Competitive companies have CIOs who are interested in solving business problems – not focused on day-to-day IT tasks. Technology is business and if you don’t master it, your competition will. In order to focus on the business as a CIO, you need to rely on products that will essentially take care of themselves. This is, I believe, the critical benefit of Microsoft Office 365, and what is really clearly explained in Microsoft’s new white paper, Top 10 Reasons for Choosing Office 365 over Google Apps.
There are dozens of product comparisons out there, but the decision points in this white paper can really be boiled down to 3 reasons:
Microsoft hits this concern first. Why should we believe our information will be safe? Well, Microsoft touts its $9 billion network of data centers, which may or may not be impressive to you.
Google is an advertising company. Why would I trust a company whose business model relies on ad revenue? It creates a motive for selling personal information. While Microsoft’s Bing does sell ads, it is an ancillary rather than primary revenue generator for the Microsoft Corporation, representing less than 8% of Q4 FY2014 total revenue. Google on the other hand generated 91% of their revenue from advertising in 2013 according to their 10k. For more information on Google’s latest run-in with personal information privacy issues, here is a recent Reuters article.
Duh. This one is a no brainer. Employees have an increased desire to work from home, have flexible hours, work seamlessly while traveling, and be connected to everything they need 24/7. Because of this growing demand, mobile functionality is becoming more and more critical to today’s workforce. Office 365 works well online and offline (even email), which is certainly important for business users who travel.
Google apps offer limited offline functionality for email. Google is “committed” to mobility, but what about when you don’t have internet? I find it useful to have access to my information whether I am connected to internet or not.
Find me someone who has been in the workforce and hasn’t used the Microsoft Office applications. This means that training is minimal and your employees will likely feel relatively comfortable with the change. Microsoft worked hard to create an online platform that mirrors what employees are already doing with their on-premise versions. It could be a costly nightmare to switch to Google Apps and train employees on an enterprise level because the interface is completely different than Office. And, conversion of desktop versions of documents to Google Apps isn’t always accurate.
These are, as an end-user and mobile employee, the most important reasons that Microsoft cites in their recent white paper. Honestly though, I would pick Office 365 on the first point alone.
Have you had to make this choice? What was the tipping point for you?