Ladies and gentlemen, it’s a knock-down, drag-out battle for the cloud productivity solution of the business world. In one corner, Microsoft, the legendary, heavyweight champion with the rib-cracking, knockout punch. In the other, Google, the lithe king of consumer search with the agility and striking reach to leave entire software verticals seeing stars. With over 1 billion seats of Microsoft Office legacy users out there just waiting to upgrade, the stakes are as high as they get.
So, who’s going to win and why should you care?
As a Microsoft Gold Certified Partner and one of a handful of Office 365 specialists in Canada, we here at TNG stand in Microsoft’s corner. But even with our bias on the table, we need to tip our hats to Google, who pretty much created this new SaaS category in the past handful of years. Google demonstrated the audacious foresight to offer an alternative to the traditional server-driven productivity solution and has committed to steadily expanding and improving its cloud apps suite since.
Nevertheless, with Office 365, Microsoft has stepped into the ring committed to win. Its huge advantages are familiarity and security/privacy. Everyone knows how to use classic Office apps, like PowerPoint, Word and Excel. So the learning curve for staff is short to none, allowing for quicker deployment. And the security/privacy benefit can be summed up simply: Microsoft does not mine your data. At TNG, we really like the idea that your data is yours alone.
No matter who you get behind, a move to the cloud definitely warrants consideration. The big-picture benefits that you should care about? Organizations can expand services while significantly reducing their hardware costs (they can reclaim their server rooms, literally). Organizations can sidestep laborious and detested licensing agreements in favor of subscriptions (just read those service agreements carefully, people). And organizations can ensure that their productivity solution is the most current available. And that all translates into a better IT ROI.