state of the cloud" is strong, and we've taken a number of steps to make it stronger.

At the event we discussed the growth of our business, introduced some new customers, and announced a feature that makes switching to Apps even easier. The Clift was a particularly appropriate venue because it's a member of the Morgans Hotel Group, which is deploying Google Apps to its 1,750 employees. JohnsonDiversey, a global provider of commercial cleaning and hygiene products and solutions, has also gone Google. Choosing Apps helped JohnsonDiversey migrate its 12,000 employees to one communications platform while lowering its IT costs and furthering its commitment to sustainability through the elimination of a number of energy-intensive email servers.

Of course, when big companies like Morgans move all their employees from Microsoft Exchange to Google Apps, there are often a few folks who aren't ready to give up Microsoft Outlook right away. To help them make the transition, today we also introduced Google Apps Sync for Microsoft Outlook to our Premier and Education edition customers. It lets Outlook work easily with Apps and — like offline Gmail and the Google Apps Connector for BlackBerry® Enterprise Server — is another example of how we're making it dead simple to switch to Google Apps.

To read more about Google Apps Sync for Microsoft Outlook and hear why 1.75 million companies are now running their business on Google Apps, check out the Google Enterprise Blog.