Education Advocacy Firm Educativa adopted the Google Mail cloud-based messaging service but quickly decided that Google was not agile enough to integrate with the existing infrastructure. We recently spoke to Bogdan Kochesch, Business Manager at Educativa, to learn why:
Q: Can you please tell us about Educativa? Bogdan Kochesch: Educativa develops educational products and services that make it easier for Romanian students to gain admission to schools and universities across Europe and the United States. We’re based in Bucharest, and our 20 employees manage a network that includes more than 60 universities, hundreds of high schools, and thousands of Romanian students.
Q: Why did you investigate a cloud services solution to manage your messaging and collaboration? Kochesch: Educativa employees communicate with our rapidly growing network of students and organizational contacts primarily through email correspondence and electronic newsletters. To support this large volume of email traffic, we tested several messaging and collaboration solutions, including a Linux-based email server, but we quickly discovered that this solution was not scalable or reliable. We also decided that a cloud-based solution would be more cost-effective than an on-premises option.
Q: Why did you choose Office 365 over Google Apps? Kochesch: We initially opted for Google Apps cloud services and integrated our existing Microsoft Outlook messaging and collaboration client with the Google Mail cloud-based messaging service. Almost immediately, synchronization problems developed between the client application and the online service—not only were some messages never delivered, others appeared to remain stuck in the outbox and employees ended up sending the same message multiple times.
After struggling with Google Apps for 10 months, we switched to Office 365. The integration between Exchange Online and our existing Outlook client is seamless. And not only do we finally have a reliable email solution, we have access to other tools—such as SharePoint Online and Lync Online—that help us manage documents, host our internal team sites, and effectively organize internal collaboration. Before Office 365, I wasted 30 percent of my time managing Google Apps and the problems that it generated. Now, I can focus on developing new products that increase the company’s revenue.
Q: What benefits are you experiencing by using Exchange Online and Office 365?Kochesch: By using Office 365, we basically doubled our productivity. We eliminated inefficiencies in email management with Exchange Online and improved knowledge-sharing with SharePoint Online. As a result, each of our academic counsellors can now support 600 students—twice as many as before adopting Office 365. And, during the 2011–2012 academic year, we quickly responded to more than 25,000 email requests for information about our products and services without any email issues. Thanks to Office 365, we have re-established our reputation in the industry, which is important in differentiating ourselves from the competition and increasing our market share.
Read the full story online. For more success stories about people like Bogdan Kochesch, read other real-world testimonials on the whymicrosoft website.
Wait, "Google not agile enough to integrate with the existing infrastructure"...what? All this article says is that they tried to use Outlook as the mail client for Google, nothing else. Of course Outlook works better with Exchange, it was built for Exchange. That's kind of like saying my Gmail app on my phone sucks at getting email from Exchange; it was built to do that.
This article is fairly thin on details. Switching between such massive offerings requires some analysis and details on what does or does not work. I am eager to see comparisons with data we can sink our teeth into.
Mark, here is our comparison of the 2 products: www.linkgard.com/.../google-apps-vs-office-365.html