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Henry Ford once said that "before anything else, getting ready is the secret of success." While he likely was talking about building the Model T, the same can be said of software. To be successful, the software you develop must be ready for your customers' business.
But what exactly is "enterprise-ready?" In a nutshell, it means that the solution was designed, tested, and implemented with businesses and their business needs in mind.
Microsoft Office 365 does exactly that. It takes the well-known and frequently used Microsoft Office productivity tools many organizations rely on-such as Word, Excel, and PowerPoint-and delivers them as cloud-based applications. Office 365 is composed of cloud versions of Microsoft communication and collaboration services-including Exchange Online, SharePoint Online, and Lync Online. The result is an enterprise-ready set of productivity tools that make it possible for businesses to do more with less.
Unlike Google, which builds products for consumers, hoping businesses will adapt, Office 365 was designed right from the beginning with enterprise-class capabilities in mind. It's the result of more than 20 years working hand-in-hand with businesses of all sizes to meet their evolving needs.
Some companies are lured by Google Apps' promises of affordability only to discover that there are hidden costs. Over time, they're disappointed that Google Apps doesn't deliver the enterprise-ready features they've come to expect.
Take Atominx, for example. The web design company initially adopted Gmail, but soon found that Google's email service didn't meet its needs. "I adopted the basic Google Mail service because it was easy and it was free," says Myles Kaye, Director at Atominx. "But as we hired more people, developed new offerings, and served more customers, Google didn't keep pace with our collaboration needs and business goals."
In the end, the company switched to Office 365. "As soon as I started to use Office 365, I could tell it was a solid, complete solution," says Kaye. "Google couldn't support our growth, but Office 365 helps us give customers the right impression-that we are business professionals, equipped and ready to meet their needs."
Likewise, the outsourcing company HSS began testing Google Apps because "it sounded very attractive." But the company eventually learned that Google Apps was missing many of the features it needed. "We were used to Office ... We expected the same level of functionality from Google, but features that we used every day were not available," says Marina Johnson, Chief Information Officer for HSS. "We didn't realize how much we would miss Office features until we didn't have them."
HSS gave up on Google Apps and implemented Office 365. "As soon as I began working with Office 365, I realized that it's an advanced, professional, and business-oriented application," says Johnson. "It was like coming home. Everything we needed was there."
The large Australian automotive retailer A.P. Eagers also tested Gmail but discovered there were trouble spots. Email formatting got corrupted; Gmail didn't operate well with the company's Outlook email client. A.P. Eagers instead implemented Office 365 after testing Exchange Online against the same set of criteria and finding that it performed well.
"Google Mail appears less expensive at first, but once you add in partner fees and the labor required to get it running, it isn't as cheap as it appears," says Shane Pearce, Manager of Information Services for A.P. Eagers. "Office 365 proved to be much more cost-effective for us ... Office 365 really is a powerful set of business productivity solutions."
Choosing an enterprise-grade productivity solution is key to the success of your business. In the end, it adds up to higher productivity, lower costs, and a more competitive business. To learn more, please see our "Top 10 Reasons Why Enterprises Choose Office 365" white paper.
Curious; you say Google "builds products for the consumer and hope businesses will adapt"...how does Microsoft explain the fact that you have now adopted the Outlook.com interface for Office 365 (which was a consumer interface), you have rolled SkyDrive into Office 365 (which was a consumer product) and also Skype is part of Office 365 (a consumer product). It appears that Microsoft is simply validating what Google has been doing for years.
@Alina I am one of the biggest fans of Office 365 and I come to this blog to read about the goodness of Office 365. This article purpose looks to be a direct bashing of Google. I'm not interested in Google personally and am a little surprised that you are.
Can we talk about Office 365 here and let Google talk about Google somewhere else? Or do you suggest I start reading elsewhere to learn Office 365, like over at Google perhaps?
@Al Thank you for your readership of this blog and for your comments. This blog post is not about "bashing" other solutions but about providing different perspectives that may be useful or considered when evaluating cloud services. Furthermore, the customers referenced are just sharing their experiences of how they made their Office 365 decision.
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