Artificial Intelligence And The Future of Accounting

Artificial Intelligence And The Future of Accounting

The Future of AI Accounting Artificial intelligence has become an extremely hot topic over the last couple years. While many people welcome the thought of self-driving cars and chatbot customer service agents, others are rife with worry over the disappearance of jobs and potential for
Facebook: Is this the Beginning of the End, or the End of the Beginning?

Facebook: Is this the Beginning of the End, or the End of the Beginning?

Is Facebook the new smoking? Zuckerberg and Sandberg may be inept at damage control but growth has plateaued, market share is declining and they have to raise prices to maintain revenue. Is something fundamental happening? The pile on is definitely underway. Not since Uber have

CONTRIBUTORS

2017 Brings DLP Technology and IoT's Weaknesses to Light

2017 Brings DLP Technology and IoT’s Weaknesses to Light

DLP Technology In regards to data loss prevention (DLP), in the last five years many companies rushed to implement DLP ...
Trends: The CIO’s Business Card - Chief Productivity Officer

Trends: The CIO’s Business Card – Chief Productivity Officer

The Chief Productivity Officer After years of enterprises hesitating to migrate their applications and data stores to the cloud, it’s ...
Apcela

Industrial IoT will reshape network requirements

Industrial IoT The hype around IoT may have been surpassed this year by breathless coverage of topics such as artificial ...

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real time hacking attacks

Live Real Time Hacking and Ransomware Tracking Maps Online

Real Time Hacking Attacks We've recently covered a few real time hacking maps but have decided to extend the list based on the recent ransomware activities with some additional real time hacking attack and ransomware tracking maps. Ransomware refers to malicious ...
10 Prototyping Tools To Help Build Your Startup

10 Prototyping Tools To Help Build Your Startup

Prototyping Tools We are continuing this week by focusing on startup tools, tips and tweaks that will help you build, design, manage and market your way into the cloud based business that you want to be. Last week we offered a ...
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Do More With Machine Learning Thanks to These 6 Open-Source Tools

Machine Learning Open-Source Tools We are in the middle of a machine learning, AI and big data renaissance — at least, that’s what we’re calling it. Seemingly everyone is interested in this technology these days, and for a good reason ...
Andrea Bridges-Smith

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

Office 365 vs Google Apps

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.

By Andrea Bridges-Smith, Senior Content Strategist, Spanning

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