The Office 365 vs Google Apps Battle: Who Will Dominate Enterprise Software?

The Office 365 vs Google Apps Battle: Who Will Dominate Enterprise Software?

Long ago in the days of yore, computing looked very different. Everyone had a PC that they were tethered to at their desk, and that PC almost always had Microsoft Office installed. Eventually, people were hard-pressed to do their job without it; it became an omnipresence, a giant. It’s no surprise that this occurred; Office was designed for the era of PCs, and it worked very well with them.

But one day something happened: the cloud came along. And eventually, it started raining hard on the Microsoft Office parade. Google Apps emerged as a fellow giant, and it had one thing that Office did not: it was designed for the cloud world. It started picking up market share, and is now used by over 5 million businesses worldwide. Google Apps scored 23 out of 42 US government contracts last year (Microsoft only won 10); even Chicago Public Schools has gone Google.

Microsoft is suddenly finding themselves in the middle of a battle for what they’ve always done best. They’ve been rushing to catch up by launching Office 365, which takes their existing suite of products that have always done so well and “cloudifies” it. The problem with this approach is that Microsoft is trying to shoehorn the past into the future while Google Apps is busy innovating from scratch. Google Apps just gets how work is done now, and it’s been expressly designed with the modern workforce in mind.

Consider the two companies’ approaches to document collaboration. In the modern workforce, the ability to collaborate on projects and documents is key. In Office 365, two people can edit the same document at the same time, but a user’s edits do not become visible to other users until the one making the edits clicks “Save.” And if they’re co-editing, a user will be locked out of the section that the other one is editing.

In Google Drive, you can see where the other user’s cursor is so you don’t step on someone else’s edits while you’re making yours. And of course, there’s no saving; all updates are immediately autosaved and show up in real-time. You can actually watch someone else typing in a shared Google Drive doc.

And what about videoconferencing? As the cost of travel grows steadily and more companies find themselves scattered across the globe, videoconferencing has become a crucial part of how work gets done. Microsoft, recognizing this, has purchased Skype, which is a great way to video chat. But when you look at the Skype website, you see that there are different plans and pricing, some features are free, others are not – pretty typical of a Microsoft offering. By contrast, Google has baked Google Hangouts into their Google+ experience as well as into Gmail. How many times have you started typing a long email and thought, “Nah, this will be easier to explain face-to-face”? Google treats videoconferencing as a feature instead of as a separate product because they understand how it’s going to be used.

As we get farther into the future, the real test is going to come down to how well the two companies understand an increasingly mobile workforce. Microsoft recommends running Windows 7 for the best Office 365 experience. Unfortunately, today’s BYOD landscape has users accessing their work across a patchwork of devices and operating systems – where does that leave them? In addition, Microsoft charges extra for mobile sharing while Google Apps provides the same experience across any browser, OS or device. Today’s workforce is only going to get more mobile, and anyone who isn’t playing catch-up in that space has a huge advantage.

An interesting indicator to follow as these two giants continue to strive for the top spot is how many other companies are betting their businesses on each one’s success. Our team at Spanning made a huge bet on Google Apps when we built our flagship product, Spanning Backup for Google Apps, and we’re in good company. Watch the kind of companies that start building products for the Google Apps Marketplace and the Office 365 Marketplace, and you’ll have a good gauge of which provider is making the biggest strides.

Two giants in one battle for the hearts and minds of an evolving workforce. One has decades of experience, and while that is valuable, experience without evolution still leaves you in a tar pit. Google has a long way to go to dominate the enterprise space, but end users are left with the feeling that Google is honestly trying to understand and adapt to them while Microsoft offers up a new version of the same old thing.

Andrea Bridges-Smith, Content Marketing Manager, Spanning

Sponsored Post By Spanning.com 

About CloudTweaks

Established in 2009, CloudTweaks is recognized as one of the leading authorities in connected technology information and services.

We embrace and instill thought leadership insights, relevant and timely news related stories, unbiased benchmark reporting as well as offer green/cleantech learning and consultive services around the world.

Our vision is to create awareness and to help find innovative ways to connect our planet in a positive eco-friendly manner.

In the meantime, you may connect with CloudTweaks by following and sharing our resources.

View All Articles

Sorry, comments are closed for this post.

Comic
The Lighter Side Of The Cloud – Data Merge

The Lighter Side Of The Cloud – Data Merge

By Christian Mirra Please feel free to share our comics via social media networks such as Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, Pinterest. Clear attribution (Twitter example: via @cloudtweaks) to our original comic sources is greatly appreciated.

The Rise Of Threat Intelligence Sharing

The Rise Of Threat Intelligence Sharing

Threat Intelligence Sharing  Security has been discussed often on CloudTweaks and for good reason. It is one of the most sought after topics of information in the technology industry.  It is virtually impossible to wake up and not read a headline that involves the words “Breached, Hacked, Compromised or Extorted (Ransomware)“. Included (below) is an…

Moving Your Email To The Cloud? Beware Of Unintentional Data Spoliation!

Moving Your Email To The Cloud? Beware Of Unintentional Data Spoliation!

Cloud Email Migration In today’s litigious society, preserving your company’s data is a must if you (and your legal team) want to avoid hefty fines for data spoliation. But what about when you move to the cloud? Of course, you’ve probably thought of this already. You’ll have a migration strategy in place and you’ll carefully…

Higher Education Institutions Increasing Cloud Use In Next 5 Years

Higher Education Institutions Increasing Cloud Use In Next 5 Years

Cloud Computing Advancing Edtech In a new research study by ResearchMoz it’s predicted that the global cloud computing market in higher education will grow steadily at a CAGR of 24.57% over the period 2016 to 2020. Making use of computing resources connected by either public or private networks provides the benefits of scalable infrastructure, greater…

Big Data and AI Hold Greatest Promise For Healthcare Technologies

Big Data and AI Hold Greatest Promise For Healthcare Technologies

Digital Healthcare Executives and Investors Addressed Opportunities and Challenges Facing the Industry New York City – September 21, 2016 – According to a survey of 122 founders, executives and investors in health-tech companies released today by Silicon Valley Bank, big data and artificial intelligence will have the greatest impact on the industry in the year ahead. Healthcare…

Ending The Great Enterprise Disconnect

Ending The Great Enterprise Disconnect

Five Requirements for Supporting a Connected Workforce It used to be that enterprises dictated how workers spent their day: stuck in a cubicle, tied to an enterprise-mandated computer, an enterprise-mandated desk phone with mysterious buttons, and perhaps an enterprise-mandated mobile phone if they traveled. All that is history. Today, a modern workforce is dictating how…

Achieving Network Security In The IoT

Achieving Network Security In The IoT

Security In The IoT The network security market is experiencing a pressing and transformative change, especially around access control and orchestration. Although it has been mature for decades, the network security market had to transform rapidly with the advent of the BYOD trend and emergence of the cloud, which swept enterprises a few years ago.…

Are CEO’s Missing Out On Big Data’s Big Picture?

Are CEO’s Missing Out On Big Data’s Big Picture?

Big Data’s Big Picture Big data allows marketing and production strategists to see where their efforts are succeeding and where they need some work. With big data analytics, every move you make for your company can be backed by data and analytics. While every business venture involves some level of risk, with big data, that risk…

Adopting A Cohesive GRC Mindset For Cloud Security

Adopting A Cohesive GRC Mindset For Cloud Security

Cloud Security Mindset Businesses are becoming wise to the compelling benefits of cloud computing. When adopting cloud, they need a high level of confidence in how it will be risk-managed and controlled, to preserve the security of their information and integrity of their operations. Cloud implementation is sometimes built up over time in a business,…

Choosing IaaS or a Cloud-Enabled Managed Hosting Provider?

Choosing IaaS or a Cloud-Enabled Managed Hosting Provider?

There is a Difference – So Stop Comparing We are all familiar with the old saying “That’s like comparing apples to oranges” and though we learned this lesson during our early years we somehow seem to discount this idiom when discussing the Cloud. Specifically, IT buyers often feel justified when comparing the cost of a…

The Future Of Work: What Cloud Technology Has Allowed Us To Do Better

The Future Of Work: What Cloud Technology Has Allowed Us To Do Better

What Cloud Technology Has Allowed Us to Do Better The cloud has made our working lives easier, with everything from virtually unlimited email storage to access-from-anywhere enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems. It’s no wonder the 2013 cloud computing research IDG survey revealed at least 84 percent of the companies surveyed run at least one cloud-based application.…

Will Your Internet of Things Device Testify Against You?

Will Your Internet of Things Device Testify Against You?

Will Your Internet of Things Device Testify Imagine this:  Your wearable device is subpoenaed to testify against you.  You were driving when you were over the legal alcohol limit and data from a smart Breathalyzer device is used against you. Some might argue that such a use case could potentially safeguard society. However, it poses…

Cloud Computing – The Game Changer

Cloud Computing – The Game Changer

Global Cloud Index In October, Cisco released its Global Cloud Index (GCI) report for 2014-2019, projecting a near 3-fold growth of global data center traffic, with predictions that this traffic will reach 8.6 zettabytes (cloud data center traffic) and 10.4 zettabytes (total data center traffic) per year in 2019 and 80% of it will come…

5 Predictions For Education Technology

5 Predictions For Education Technology

Education Technology Although technology has fast influenced most sectors of our world, education is an area that’s lagged behind. Many classrooms still employ the one-to-many lecturing model wherein the average student is catered for while a few are left behind, and others bored. Recently, there’s been a drive to uncover how to use technology successfully…

M2M, IoT and Wearable Technology: Where To Next?

M2M, IoT and Wearable Technology: Where To Next?

M2M, IoT and Wearable Technology Profiling 600 companies and including 553 supporting tables and figures, recent reports into the M2M, IoT and Wearable Technology ecosystems forecast opportunities, challenges, strategies, and industry verticals for the sectors from 2015 to 2030. With many service providers looking for new ways to fit wearable technology with their M2M offerings…

Shadow IT To Remain A Focus For Both Cloud Vendors And CIOs

Shadow IT To Remain A Focus For Both Cloud Vendors And CIOs

Shadow IT To Remain A Focus Shadow IT, a phenomenon defined as building internal IT systems without the official organizational approval has been a growing concern for CIOs over the last few years. In 2015, it climbed to the top of the list of the emerging IT threats, with as much as 83% CIOs reporting…