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Top 5 Questions to Ask Google

Top 5 Questions to Ask Google

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There is no question that being CIO is a demanding role that has been made more difficult by facing tough decisions about cloud solutions. Two weeks ago, I shared five key themes I consistently hear from business leaders who are considering moving their business to the cloud.  As a follow up, here are five questions I think are key to making an informed decision on the best cloud provider for your business.

1. Do you have a proven track record?
Exactly four years ago, Google launched Google Apps for Business.  However, (even after a lot of "Gone Google" hype and a low price), the vast majority of businesses using Google Apps are not paying for them.  Why?  The businesses I talk to want solutions that work with what they have today and provide a bridge to the future at their pace. They hesitate to pay for solutions that don't fully meet their needs. At Microsoft, we believe the best approach is to help organizations move to the cloud on their terms, not ours.  Our track record in helping enterprise customers achieve their goals speaks for itself.  Does Google's?
2. How much will it cost to get my people productive?
Announcing a "win" and actually deploying the solution for the customer are two very different things.  Providers like Google are great at the former but often fail at the latter.  Why do businesses resist fully deploying Google Apps?  Because it means retraining users who are used to Microsoft Office, accepting limited interoperability with other line of business applications, and dealing with Google's limited features is expensive.  In the long run, the total cost of ownership for even "free" solutions is costly and time consuming. Can your business afford this "unstated" cost?
3. What are your privacy policies?
Do a careful review of the company's privacy policy; will you always know where your data is? Microsoft designs its solutions from the ground up for security and privacy and they are backed by two decades of meeting enterprise needs for secure, private solutions. If productivity isn't a significant contributor to a cloud provider's bottom line, you should ask yourself what line of business is and whether it's consistent with your privacy needs.
4. What is your long term roadmap?
Organizations need to plan for the future without questioning a cloud provider's long term commitment to their business.  Despite the need for customers to understand their roadmap, Google and others often surprise their customers by unexpectedly removing important features - or adding new ones - which increases both headaches and cost.    We understand you operate a business, not a lab for our latest experiment
5. Can you support all of my people with what they need
Most businesses have a variety of people working in different roles.  Not all of them sit in Silicon Valley campuses with high-speed Internet and not all of them even need a dedicated computer. What they do need is access to your businesses resources.  At Microsoft, we provide a variety of options for the different roles people play in your business. Your business does not exist in a one size fits all world - is your cloud provider one size?

Being a CIO is tough enough without uncertainty from your cloud provider. Before you put your business on the line, ask the hard questions.  Be tough and diligent and dig through the hype to find a partner, instead of just a service provider. You'll be glad you found a partner committed to you and your business' success.

 
Ron Markezich
Corporate Vice President, Microsoft Online

Comments
  • nice commentary ron

  • Top 5 questions to ask Microsoft:

    1. How much money did your online services business lose last year?

    2. When will Office365 actually launch?

    3. Why does your current "cloud" solution (BPOS) run on software designed over half a decade ago (Exchange 2007)? and...bonus; What does that say about your speed of innovation?

    4. Do you provide a way to migrate my data out of BPOS if I want to? (Today)

    5. How much cumulative downtime has BPOS had in the last 12 months? Yikes.

  • work.miramarmike.co.nz/.../5-questions-from-microsoft-that-cios.html

  • Fantastic replies Mike... (from ur blog for those who havent checked)

    work.miramarmike.co.nz/.../5-questions-from-microsoft-that-cios.html

    1)  Do you have a proven track record?

    Yes, they have been offering Google Apps for Business (as it is now called) since August 2006 (source: Wikipedia) - anyone else got a 5 year track record in cloud services ... Microsoft?

    2. How much will it cost to get my people productive?

    Such a wooly open ended question ... for instance define "productive".

    However, in my experience this comes in 3 phases:

    - Instant productivity gained through accessible to mail & calendar anytime particularly"off-site"

    - Dumping of old "document" habits open up the true collaborative nature of Docs

    -Change in  business process/culture that truly takes on board the 'open' nature of working in the cloud takes much time and work

    3. What are your privacy policies?

    Well, they provide a link to Google's privacy policy so ... well, read it.

    Microsoft's aren't linked but here they are, Microsoft Online Services Privacy Statement

    4. What is your long term roadmap?

    Wouldn't you like to know ;-)

    We (WaveAdept) take prospective and current clients through the Google Enterprise roadmap as required. We also re-iterate Google's stated approach of constant iteration as they learn what services, functionality work and what doesn't. Is this using clients "as a lab for our latest experiment", no it's learning from actual use and improving.

    BTW, can we see the Microsoft Office365 Roadmap please - when will it be released and what functionality will it include through 2012 ... no?, oh, ok.

    5. Can you support all of my people with what they need?

    No. Can anyone FFS

  • One more question I would like to as Microsoft:

    Do you run your own business in the Microsoft "cloud"?

  • newenterprise.allthingsd.com/.../googles-cloud-connect-beta-is-over-now-wheres-office365

  • There isn't much substance in your post. You speak in really vague generalities. This isn't the quality of analysis that I would expect from a professional engineering firm like Microsoft. You sound like a used car salesman. Have you actually tried Google Apps? Their sharing and auto-save are pretty smooth.

  • I would think that Mr. Markezich will not respond to your questions for Microsoft.  He is busy packing!

  • @Miquel - Microsoft CIO expressing the change issues of moving to the cloud extremely well: http://goo.gl/xJeo7

  • <blockquote>

    Why do businesses resist fully deploying Google Apps?  Because it means retraining users who are used to Microsoft Office

    </blockquote>

    This seems like an argument in favor of sticking with Windows XP and Office 2003. No user training required. Might as well stay on WordStar.

  • @Miquel - Microsoft CIO expressing the change issues of moving to the cloud extremely well: http://goo.gl/xJeo7

    http://goo.gl/Jeina

  • Here are some answers to Paul's top 5 Qs for Microsoft (see above):

    1) How much money did your online services business lose last year?

    The cloud is here and it isn't going away. Microsoft has committed its future in the cloud. Any investment has to

    wait for a return.

    2. When will Office365 actually launch?

    Probably July 2011

    3. Why does your current "cloud" solution (BPOS) run on software designed over half a decade ago (Exchange 2007)?

    and...bonus; What does that say about your speed of innovation?

    Exchange 2007 is a tried and tested product as the scale of deployments in Enterprises testify to. It was a major

    step up from Exchange 2003 and has stood the test of time. Exchange 2010 is less of a radical change but

    incorporates unified messaging amongst other things- 2010 will be available with Office365.

    - just a quick note on the bonus question: Microsoft overhauled their security in the development of products, lengthening release to market time to improve security.

    4. Do you provide a way to migrate my data out of BPOS if I want to? (Today)

    Yes.

    5. How much cumulative downtime has BPOS had in the last 12 months? Yikes.

    Having deployed BPOS for clients for the past year, downtime has been minimal in Australia- clients are happy. Microsoft provide a finanically backed 99.9% uptime SLA. Outages do happen for various reasons, as Google's Gmail has recently experienced.

  • This was an in formational trainning.

  • Lol Niggaz Trippin

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