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.
Today, we are excited to announce that the Department of Education in the Commonwealth of Kentucky has gone live with Microsoft's Live@edu solution. With more than 700,000 people, this is one of the largest cloud deployments in the world! Schools in the Bluegrass state are 'All In' for the cloud.
I think it’s best to hear directly from Chuck Austin from the Kentucky DOE who has written a guest blog post which highlights their decision and experience moving to Microsoft’s cloud.
Live@edu Brings the Future to Kentucky
I’ve been managing technology in schools for more than 20 years. And there’s one thing I know: There are very few times when you can simultaneously streamline output and lower costs, while also dramatically increasing capacity and add new features.
But one of those rare occasions occurred during the weekend of May 21. That’s when the Kentucky Department of Education – where I work – switched its email, communications and collaboration capabilities to Microsoft’s Live@edu service. Now we can offer every one of our students the newest and best technology. We support more than 700,000 students, faculty and staff, and the move to Live@edu helps us avoid some $6.3 million in costs over four years we’d otherwise have to make to upgrade and maintain our previous system.
And when I say we made that move in a “weekend,” I mean just that. Between Friday and Monday, we moved over half a million students, teachers and staff to Live@edu. True, we had planned the move for almost two years. But the speed and ease with which we made the final transition – we called it the “big bang” – speaks well of Live@edu and Microsoft’s ability to handle that enormous influx of users. In fact, it is the largest cloud deployment, to date, in the United States and one of the biggest in the world.
We’re delighted with the new capabilities Live@edu brings to the teaching and learning environment. Our students and teachers were struggling with an older system that lacked capacity and lacked the ability to scale up. Now all of our users have cloud-based email and calendars that they can access from any Web browser and from multiple device factors. They have 10 gigabytes of mail storage and another 25 gigs of file storage so people can collaborate on documents and class projects. And they now have document sharing, instant messaging, video chat, mobile e-mail and much more so people can collaborate more effectively and communicate more easily. Live@edu really gives us the ability to take away the walls of the school and enable our students and teachers to work together in new ways.
What’s equally great is that even the most remote of our 174 districts now has state-of-the-art technology. Equity has been a cornerstone philosophy of the Kentucky Education Technology System (KETS) since 1992, and continuing to meet this goal was really an important consideration for us. We have a lot of rural districts, and we wanted to give every district the same technology whether it was in the country or in the city, whether a rich district or a poor one. With Live@edu we were able to do that.
I want to thank Microsoft for being a great partner in this project. Our Microsoft team worked really hard to make sure the transition to Live@edu went smoothly. And Live@edu itself is a great product.
We’re excited about what the future holds for us with Live@edu. We’ll be able to gain access to new technology and innovative features without incurring extra costs, and grow the system as we need to. I think it will give a tremendous boost to the education of our young people. Which, after all, is why we’re here.
Posted by Chuck Austin
OFFICE OF EDUCATION TECHNOLOGY, KENTUCKY DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION
Now more than 11 million people across 10,000 schools on every continent are using Live@edu as their technology solution. This is fast on the heels of last year’s move by the Board of Regents in the State of Ohio who also selected Live@edu for a University System wide initiative and last week’s University of Arizona decision to choose BPOS. The Commonwealth's criterion for selecting Live@edu is similar to the countless others I've highlighted in previous weeks and it offers stark contrast from the discussions being had at the: University of California-Davis, UMass and Yale University, regarding deep privacy and security concerns related to the use of Google Apps.
For a more detailed take, you can also read my WhyMicrosoft blog.