Googlighting is what happens when the world's largest advertising business tries to sell productivity software on the side. In fact, according to Gartner, Google Apps accounts for merely 0.5% of the ad company’s revenue after five years of Googlighting. Meanwhile, Microsoft enjoys its trustworthy reputation in the cloud; with 40% of companies from the Interbrand list of top 100 brands.
Many businesses find that Googlighting also means taking shortcuts, making assumptions about how people *should* work, and generally failing to build and deploy solutions which meet a wide range of business needs. If these concerns and current revelations about Google's privacy policies have you troubled, this may be a great time to check out Office 365, the online collaboration solution for businesses who don't want their documents and mail read.
ExpertiseThe single, biggest difference between our approach and Google’s is expertise. Don’t get me wrong. The folks at Google are smart. Without any experience in developing business tools, they rebranded their consumer e-mail and embedded it with a few web applications, and “Voila!” there was a “business” offering. The problem is that retrofitting consumer apps for businesses doesn’t work very well. Even organizations “Going Google” recognize that it comes with big compromises. Such was the case for Panama City, Florida which had to extend Google Docs to suit their needs. Panama City’s network admin, Richard Ferrick, noted the deficiencies by saying:
“Really, without using CloudLock, Google Docs, in my opinion, is not an enterprise-level product”.
When Google began developing productivity tools, they banked on the fact that their web roots would give them instant credibility. However, as they quickly discovered, announcing new customers is one thing, deploying and keeping them is another. So after almost five years in the market, why has Google struggled to attract less than 2% of the market?
TrustBusinesses cannot trust Google to stick by them. All companies sunset products and services, but the trustworthy ones provide customers with plenty of notice and a path forward. Not so with Google.The latest example is their e-mail continuity service, which they just killed with no notice or help for businesses using it. A ‘my way or the highway’ approach may be easier, but that doesn’t mean it’s the right thing to do.
FlexibilityWant to move your organization’s e-mail to the cloud with Google while keeping other applications on premises? It's not going to happen. Google is 100% web, and according to them, you should be too. Yet that’s not how analysts see it. Gartner Group’s Matt Cain predicts that 55% of businesses will be using cloud-based e-mail in 2020. We’ll meet those businesses' needs AND the needs of the other 45% who aren’t interested in Google’s vision for how they should work. We’re about productivity, and to that end, we’re supporting the needs of all businesses by enabling them to work how, when and where they want. PrivacyWe store your data only for your use, while Google reserves the right to use your data. We understand that our customers are interested in how we collect, use and store their customer information. To that end, we created the Office 365 Trust Center. It provides greater transparency about the privacy and security practices for Office 365. The American Heart Association took a long look at Google Apps before deciding to go with Office 365. In an interview, American Heart Association CIO Michael Wilson stated:
"Google changes their privacy agreements for a lot of different reasons, just like Facebook. Some of them appear to be commercially oriented, and that concerned us".
It’s clear the American Heart Association isn’t alone in questioning whether Google’s primary focus as an advertising company puts it at odds with the security and privacy needs of customers and users. At Microsoft, we don't make your business, our business.
Enabling Quality Work When customers take time to create and collaborate on documents, they want a usable interface and reliable output, including when they share the results in the cloud. Eligeo IT, the Canadian IT services firm and former Google Apps reseller, knew from their experience with messaging and file fidelity issues in using Google Apps, that in order to expand their business they needed to both use and recommend Microsoft’s online services. They switched to using and consulting on Microsoft cloud solutions. According to CEO, Derek Major:
“Simply put: The Microsoft solution works better than Google Apps… The word is spreading that Microsoft has a really strong cloud-based productivity and collaboration solution. We’re able to back up that growing perception with our own great experience using the solution, which has given our sales a tremendous boost.”
To be truly enterprise-class requires focus and a commitment to building solutions that work for a wide range of people. It requires complete commitment, not just your spare time. After five years, isn’t it time for Google to get that?
"Google customers need to acquire tools"
I would argue that Google customers _can_ acquire third-party, Google account-connected tools. Google Apps users _can_ bolt on SmartSheet and SAP Streamwork. What are some of the tie-ins for third-party Web applications using Office 365?
"such as WebEx to videoconference with more than 4 people. Its cost is $468 per user per year"
Google Plus can videoconference 10 people. I used WebEx for $199 per year for 8-person phone conferences... not exactly $468 per user.
"Then, for example, there are one-time costs like the Exchange to Google Apps Migrator at $20 per user"
I managed to migrate Exchange accounts without paying for any third-party tool. It was not very difficult except for a handful of 10GB+ email boxes. Dual-delivery can be used in the meantime while migrating (uses both Exchange and Gmail simultaneously).
"(http://bit.ly/xxGLjm), and the Shared Contacts Service at $49-349 per user (http://bit.ly/bTovUF)."
SherpasTools Directory Manager works well. It can import a shared contact list from a Google Spreadsheet or existing contacts and sync these with a distributed list. The regular version is free and premier version is $6 per user, not $350.
This line of marketing to compare costs by Microsoft is silly. Office Professional Plus licenses are $600 and new versions come out every few years. The version of Office 365 which appears to work with all of the touted features is (correct me if I'm wrong) $288 / user / year.
Cloudlock-an excellent example of cloud software this blog has mentioned as being part of the "problem" of Google allowing third-party software-is released an Office 365 version in 2012.
Hopefully, in the future, Office 365 will catch up and allow users to be "tripped up" with the ability to use third-party tools. This is the one big feature that held me back from BPOS and now from even considering Office 365.
And on the non-tech side,
Moonlighting? That is not exactly current. Bruce Willis is 56 years old now. This campaign is about as contemporary as using Jerry Seinfeld... but Microsoft already did that. What's next, Dick Van *** references?
Shame on you Microsoft. This is pathetic. If Google Docs is worse than Microsoft Office, then why are you so desperate?
The content you deliver is amazing. Reading your blog is always a great investment of my time. This is such an awesome article, Was looking for this for such a long time. THANKS!!
wth is that?
You mislead your audience by associating consumer products with Google Apps for Business, which is not subject to the new privacy changes. If Google Apps was really how you describe it, Microsoft wouldn't be making smear videos...the service would be DOA.
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Not sure why anyone would buy Microsoft Office at this point.
You can either use MSOffice, and lug files back and forth from home/work and pay thousands of dollars per user per year (not to mention that you're locked into Windows laptops and desktops too), or you can use Google, access it all online, and be charged nothing.
There are no brainers, and then there are lies. Microsofts solutions are lies. Google's are no-brainers.
@Mike: At $6/user/month businesses all over the world find Microsoft’s cloud productivity suite, Office 365 to be an excellent value (http://bit.ly/xDNQY5), easy to use, and full of capabilities they need and use (http://bit.ly/AqOrbm). While Google limited its free lunch (http://bit.ly/md9HIm ) Office 365 customers avoid the hidden costs of Google Apps (http://bit.ly/jbB4of), as well!
As for someone who qualified for a “free” lunch, Office 365 customer ESL Industries says: “We had tried Google Docs but found that it was a departure from the Microsoft software we’d already invested in. Sometimes the free offering is not always the best offering.”(http://bit.ly/mXUtyw). Office 365 customer, Colonial Williamsburg tells us: “We asked the accounting team to help us by recreating some of the spreadsheets they had in Microsoft Excel in Google Spreadsheets. A lot of the business intelligence modeling [features] in Excel were not available in Google Apps. And for our financial people, those were non-starters. When it came to presentations, Google didn't offer the breadth of functionality our users were used to. We quickly realized Google would not meet our needs, so asking our employees to put up with less functionality was not an option for us.” (http://bit.ly/zFdmFY)