Efficiency is one of the key benefits of cloud computing, and Google (GOOG) is showing off that benefit with a new win over Microsoft (MSFT) and IBM (IBM) in the manufacturing space. According to Greg Wade, director of information systems at SL Power Electronics, the company investigated three different cloud options before settling on Google Apps.

Shifting from a Lotus Notes system that had been in place since 1998, SL Power Electronics found the system worked well for email, but as Wade wrote on the Google Enterprise blog, it didn't have tools in place to help employees, groups or divisions to work with one another. That's where a transition to the cloud came into place. Selecting a cloud solution came down to three options.

Because it was a Lotus-based system, it may have seemed a natural fit to switch to LotusLive, but after examining LotusLive, Office 365 and Google Apps, the company decided that Google had the right cloud solution for its needs.

"Google Apps scored highest in our evaluation, offering the most mature platform with the most tools, and saving 20 [percent] to 45 percent over the other solutions in our cost models. We switched in September of 2011 with the help of Google Apps Reseller, SADA Systems," wrote Wade in his blog post.

One of the challenges SL was trying to solve was bringing its work environment into the mobile world. As Wade noted in his blog post, the company's biggest obstacle was mobility, and its Lotus Notes and BlackBerry (BBRY) Enterprise Server solution wasn't meeting the needs of employees.

Additionally, the company wanted to improve the efficiency within its IT environment.

"Google Apps has made collaboration and efficiency top of mind. Our VP of Operational Excellence created a Google Site so he could collaborate with the 'lean champions' throughout the company to communicate scorecards to each factory, providing lean training materials for everyone. This has been an internal breakthrough since now all of our employees can easily locate and digest this information," Wade wrote.