If this is what I think it is: Personally I'd recommend going the google route and keeping things 'simple'.
I wouldn't recommend utilizing too much ajaxified things just yet until everyone and their browsers have caught up. The advent of a technology doesn't necessarily mean jump to it: The brand being discussed should definitely get an overhaul but keep it simple!
Something I'd recommend always doing is getting lots of feedback from both users & employees
employee sit down & spend 15-20 minutes on the existing site showing you how they would browse it as a perspective client.
What catches their attention the most?
What types of information do they like and what do they ignore?
Which aspects of the sales procedure do they find cumbersome?
The employees who deal with the perspective clients daily (e.g. the sales
team) would have more insight into the system than anyone else. Everyday they help assist users walk through the order form.
The same applies to the clients. Post a few threads on the forum and get their insight. Launch a few polls:
What parts of the signup procedure did they find the easiest?
Which part of the existing site do they like?
Which do they think needs additional work?
Best of luck with the project