What is Googlighting?
Googlighting is what happens when the world's largest advertising business tries to sell productivity software on the side. In fact, according to Gartner, Google Apps accounts for merely 0.5% of the ad company’s revenue after five years of Googlighting. Meanwhile, Microsoft enjoys its trustworthy reputation in the cloud; with 40% of companies from the Interbrand list of top 100 brands.
Many businesses find that Googlighting also means taking shortcuts, making assumptions about how people *should* work, and generally failing to build and deploy solutions which meet a wide range of business needs. If these concerns and current revelations about Google's privacy policies have you troubled, this may be a great time to check out Office 365, the online collaboration solution for businesses who don't want their documents and mail read.
The single, biggest difference between our approach and Google’s is expertise. Don’t get me wrong. The folks at Google are smart. Without any experience in developing business tools, they rebranded their consumer e-mail and embedded it with a few web applications, and “Voila!” there was a “business” offering. The problem is that retrofitting consumer apps for businesses doesn’t work very well. Even organizations “Going Google” recognize that it comes with big compromises. Such was the case for Panama City, Florida which had to extend Google Docs to suit their needs. Panama City’s network admin, Richard Ferrick, noted the deficiencies by saying:
“Really, without using CloudLock, Google Docs, in my opinion, is not an enterprise-level product”.
When Google began developing productivity tools, they banked on the fact that their web roots would give them instant credibility. However, as they quickly discovered, announcing new customers is one thing, deploying and keeping them is another. So after almost five years in the market, why has Google struggled to attract less than 2% of the market?
Businesses cannot trust Google to stick by them. All companies sunset products and services, but the trustworthy ones provide customers with plenty of notice and a path forward. Not so with Google.The latest example is their e-mail continuity service, which they just killed with no notice or help for businesses using it. A ‘my way or the highway’ approach may be easier, but that doesn’t mean it’s the right thing to do.
Want to move your organization’s e-mail to the cloud with Google while keeping other applications on premises? It's not going to happen. Google is 100% web, and according to them, you should be too. Yet that’s not how analysts see it. Gartner Group’s Matt Cain predicts that 55% of businesses will be using cloud-based e-mail in 2020. We’ll meet those businesses' needs AND the needs of the other 45% who aren’t interested in Google’s vision for how they should work. We’re about productivity, and to that end, we’re supporting the needs of all businesses by enabling them to work how, when and where they want.
We store your data only for your use, while Google reserves the right to use your data. We understand that our customers are interested in how we collect, use and store their customer information. To that end, we created the Office 365 Trust Center. It provides greater transparency about the privacy and security practices for Office 365. The American Heart Association took a long look at Google Apps before deciding to go with Office 365. In an interview, American Heart Association CIO Michael Wilson stated:
"Google changes their privacy agreements for a lot of different reasons, just like Facebook. Some of them appear to be commercially oriented, and that concerned us".
It’s clear the American Heart Association isn’t alone in questioning whether Google’s primary focus as an advertising company puts it at odds with the security and privacy needs of customers and users. At Microsoft, we don't make your business, our business.
Enabling Quality Work
When customers take time to create and collaborate on documents, they want a usable interface and reliable output, including when they share the results in the cloud. Eligeo IT, the Canadian IT services firm and former Google Apps reseller, knew from their experience with messaging and file fidelity issues in using Google Apps, that in order to expand their business they needed to both use and recommend Microsoft’s online services. They switched to using and consulting on Microsoft cloud solutions. According to CEO, Derek Major:
“Simply put: The Microsoft solution works better than Google Apps… The word is spreading that Microsoft has a really strong cloud-based productivity and collaboration solution. We’re able to back up that growing perception with our own great experience using the solution, which has given our sales a tremendous boost.”
To be truly enterprise-class requires focus and a commitment to building solutions that work for a wide range of people. It requires complete commitment, not just your spare time. After five years, isn’t it time for Google to get that?