Today we are excited to announce, Office 365, a new brand of cloud services that I believe will lead customers to increase their adoption of cloud services. For the official news of the day, I recommend you visit our event site. Go sign up for the BETA!
Over the last couple of weeks we’ve announced several new customers including DuPont, Godiva, The State of Minnesota and State of California have all decided to join existing BPOS customers such as GlaxoSmithKline, McDonalds, Starbucks, and American Express.
In fact, the number of businesses using our existing BPOS solution has more than tripled since the beginning of this year and we have companies as small as 5 users up to hundreds of thousands of user organizations relying on Microsoft as their trusted partner in the cloud.
Today’s announcement means customers will have access to our software in a way which completes our vision to ‘light up’ the best end user tools with the best set of server products on the market.
In fact the value of Union brings the capability which other vendors treat as distinct software markets into one complete offering for your business.
Considering that the on-premises versions of these products consistently rank as a leader (upper right quadrant) in related Gartner Magic Quadrants, you can understand why customers of all sizes will be excited about the opportunity to gain access to such powerful set of tools.
Upper Right More of the Time
Gartner Inc., one of the world’s largest and most influential industry analyst firms, is a trusted source for IT decision makers in all industries. One of Gartner’s best known research methodologies is the “Magic Quadrant” which assesses a market and its participants (vendors) to help customer identify a short list of vendors for consideration.
According to Gartner, “Assessing a market and its participants is a daunting task. Vendor differentiation caused by differing sizes, levels of complexity and strategies can inhibit comparisons of vendor offerings, and the market's overall direction is often murky. Gartner's Magic Quadrants and MarketScopes solve these problems by offering snapshots of markets and their participants, enabling you to map vendor strengths against your current and future needs.” You can read more here.
Products such as Microsoft Office, SharePoint, Exchange, Lync and BPOS, participates in 16 relevant Magic Quadrants, ranging from Business Intelligence to Unified Communications to Social Software and more.
This year, Gartner placed Microsoft’s products in the Leader’s quadrant – the highest possible ranking within these reports, in 11 of these categories, highlighting the confidence Gartner analysts have in Microsoft products and solutions. The 16 categories and 11 ‘Leader’s Quadrant’ designations include (bold means available with Office365):
If you want to get more information about Gartner Magic Quadrants, go to www. gartner.com or call 1.203.964.0096.<-->
As part of the Real World Microsoft Online Services series, we spoke to Christian Kuttler, Director of Information and Communication Technology at Center Parcs, about replacing Google Apps with the Microsoft Business Productivity Online Standard Suite. Here's what he had to say:
Q: Tell us about the Center Parcs business model.
Kuttler: Center Parcs popularized the concept of a "short break" vacation experience. Each of our resorts provides an all-in-one getaway, combining luxury lodging with unique indoor and outdoor activities—set in the midst of beautiful forest acreage. From their rustic private cottages nestled in the woods, guests can explore nearby hiking trails and lakes, or stroll to first-class spas, restaurants, and shopping venues.
Q: What were the biggest challenges Center Parcs faced with Google Apps?
Kuttler: We welcome 36,000 guests each week to our resorts, so we need to provide employees with effective communication and collaboration tools. We initiated a proof-of-concept deployment of Google Apps to 250 of our employees. We found that a significant number of employees spent considerable time learning the Google Apps interface or compensating for deficiencies in the tools, which meant they had less time to create documents and manage projects.
Google Apps worked well for small teams creating documents that required simple formatting. But when our finance group needed to collaborate on a complex budget document, for example, Google Spreadsheets lacked the sophistication we needed, including all of the formatting shortcuts and analytics capabilities that we were accustomed to in Microsoft Office Excel. With Google Spreadsheets, the more complex the document, the more unstable it became.
Q: Why did you switch from Google Apps to Microsoft Online Services?
Kuttler: Given our direct experience in experimenting with it for more than a year, it was clear that Google Apps is simply not yet ready to be used as an enterprise solution. It lived up to the promise of discounted costs in the beginning, but it didn't deliver on long-term value; in fact, the cost in terms of lost productivity consumed any up-front savings we achieved by moving to Google Apps. After taking a closer look at the hosted solution from Microsoft, we recognized that it offered true value and gave us a stable, reliable platform for growth.
Q: What kinds of benefits have you seen since Center Parcs started using Microsoft Online Services?
Kuttler: When we used Google Apps, I had employees standing in my office saying that they'd given up, that they could not use the applications to complete certain tasks. Now that we've moved to Microsoft Online Services, I don't have that problem anymore. Through our use of the Microsoft Business Productivity Online Standard Suite, we've increased employee productivity by a minimum of 20 percent; we've achieved this by giving employees access to high-performance, on-demand tools so that they can work together to meet the needs of our guests.
You can read the full story online and we invite you to join our upcoming TechRepublic Webinar on October 14th to hear from other customer's like Center Parcs who found Microsoft a better fit for their business than Google Apps.
For more success stories like Christian Kuttler's at Center Parcs, read other real-world testimonials on our whymicrosoft website.
If you're reading this post, you're probably
interested in the cloud and hopefully in Microsoft Online Services and BPOS in
particular. I wanted to take a couple of minutes to highlight some of the great
things happening with Microsoft's cloud offerings and also provide you with
pointers to some Cloud information resources that I find useful.
First, I want to make sure that you saw the big
news this week about the State of Minnesota selecting Microsoft's BPOS
cloud offering for their communications and collaboration solution. In a related
Khanna, Chief Information Officer (CIO) of Minnesota talks in his own words
about his thoughts on some of the criteria that Minnesota focused on when
making their decision, including security, scalability, and cost.
It's exciting for me to see that Microsoft is delivering on the requirements that customers are looking for as they consider
taking advantage of the benefits that cloud offerings deliver. You can also find information on other
customers that have adopted our offerings on Microsoft's
Customer Evidence site.
Keep your eyes on the following resources to
make sure you're aware of all the cool stuff happening in this space.
Here are the resources I follow and some
examples of what they have to offer.
Online Services Team Blog
Microsoft News Center
We live (and work) in exciting times!
We recently talked to Jake Harris, Director of IT at Aisle7, about replacing Google Apps with the Business Productivity Online Standard Suite, which includes Microsoft Exchange Online. Here's what he had to say.
Q: Tell us about the Aisle7 business model.
Harris: We are a health and wellness marketing solution for grocery stores, health food outlets, drug stores, and mass-market retailers. Customers including Wal-Mart, Whole Foods, and The Vitamin Shoppe feature our content on their websites through in-store kiosks and mobile applications and use it to educate shoppers about the wellness products they carry.
Q: What was the biggest challenge Aisle7 faced with Google Apps?
Harris: When we decided to implement Google Apps Premier Edition, some people warned that Google might be good for personal use but not for business. I think those people were wise—I've come to believe the same thing after trying it. The Google Apps Sync tool never worked as advertised. For example, if you're using calendar features, that's where the Google sync tool really fails. I had to update distribution lists manually, save them onto a network share, and then send everyone a ten-step procedure for remediating their distribution lists. Also, Google provided almost no support at all.
Q: Describe the solution you built with Microsoft Online Services?
Harris: Microsoft went to great lengths to make sure that the solution was the best fit for my company. (By contrast, the salesperson at Google kept repeating that the best way to try Google Apps is to buy it.) We replaced Google Apps with the Business Productivity Online Standard Suite, which is available on a per-user, per-month basis—and we pay only for the services that we subscribe to. Everything is hosted at Microsoft data centers.
Q: What benefits have you seen since Aisle7 started using Microsoft Online Services?
Harris: I was tired of the headaches with Google Apps. I'm quite excited to be using tried-and-true Microsoft products. The Exchange Online pricing is competitive and the overall value is higher. There are all sorts of advanced functionalities you get from the full, rich feature set of the Business Productivity Online Standard Suite. And it actually works. What a concept.
For more success stories like Jake Harris at Aisle7, read other real world testimonials on our whymicrosoft.com website.
Today at our annual Financial Analyst's Meeting (FAM) we announced that The Dow Chemical Co., Hyatt Hotels Corporation and the University of Georgia have each selected Microsoft cloud solutions. If you'd like to watch any of Executive keynotes, please visit the digital site dedicated to this event.
Three Different Customers, One Common Strategy
These three customers are certainly a diverse set of businesses but they do share a common strategic direction to leverage Microsoft's cloud for the next generation of their computing needs. Ina Fried from CNET has a great summary of the customer stories in her post from today's announcement.
These customers join over 40 million paid users' who leverage Microsoft Online services today including 500 government entities, 13 of top 20 global telecom firms, 15 of the Top 20 global banks, and 16 of the top 20 global pharmaceutical companies. As I previously posted, Windows Azure also has recently announced the addition of over 10,000 customers in nine months since full scale production.
Hyatt Hotels & Resorts – Check's In to BPOS
This win is another great example of a customer leaving an on premises competitive solution for Microsoft's Business Productivity Online Suite. Just like Codelco, Hyatt will take advantage of the full suite for "information workers" while offering a more cost effective option for 40,000 associates who do not have a need for fully dedicated suite. This is a great way to unify the entire workforce with one platform and enable a common user experience for everyone.
University of Georgia – UGA is All In
For those not familiar, the University's mascot is 'the bulldogs'. In fact, there is a real bulldog affectionately named "UGA" pictured below. His Bio is here. With teeth like that, you better believe we are excited to have him on our side!
Over 85,000 students, faculty and staff will take advantage of Live@Edu. The university joins other great educational institutions such as the University of Arizona, Kentucky Department of Education and New York City public school district who have recently selected Microsoft as their vendor for cloud based solutions.
Dow Chemicals – The Right Formula is Microsoft Online
Dow Chemical is moving their enterprise workforce to BPOS. Global companies such as Dow have expansive business units and a need to remain reliable and highly secure while taking advantage of the flexibility the cloud can enable. We are very excited about welcoming them to the BPOS family.
For more information on any of Microsoft's cloud solutions, please this website.
We just wrapped up our annual Worldwide Partner Conference (WPC), held in Washington, D.C. where thousands of partners from over 100 countries came to participate in this years meme 'Cloud Computing'. If you haven't seen any of the coverage or watched the keynotes, I highly recommend you take some time to visit the digital site to take in some of the content.
My two favorite blogs this week were actually here on the "Meet the Experts" blog. Mario Jaurez on the Windows Server blog does a great job explaining the news surrounding our new Windows Azure Platform Appliance which in IMHO is a game changer and huge differentiators for us in this space. Donald Farmer weighs in on the SQL Server blog with a great write upon "Project Dallas" our information marketplace that will revolutionize the sharing and usage of large data sets. Read both as they will give you an appreciation of just how massive our "All In" initiative is across Microsoft.
Over the last couple of weeks, it's clear the cloud discussion is growing louder and more dispersed. It's sort of like a conversation that starts between two people, a third joins, a fourth and fifth weigh in, then split off to talk about something new and so on and so on. This is a sign of momentum and maturity. We are now well beyond the Hype Cycle and into real execution by vendors and significant usage by customers.
The week before WPC, several companies went to our nations capital to attend a hearing on cloud computing held by the Oversight Committee to Examine Government-wide Transition to Cloud Computing. Information Week covered the newsand our own Scott Charney discussed Microsoft's view on the cloud and it's potential opportunities and challenges. When it comes to 'walking the walk' in public sector, I think our success with the Kentucky Department of Education demonstrates just how powerful, fast and wide sweeping a cloud project can be for constituents.
Federal News Radio also featured a great interviewwith Vince Menzione, General Manager of Microsoft where he discussed how Microsoft's solutions are built to meet the needs of customers with flexibility and security at the core.
Dan Lyons over at Newsweek also posted a great storyabout my area of expertise, cloud based productivity and messaging. He highlights two great Microsoft customer stories, Rexel and Serena Software, who both recently migrated to our BPOSsolution. The cloud can deliver dramatic cost savings, on average of 30% for workloads like email and collaboration. But 'cheap' isn't the only driver because as with everything, you get what you pay for. Just ask these customers how they felt about pursing a 'cheap only' cloud strategy.
Despite outrages claims by some vendors, the cloud isn't magic. It's just another way for great software companies to deliver the next wave of innovation for another generation of computing.
"Dogfooding" is a term that was started by engineers at Microsoft. I originally read about the term in the book "Showstopper" and immediately became fascinated with software and in particular Microsoft's approach to build world class products. Put simply, it means to use your own stuff as early and as often as possible. I am huge believer in this but might feel differently if I were a virologist tinkering with new vaccines. :)
Techtarget had a nice write up about Amazon making the move internally over to their AWS (Amazon Web Services) solution. At Microsoft, we still 'dogfood' most every product we deliver, including our new cloud offerings. For example, I've been using our Office Web Apps for over a year and my inbox is managed by the same team of Ops engineers who support our BPOS customers. This approach makes our products stronger, makes our customer happier and in the end, drives the industry forward.
Catching up on a set of industry news there were two articles recently that caught my eye as significant and worth summarizing.
The first was Frank Gens blog over at IDC where he summarized their new forecast for public IT Cloud services spending for the next four years. As with any macro spending forecast, it's half science, half art but the fact that IDC remains one of the most respected data analysis firms, it's worth sitting up when they predict spending will increase from approx $16.5Billion spent in 2009 to over $55 Billion in 2014, creating a 'scorching fast growth of 27% per year'.
This sort of forecasted growth is exactly why we are now sharing externally that approximately 90% of engineering at Microsoft will be working on cloud related projects in the coming years. When we say we are 'All In', we mean it. The cloud enables phenomenal new scenarios and business models that is solved by great software which just happens to run somewhere else. So in the future will you rely on software built by software companies like Microsoft Or will you bet on new entrants who make 97% of their revenue from Advertising and Search? (Yes, Google). Microsoft is a leader in the majority of Gartner Magic Quadrants today and my prediction is that when SaaS/IaaS/PaaS quadrants become the norm, we'll lead there too.
My Prediction: Knowing software and understanding enterprise needs will translate very well to the cloud for Microsoft. For Windows Azure, the evidence is already mounting after we acknowledged 10,000 customers only months after going into full production.
The next article worth summarizing is John Soat's "Five Predictions Concerning Cloud Computing" post over on Information Week. Please do read it but for my use, I've summarized his five below. Since John doesn't provide time period it's hard to argue with 'ever' so I've self imposed a 'in the next four years' (using similar IDC time) to evaluate his predictions.
Cloud Computing will disappear as a term.
The first one is arguably the most contentious. Running an application that physically sits somewhere else is as old as Remote Desktop & Terminal Services introduced in the NT era. This gave rise to companies like Citrix who enabled customers to install software on servers where someone could hit the box and screen scrape the session somewhere else. But John is likely arguing for a more SaaS purist approach where browsers, with no add-ins/plug-ins, can run an application such as a Word processor served from a high scale, multitenant platform. His example of CAD software is an interesting selection as it's usually the example touted as 'impossible' due to the reliance on local GPU for rendering etc that only a bare-metal (on a PC) install can provide.
HTML5 is not a panacea but in the next four years it will enable browsers to leverage local hardware to enable better graphics. IE9's preview has already weighed in with examples on how this will be possible. But what still isn't fully solved in the next four years will be the issue of latency. All applications require code and complex apps will still require complex code. That code needs a 'run time' to execute tasks. So when you take applications that run really fast on a PC and push them to a server, you introduce time and space for the processing which means latency.
Consider an application like an Excel Spreadsheet installed on a PC which has latency of microseconds that are not even perceptible by a human. It's literally using speed of light on the chip to process, use RAM and leverage GPU. If you scroll down through thousands of rows of data, it's as fast as the hardware can perform. But take the same spreadsheet and run it in a browser and then scroll through hundreds of rows. Chances are you will you now notice the performance lag as the app waits, pauses, then gives you more rows. Why? Simple. The 'run time' is on the server, so when a user scrolls, the browser makes a 'call' across the wire back to the server to simply 'fetch and paint' the next set of rows you want to see. In today's SaaS world this is something the user can actually witness, so this is a trade-off. Also consider the current constraints of 'offline' or in cloud terms when you lose an Internet connection. Google recently nixed their 'offline'docs and spreadsheets scenario likely because it was basically a view only scenario. Why? Simple. Browsers don't natively ship with a calculation engine. That engine sits on the server, so lose your connection, you lose the important part of a spreadsheet! Oh, but I could have typed 'offline' you will retort. True, you were able to leverage the browser control that allows text input but you couldn't insert Pictures or use a font not supported by a browser, so it was pretty stripped down feature set.
WinMobile, iPhone, Android have all proved that rich apps still matter. Most apps install on the phone itself. So even in the mobile space, the ultimate disconnected, untethered experience relies on installation of application to leverage resources from the device.
My prediction: HTML5 will become the foundation for the next web and drive new apps. But it won't create seamless magic for any application to run in the browser without any tradeoffs. Most applications that a business user runs on a daily basis will simply run better when installed on a PC and while cloud will offer new cool scenarios, we won't see every app in the cloud with full parity in the next four years. Ever? Sure.
I definitely agree here as it makes total sense when you think about it. Every application needs a platform to run on top off. As a SaaS player, it's tough to go it alone because of the huge CAPEX requirements to build data centers and a open platform. I feel super bullish about Microsoft in this space because our heritage is in the platform. Azure or WindowsInTune reflect our maturity in understand the provisioning, management and application development required to build a platform in the cloud. Since Azure supports multiple languages, we are opening up to embrace the broadest set of developers for the enterprise.
My prediction: Windows Azure will become the must use platform as a service for developers of all types.
Companies that are larger are typically more complex. Geographic exposure, size of partners and suppliers, numbers of employees etc all feed complexity in IT. As a result, the demands of larger customers to have a private cloud make sense. This is one of the reasons why we launched BPOS-Federal earlier this year. In the public sector there are particular security controls and certifications to run software and host data. As a result, it makes more sense to create a unique, private or ring fenced cloud that can meet requirements such as ITAR, FIPS 140-2 etc. I used to work at SAP Markets 10 years ago when B2B markets became a way to create private trading networks which was arguably v1 of private clouds based on commerce between entities. Now the cloud enables shared data, shared resources so a private cloud will become a smarter way for larger organizations to leverage the efficiency of cloud but in a more tailored, reliable and secure approach.
My prediction: Debate will continue in the industry to define clear lines between a private and public cloud for 2 more years. But the industry will cease to care after 2 years and it will be totally acceptable to pick whatever cloud based approach you want.
The concept of deploying code anywhere you want is a huge software challenge as tasks must orchestrate across multiple run times and platforms. Without this ability, the cloud could be seen as an 'Ultimatum' on IT. For every customer who wants to go 'All In' today, it's great and for every other one that wants to wait, that's okay too! Hybrid scenarios allow for this reality to occur and it's why BPOS is architected to talk to on premises versions of the software and why Windows Azure App Fabric and Windows Server AppFabric are key assets for Microsoft to enable Hybrid scenarios for the future.
My prediction: Where software lives, cloud or not, will cease to be the primary windmill we all charge for debate. It will be replaced with how deeper debate about how software orchestrates and spans any implementation in the most seamless way.
This is my favorite. As cloud platforms grow and become mainstream, hybrid scenarios will also demonstrate a more fluid software experience. This is will make the definition no longer be relevant and it won't matter. We'll all go back to realizing it's all software and every company will leverage the best tools and methods to meet their strategy. 'Cloud' will sound as funny as 'information superhighway' or 'Handheld Device'. In the end, the companies who build great software will continue to be the preferred vendors and this is why Microsoft is so well positioned for years to come.
My prediction: In the future, I will still read about the Top 5 things to come in the future and enjoy seeing what actually came true.
Over the last several weeks, I've been proud to highlight why customers of all sizes, geographies and industries have picked Microsoft over Google Apps. Some have left Google after realizing 'it's more pony than horse', others gave it a test drive and found out quickly it was 'more showroom than track ready'. (Sorry, I couldn't resist) . Despite the hype machines running overtime at the GooglePlex in Mountain View, customers are voting with their feet to pick Microsoft.
This is why I am excited to highlight two more customers who have decided to share their reasons why Microsoft has become their trusted software vendor. As always, if you want more customer examples or content that outlines how our solutions differ to Google, you can always visit this website.
Leaving Google. Why Even Free Google Apps Wasn't Worth It
Jared Morgan from Bradshaw and Weil in Paducah, KY has written a guest post over on the MS Online blog about their experience leaving Google Apps Standard Edition for MS Online. Standard edition is a free offering from Google that is limited to 50 users. They see the tremendous value in BPOS to now pay for the suite of services. Jared shares why as a small business the cloud offers a cost effective way to remain agile while gaining access to technology previously out of reach due to cost and on site company support. My favorite part about Jared's post is his singling out of SharePoint Online as a key benefit of the BPOS Suite, "What I thought I was getting as a simple throw-in with BPOS, SharePoint Online has turned out to be as valuable as Exchange Online, if not more so."
SharePoint is the fastest growing product in the history of Microsoft. It's received numerous accolades from industry analysts including top placement in all related Gartner Magic Quadrants. Imagine being a small business with under 50 employees and having access to such a product via the cloud? It's no surprise why SharePoint is a winner for Bradshaw and Weil and 'Why Microsoft' is an affirmative statement and not question at all.
Future Proofing Your Business - Cloud on Your Terms with Microsoft
On the Exchange Blog, David Aird, Head of IT for MITIE, a strategic outsourcing and asset management company, shares his insights into why they selected Exchange over Google Apps. He explains how Microsoft provides flexibility they need and how Google is an ultimatum full of hidden costs. We are the only company in the industry that allows you to run your solutions on prem, in the cloud, hosted with a partner or a hybrid. That means that companies like Bradshaw and Weil who are 'All In' can embrace the cloud immediately and for companies like MITIE, they can still run the systems themselves but by being on Microsoft, they have a product that is 'future proofed' because it allows them an 'on ramp' to go to the cloud on their terms.
"We looked at Google. They were competitively priced but with only three years in the productivity space, they lacked maturity and seemed like a risky investment… Ultimately, we choose Exchange 2007 for its manageability, reliability and enterprise class support. Despite all the recent focus on the cloud, we're not quite ready to move our data outside of our immediate control. When we do, we'll do it on our terms rather than being forced into a fit that's not right for our business." (see post for full transcript. I pulled from two paragraphs)
Stay tuned for more customer stories in the coming weeks as we continue to highlight 'Why Microsoft'.
Codelco, the world's largest copper mining company is 'All In' with BPOS! Today on the MS Online blog we are proud to provide a guest post by Marco Orellana, CIO of Codelco. You can also watch a great video interview between Marco and Chris Capossela, SVP of Microsoft Business Division. Codelco is a Chilean State owned copper mining company formed in 1976 with headquarters in Santiago. It is the largest copper producing company in the world with more than 18,000 workers and pre-tax profits of over $4 billion in 2009.
There is a great storyline's here with this customer win.
Codelco has taken advantage of the Microsoft Online 'deskless' product to provide email to mine workers who were once disenfranchised from IT because of cost. This is EXACTLY what Forrester analyst, Ted Schadler wrote about in last years report, "Tier Your Workforce To Save Money With Cloud-Based Corporate Email; Forrester Finds Customers Can Save “$1.3 Million Annually With Exchange Online Deskless Worker” Given the flexibility of the BPOS suite, customers can buy solutions that map to their needs. If you want just mail, Exchange Online is available. If you want just SharePoint, we'll support that as well. And if you have workers who need to participate in the flow of information and replace the 'bulletin board' in the break room, we can support a lighter weight solution for them via the deskless offering. NET.
They selected BPOS because as opposed to other solutions in the market, you don't under-buy for your core Information Workers with 'good enough' or over-buy for the task, deskless worker with huge inboxes, video, IM, etc. IT can meet business needs in a agile and cost effective way by managing all the workforce on one central system and bring the workforce together so they can focus on mining not stitching together IT across disparate solutions. Win-Win.
Today we've publish two more case studies that highlight how customers have answered the question "Why Microsoft?" Building on our previous post about customers 'Leaving Google Apps', both customer interviews both provide continued examples of why Google Apps doesn't really deliver the nirvana its creators claim. Just last week, Clint Boulton over at Google Watch blog on eWeek also posted a nice piece on the Serena win back to Microsoft Online.
China Navigation Jumps Ship from Google Apps.
China Navigation is a customer with 300 employees located throughout Asia in the shipping management industry. Email is the hub of their business to communicate with customers and partners throughout the world. Originally, they selected Google Apps but after issues with support and reliability they migrated over to Microsoft Online (BPOS).
"To us, email is a primary service and we viewed outage as somthing quite serious. Microsoft's financially backed SLA gave us a high level of confidence in addressing our enterprise needs We did not get that same level assurance with Google" Joshua Loh, IT and System Manager, China Navigation
Intero Real Estate Vacates Google Apps.
The second case study highlights Intero Real Estate which is located literally a few freeway exits away from the 'Googleplex' in California. As a Silicon Valley company with close to 2,000 employees, the firm is a reflection of their clientele; innovative and 'out of the box' with their approach to IT. Initially the firm used Google Apps for franchise offices but quickly found that running the entire company on the solution created more problems than it solved. Similar to the findings of other companies I've highlighted, Google Apps could be simple to a fault, lacking table stakes type of IT features for Group Management etc.
"It was one thing to migrate a small team of 15 franchise users to Google Apps, but I suspected that it was another thing entirely to move the company's more than 2,000 users," says Eric Rees, Director of IT for Intero Real Estate Services.
If you are a customer who has migrated to Google Apps (or a partner who has done this already) and are considering a way to migrate to Microsoft Online, leave a comment and I will get in touch with you.