Google attempted to drum up further SME (small and medium enterprise) support for its cloud platform as it held its annual Atmosphere conference in Central London. 

Speaking at Google UK's head office at the bottom of Tottenham Court Road in front of an audience of 100 business leaders, Neil Delaney, European director of small and medium businesses at Google for Work, hailed the cloud as a key technology for companies that are looking to scale. 

Google for Work, formerly known as Google Enterprise, believes there are three main challenges to sustainable growth. They include: access to capital and skills; scalability and management control; and driving innovation. 

Delaney, a salesman by background, claimed that Google for Work's suite of apps, which includes the likes of Gmail, Google Docs and Hangouts and costs from £33 per user per year, can help companies overcome these growth challenges. 

Companies with Google Apps grow five times quicker than normal companies in terms of employee numbers,” he said, before going to point at the success that London startups like Kano, Rovio and TransferWise have seen off the back of using Google’s cloud-based applications. 

An increasing number of businesses have been migrating from Microsoft to Google in a bid to increase collaboration and cut costs but Google is particularly keen to ensure it has fast-growing companies like Spotify and YPlan on its books. 

But Peter Briffett, COO of event-finding app, YPlan, told Techworld that while he and his colleagues use Google Apps for Work on a daily basis, there are still occasions when they need to use Microsoft Office. 

"I guess nothing is perfect," he said. "We use it for a host of different things, mostly collaborative, but we may download to Excel if we’re doing heavy number crunching." 

The sales pitch from Google was conveniently timed with the release of a report from Deloitte highlighting many of the benefits businesses stand to gain by moving to the cloud.