Are you ad-opting a productivity vendor or advertising partner?
At Atmosphere today, Google will try to court CIOs. CIOs are a tough audience, and they should be. They are looking for solutions to increase productivity, foster collaboration and take their organizations to the next level in an efficient and effective way. This is serious business.
So, as Google prepares to convince this audience that it cares about businesses as much as advertisers, we wanted to touch on some of the most frequent CIO questions we get asked. Microsoft has been working with CIO’s for a long time – including industry leaders such as Kraft Foods, McDonalds, Phillips and Starbucks, state and local governments such as the State of California, Minnesota, New York City and the City and County of San Francisco as well as schools and universities such as San Francisco State University, University of New Orleans and the University of Washington. We know that every organization has needs that are unique to their business, their industry and their employees. CIO’s want to save money and deliver efficient solutions that will sustain their businesses while making their employees productive. Their needs are complex and mission critical. Given the complex nature of global businesses around the world, we have had the opportunity to answer CIO’s questions like the ones below for 20 years—how does Google answer them?
Do you have a proven track record?Productivity and collaboration solutions are at the heart of what we do. That simple fact gives us the incentive to continue investing and innovating in this area. It gives us the hunger to keep doing better, listening harder to CIOs—pushing ourselves harder than any competitor could. And most importantly, it gives us a reason to stay successful and invested in this business-today, tomorrow, and for decades to come. Jose Torres, CIO of Priox (Grupo Romero), said the Peru based company chose Microsoft for these very same reasons, “Google came from the world of ads and banners; we did not want to be their guinea pigs. This was a complex project, and we wanted to be certain.”
No CIO needs EVER to ask the question “Will Office be around or will it be jettisoned if it doesn’t do well?” Our business hinges on making the productivity experience successful. Grady Health Systems wanted a vendor invested in their business according Kevin Yearick, the Director of Network Services, “It was important to us that the relationship truly was a relationship, and not just a sale.“ They just didn’t get the same type of enterprise-level response from other vendors. Every CIO should ask- what drives Google’s interest in productivity? What is their incentive to stay in this business? How much of their attention am I really getting?
How much will it cost?If you are a CIO looking to cut costs, ask yourself (and Google) - what’s in the small legal print? Why have some businesses been unable to fully deploy Google Apps? Because retraining users on a new interface, accepting limited interoperability with other applications, and getting by with limited features is expensive. It costs companies money and it costs employees valuable time.
Minimizing disruption for their employees was one of the many reasons why Sound Transit chose Microsoft over Google according to IT Manager Garv Nayyar, “If we had to switch to Google, we would lose a lot of functionality with regard to calendaring, managing mailboxes, and scheduling appointments.” In the long run, the total cost of ownership for many "free" solutions is costly and time consuming. When Enterprise Architects took into account the extra services they had to adopt to fill the gaps in Google Apps, they moved to Microsoft for a more cost effective solution. Can your business afford this "unstated" cost?
What is your long term roadmap?Organizations need to plan for the future without having to question 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. These unexpected changes often lead to more work.
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. What they do need is access to your business resources. For most businesses, the Google model simply doesn’t support the level of flexibility they require. 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?
Do you feel like you’re getting less than 1% of their energy? We understand you operate a business. Productivity solutions really do change the way a company works. Make sure the one you choose is working for you.
We switched to Google 2 years ago - it was simply easier and better - oh and less expensive. It just works.
@Ian Ray: Google Apps for business users may disable/enable ads (http://bit.ly/9saThS) while Gmail continues to be scanned. According to Google: “If you have a Google Apps for Business or Education account, you have the option to disable/hide advertisements for users in your account.”… “To learn more about advertisements in Gmail, please visit the Gmail Help Center.” (http://bit.ly/bMm5uP)
"Note that there is no ad-related scanning or processing in Google Apps for Education or Business with ads disabled"
It is true that there are advertisements if they are explicitly left on in domain settings, but not that Gmail continues to be scanned with them off.
I've used consumer gmail for years and hardly notice that these ads exist. If advertising is really a marketing pitch for Microsoft, why are the ads in Hotmail so intrusive?
@Ian Ray: As many people know, Hotmail is free, not a service offered to customers. I see from your link that Google users have the onus to learn how to turn off ads whereas Microsoft online services customers have no such concerns.
Yes, Google Apps administrators have to learn how to use their own domain settings page.
@Daniel, @Robert Baker: Thank you for the opportunity to bring you up to date on how our solutions work for our customers. In terms of both availability and innovation in Microsoft’s web-based applications, the C-suite values our unique capabilities. In fact, since Chris Pyle, President and CEO of Champion Solution Group was quoted here in July of 2010 (http://bit.ly/rNdsrq ), Microsoft launched Office 365 in June of 2011 (http://bit.ly/s2pvfg).
“What concerned us most about Google was what we called their ‘roach motel’ approach to the cloud—once you go in, there’s no way out, if we installed Google Apps and trained everybody in how to use it, and then for some reason cloud computing wasn’t right for our business, we’d have nowhere to go; we’d have to start all over and retrain everybody. With the Microsoft solution, if we decided the cloud wasn’t meeting our changing needs, it would be easy to switch to on-premises versions of Microsoft Exchange Server or Microsoft SharePoint Server without having to retrain our whole staff.”
@ Tony Tai so if you don't like microsofts' cloud you can keep using it's expensive local apps, nice way out. seriously. Google actually does let you exit their products and hosts a page which shows you how to extract data which can be imported into just about any third party software.
Your training argument is rubbish too, and I actually didn't need to train my staff they just picked it up, i come on how hard is it to use a word processor, spreadsheet or email client...
I'm sticking with the ‘roach motel’, it's actually a nice place, perhaps you should pop in sometime.
@Robert Baker, @Daniel: It’s great that you brought up ease of use and cost. My colleague, Stephen, says it best in terms of Office 365: Quality Matters. (http://bit.ly/rAWgEK) . From his post…
Business owner, Karen Kotzen of Love My Lessons, coaches businesses in using productivity tools. : “I tried Google first, because it was free, but found that it wasn’t easy to use.”
Quality and value are key drivers for customers switching from Google Docs to Office 365, such as the 2-person non-profit D&L Representative Payee Services:
“We’re accustomed to using Microsoft Office products and wanted to continue to use them, so the compatibility issues with Google Docs caused concern,” says Paul Lovette, Vice President and Executive Manager for the nonprofit. “We were always worried, for example, that our forms’ layouts would be skewed by whatever formats Google chose.”
“What we get for a total of $12 a month is really priceless: instant availability, a robust suite of products, and the ability to synchronize documents between Office 365 and our workspaces,” says Lovette.
Then there is Total Cost of Ownership. See how it rolls up in“ The Hidden Google Tax”. (http://bit.ly/jbB4of)
@Tony Tai are you a robot? I'm telling you i am using google apps and it's simple to use. Stop quoting people i don't know telling me things are not are not right.
@ DANIEL: Contact me if you are serious about Going Google, I have a an excellent change management plan and cost saving plan for you!. email@example.com
@Daniel: As a manager of a brokerage firm, you seem to fight as hard for the success of technologies you choose as a Googler would.
I would love to learn how Microsoft can inspire just the kind of passion that you have as a customer. Let us know how we can reach you.
@toni nai : I'm surprised we did not reach the Godwin point here.
Forgot one note. If you're tired of crappy biased market puke like this article and you have a google account you can block all entries from technet from showing up in the search results under google.com/dashboard.
Good bye technet. You used to be a good resource for Microsoft related information. Now you just peddle FUD and marketing propaganda.
@ Evan: Here are a few updates since publishing this post. Office 365 has earned CRN’s Best Cloud Application of the year accolade (http://bit.ly/vtIepY). Microsoft has driven forward on its cloud productivity roadmap in providing 30 new updates to the productivity service (http://bit.ly/sIhSKt). We have further detailed the Office 365 Trust Center, with transparency in areas such as compliance, security and privacy (http://bit.ly/vBXYmp).