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Goodbody chooses Office 365 over Google Apps to gain email with robust security

Stuart Halford_GoodbodyFinancial services firm Goodbody wanted to leverage the power of cloud technology and needed a solution with robust security technologies. After evaluating Google Apps, it decided to adopt Microsoft Office 365. We recently spoke to Stuart Halford, Head of Technical Projects and Service Assurance at Goodbody, to learn why:

Q: Please tell us about Goodbody.

Stuart Halford: Goodbody is one of the oldest stockbroking firms in Ireland, with a reputation for expertise, innovation, and trust. We offer extensive investment management services, including equities, bonds, structured products, and property, for domestic and international institutional, corporate, and private clients. We have offices in Dublin, Cork, and Galway.

Q: Why did you investigate a cloud services solution to manage your messaging and collaboration?

Halford: We started looking at cloud options because we were very comfortable with managed services offerings and working with providers whose core business is implementing and managing those technologies. We also wanted easy integration with Microsoft applications, and needed robust security technologies. Because we work in a highly regulated industry, all our systems need to be highly secured. If we can’t lock it down and control it in a very secure manner, we can’t use it.

Q: Why did you choose Office 365 over Google Apps? 

Halford: We evaluated Google Apps, but found that it did not have the security features that we needed. After comparing Microsoft Office 365 and Google Apps, we chose Exchange Online in Office 365 for its strong security and integration with other Microsoft technologies. We had to be able to lock down who has access to information and limit where they can access it from. Google didn’t have a good solution for that.Data storage location was a key consideration for us. The fact that Microsoft was able to assure us that our data would always reside within the European Union [EU] was critical to us to ensure we fully complied with our Data Protection obligations. Google could not guarantee that all of our data would be stored in EU. For us, that was a showstopper.

Q: What benefits are you experiencing by using Exchange Online and Office 365?

Halford: With our move to Office 365, we now have the security features we need. Office 365 provides us with the granularity of control we needed to ensure our solution meets all our regulatory requirements. And we were reassured to have Microsoft expertise there to support us. We will be able to achieve our goal of implementing a solution that not only provides the level of security we need, but also provides openings to expand. Moving to Office 365, we’re putting in place a technology that we can build on. This will help us to be more innovative and take advantage of new opportunities. We will have the kind of model where we’re able to scale up and down-and we can reliably predict our costs. That’s where we want to be.                                 

Read the full story online. For more success stories about people like Halford, read other real-world testimonials on the whymicrosoft website.

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6 comments
  1. Can you clarify this statement:
    "The fact that Microsoft was able to assure us that our data would always reside within the European Union [EU] was critical to us to ensure we fully complied with our Data Protection obligations. Google could not guarantee that all of our data would be stored in EU. For us, that was a showstopper."
    To my knowledge, Microsoft just has the customer sign an EU Model Clause agreement, and Google provides this same agreement. So, I’m not sure how this error is aloud to be used in this situation?

  2. @Derik: it’s always good to have a Google partner participating to help us clarify things. Can Google Apps guarantee European customer data will remain in EU?

  3. @Tony
    Someone needs to keep you guys honest, especially with all the stuff I hear you guys telling customers that we, and MS, know just is not true ;)
    Anyways, let me quote, I believe either Ross Adams or Juno Luki (sp) from Tech Ed, both from MS, about data residency: "If you are in a Country where you have some laws that are going to take effect, or that are in effect, that they can’t be hosted outside that Country, or you want to know exactly where your data is in which data center; we don’t provide you that information"
    So, I would ask you, how are you guaranteeing customers that their data will not leave the EU? You have your customers sign an EU Model Clause; as your own Mr. McGibbon states:
    "McGibbon explains that these Model Clauses provide a set of formal commitments around how and where data can be accessed and who can access that data. Organisations can then use these Model Clauses in their contracts to demonstrate to regulators that they are meeting their obligations under data protection legislation."

  4. @Derik I think the question would be why didn’t the customer believe Google if Google offers the same? Perhaps the $1bn EU fine over Google’s privacy policy makes customers skeptical of the trust

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