With years of experience working with businesses of all sizes, Microsoft product and account teams know how to sign a deal, deploy a solution successfully and keep the customer satisfied. Given that many of our customers, including Toyota, Vinci PLC, Tyco, Novelis and The City of San Francisco overcame challenges with other productivity solutions through competitive evaluations and then selected the Microsoft cloud, there are rough rides ahead for Google Apps customers.
So, what do Google Apps customers really experience in trying to build business day-to-day? A busy account representative is juggling her workload to make time for a sales opportunity. First, she is rattled by issues managing calendars and syncing Gmail. Later, having endured the frustration of building a presentation without familiar tools or even a spell checker, she is daunted in not being able to open the presentation as she travels to the customer site with limited Wi-Fi access. Face to face with her client, she damages her credibility after using Google Apps again. It introduced formatting changes in printing handouts!
Download the infographic.
Currently, Google is for casual individual use. Microsoft is for serious business use. Microsoft give users 25Gb and a hierachical folder structure in Skydrive. Google gives 5Gb and no folder structure. Google has better integration with social media and search through Google Plus. If Microsoft would take individual use more seriously they could overtake Google. They could create an equivalent of Google Plus and fully integrate it with Bing. It seems Google is better at innovating first, and Microsoft follows. Microsoft needs to get out ahead in innovation. It seems their business orientation puts them behind a step in serving individuals. Facebook has shown that serving individuals can lead to very rapid growth that can later result in dominance and adoption by the business community. A similar phenomena has occured in the mobile phone area. Apple innovates and leads the penetration of new technology. Google copies Apple, but in an open system that grows rapidly. Microsoft plods along behind with slow market penetration, possibly because of market dominance in the business community being it's primary focus. Serving the individual is the secret to fast growth. Businesses require thorough and comprehensive solutions which take time to develop.
Why did we switch to google apps?
Google was $11/user with everything being encrypted and archived to meet medical compliance. Microsoft wanted $23/user. And that is just for the online services. If we wanted to have the offline usage like this document says we would still need to by Office witch was a $22,000/year investment. With a 60:1 ratio with Desktops:Laptops the offline use makes no difference. And with products like Libre Office the laptops have an open source free offline solution that will save to Microsoft Office Formats.
So with Libre Office + Google apps we spend ~18,480/year
compared to ~60,640 we would have spend with Microsoft.
If only Windows Phone could catch up to Android I would gladly move back to all Windows platform after 10+ years of CE, Pocket PC and Windows phone.
I am still suspect of Google and where the lines of privacy are.
@Bishop: I love my Samsung Focus Windows Phone, and here is some of the latest. A new, LG Fastasy phone will reportedly have 4 inch touch screen display (http://bit.ly/w0zMMx). At CES, a Windows Phone beat out others in 30 of 33 speed tests (http://bit.ly/wwGLpO ).
@Nicholas: Voted the best cloud application for 2011 (http://bit.ly/t5P8bs ), customers like these are reporting great cost savings with Office 365: ( http://bit.ly/tyUoFC )(http://bit.ly/stVVr9) (http://bit.ly/zU8Sft ) (http://bit.ly/tmVpOI ), and Microsoft has embedded HIPAA compliance into Office 365 (http://bit.ly/vFrORP) for customers who need it.
There will always be something new and there is skill in determining if it is something comparable, or even ‘just good enough’. Here is how one reviewer comments on Libre Office: “It's very hard to find anything to write home about. Arguably the biggest additions to Microsoft Office in recent years have been OneNote, the fantastically useful note taking application, and SharePoint Workspace which allows collaborative working. Sadly, there's just nothing like either in LibreOffice 3.3. It's a release that would have been stunning in 2000, but is now slightly anachronistic and dull. It's buggy too, in the way that OpenOffice.org always was.” (http://bit.ly/wM4FMI).
@Elwood Anderson: Yes, I also value innovation in tools I use each day such as those in Office 2010 (http://bit.ly/oXFF6x) and Office 365 (http://bit.ly/v89qgl), and the Lync (http://bit.ly/qkrVmc) videoconferencing and presence which enable my best work. No wonder why Office 2010 (http://bit.ly/x3TjCt), Office 365 (http://bit.ly/t5P8bs) and Lync (http://bit.ly/zNGD1u) received new, excellent reviews! The Twitter news feed in Bing (www.bing.com) helps me find and track interesting conversations. When I want to be effective in sharing work with others I often rely on SharePoint technologies (http://bit.ly/nZfU5F) (http://bit.ly/pCeCyY), such as the built-in records management in Office 365, not available in Google Apps.
Touche Microsoft touche. Great content!
Open source solutions for work on a daily basis is like a shot on the toe. Microsoft as well as Office products have been doing the job like no other ever since computer is on the top of the table.
This infographic would be much more impressive if presented in an accessible format and with Office 365. As it is, it makes me think the Microsoft marketing department is having similar issues as the fictional saleswoman.
@Ian Ray: For those interested in having an accessible version of this or another graphic for a visually impaired person, Microsoft provides a capability to create accessible PDFs, with instructions here: (http://bit.ly/idYMkx). For more details on accessibility of Office 365 tools see this link (http://bit.ly/AckyVZ) which describes its high contrast and high DPE support, and screen reader support, for example. For a more complete view of accessibility in Office tools, see this post (http://bit.ly/ytzCWU).
I just find it ironic that the infographic tries to make claims about the advantage of using Microsoft's online tools for creating sales presentations while the infographic itself is composed of raw images. That is, I could send anyone an image file and it would be "perfectly formatted".
I should clarify that I am not making any accessibility comparison to Google as the Blogger format they use for marketing is also inaccessible.
Microsoft have a perception problem with Office 365. Users think that Office 365 is comparable to the free version of Google Docs. The Sky Drive Office Web Apps provide enough functionality for most, but don't get a mention when web sites compare Google's and Microsoft's offerings.
It would make a lot of sense to rebrand the Sky Drive Office Web Apps as Office 365 (free version or whatever) to avoid unfavorable comparisons. Office 365 free would get Hotmail instead of exchange.
@Joe: It’s great to hear that you appreciate SkyDrive’s Office Web Apps. Those interested in learning about or in getting started with this consumer tool might see “Using Office Web Apps in SkyDrive”: (http://bit.ly/hr6yvl).
One thing Google Apps supports which Office365 does not, is catch-all email addresses for a domain. I've read on numerous sites that Office365 doesn't support catch-all email because Forefront's spam filtering relies on matching the recipient address to a user mailbox or a proxy address to a mailbox. The responses I've read are to create proxy addresses for each new address you want to support, but for certain scenarios, or for migrating from an existing provider who does support catch-alls, and where you've been making extensive use of this, it is simply infeasible to create a huge multitude of proxy addresses.
Surely it can't be terribly difficult to create an option to allow for catch-all email addresses, at the expense of the added protection that address matching provides? Catch-all mail could be diverted into a separate folder in the mailbox for review, for those addresses which don't have an address-based rule already.
When the number of 'virtual' addresses already given out to clients/suppliers/etc numbers the dozens or hundreds, it is too risky to attempt a migration involving manually creating proxy addresses for each of these addresses, as the damage resulting from missing a single one could be devastating.
One of the MSFT responses to why catch-all mailboxes weren't supported was something like, 'many customers think they want catch-all addresses but they actually want proxy addresses instead'. That may be the case, but there is still a large number of users who actually do require catch-all addresses, and the lack of support for them is what's caused me to move my test domains back to Google Apps, and no longer continue with my Office 365 trial.
@dhiren: I appreciate this feedback on Office 365 integration needs. For the most current input on technical implementation and integration, I suggest reaching out to the Office 365 Technical Blog. (http://bit.ly/eLdkDk)