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Google Apps To Office 365: Why To Switch
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kiwibob
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kiwibob,
User Rank: Apprentice
6/16/2013 | 3:25:59 AM
re: Google Apps To Office 365: Why To Switch
I've been a longtime user of Google Apps for the family and went for the paid version a few years ago to drop the ads. Reading this article made me think Office 365 would be worth a try as the Home Premium is quite a bit less than the 5 user Google Apps account.

What took me a while to figure out is that Home Premium doesn't actually offer multiple email accounts (not that I could see anyway), it seems to expect that you would use outlook.com free accounts.

So really the Home Premium option is not a like for like comparison. To go like for like you really have to consider the Office 365 business plans.
Logan Hairgrove
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Logan Hairgrove,
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5/18/2013 | 2:19:22 PM
re: Google Apps To Office 365: Why To Switch
Google Apps for Business added Google Vault as add-on service that is an additional $5/per user/per month, which enables eDiscovery and email archiving. Previously businesses and schools could use Postini for their eDiscovery and email archiving needs with Google Apps. Google bought Postini in 2007, and now they have integrated the core Postini functionality into Google Apps to make it an even better product with a great deal of domain level email filtering and much more.

Google Apps has a strong Google Apps Marketplace full of partners offering consulting and training services. Plus Google has great online help detailing how to use their intuitive services. Better design requires less training, and empowering users to help themselves is a great strategy.

Google Apps' uptime was significantly higher than Office 365's in 2012, but it's hard to compare Office 365's exact 2012 uptime because they don't publicly disclose all their downtime, which Google does for Google Apps. So do you want an SLA that pays you money or do you want an SLA you don't worry about because the services actually work way more than 99.9% of the time like Google's?

Why did Google drop support for Microsoft Exchange's sync protocol? Hmm... maybe because they had to pay Microsoft money for every user that used it for one. Another is does Google want to trust their competitor's sync service to sync their clients email, calendars, and contacts? Microsoft could break/change the sync service and/or could charge Google more when they feel like it because it's Microsoft's proprietary sync service. IMAP, CalDAV, and CardDAV aren't controlled by Microsoft.

For storage, Google is rolling out 30GB of shared storage that Google Apps users can share between Gmail, Drive, and Google+ photos in the next few weeks. Google Apps administrators can purchase additional storage licenses for their users or allow their users to purchase additional licenses on their own. As for pooled storage, I would think that setup is more like that of a network drive. A work-around would be having one user account with all necessary files, and share those files with groups of users using Google Groups or with all users if that's what you want.

Another point about Word, Excel, and PowerPoint. Many existing businesses already have Office desktop licenses. It's great if you can get all your employees to stop using Office, but it's more reasonable to ask why upgrade to the next version of Office? Keeping your old version of Office and using Google Apps most of the time would be a viable solution.
AustinIT
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AustinIT,
User Rank: Apprentice
5/10/2013 | 1:04:54 PM
re: Google Apps To Office 365: Why To Switch
Most people that are experiencing problems (and there are relatively few of them) with intermittent connectivity are finding that it is DNS related. Is that Microsoft's problem? Or, is it their own problem due to how they have configured their DNS settings? You will notice that when problems occur, almost everyone reports that they can still access their services thru the O365 portal (including OWA). That means the services are all running fine in the DataCenter. However, the problem then is Outlook being able to accesss the Server Farm. And these issues are all coming down to dynamic DNS configuration issues that prevent connection to those Servers. And it is usually issues with Autodiscover pulling the incorrect information to configure Outlook with.
AustinIT
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AustinIT,
User Rank: Apprentice
5/9/2013 | 10:59:21 PM
re: Google Apps To Office 365: Why To Switch
I feel for you Andrew. You must be about the only one that bought the lemon. I (and my other MS partner contacts that I collaborate with) have had very few problems with Office365 no matter what the scale of the project. It simply works very well for us and our clients. Much better than any other solution that could call itself even remotely comparable (aka Google).
Andrew Hornback
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Andrew Hornback,
User Rank: Apprentice
5/9/2013 | 9:25:59 PM
re: Google Apps To Office 365: Why To Switch
So, Larry, did you fall victim to Incident EX3097? The "false positive" as Microsoft puts it is causing havoc for some of the organization that I support. Sometimes I wonder just how asleep at the switch their engineering staff is.

Andrew Hornback
InformationWeek Contributor
Andrew Hornback
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Andrew Hornback,
User Rank: Apprentice
5/9/2013 | 9:19:20 PM
re: Google Apps To Office 365: Why To Switch
I've found that it's possible to set quotas for users in the Exchange component - you can limit the user to anything up to the maximum size of the mailbox (25 GB is the hard limit in our configuration). However, you can't take that space and assign it elsewhere.

Example - if you and your wife have three kids and want to assign 10 GB for each child and the remainder for yourselves, you can't do that.

Andrew Hornback
InformationWeek Contributor
Andrew Hornback
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Andrew Hornback,
User Rank: Apprentice
5/8/2013 | 3:34:50 AM
re: Google Apps To Office 365: Why To Switch
As someone who has to deal with, or rather support, Office365 on a daily basis... it's a great product, when it works. However, there are all too often little quirky things happening that Microsoft doesn't seem to know about or doesn't care to report about on their Service Health Status page.

E-mail turn around slow? Unable to log in to Lync? Let me make sure the service is running... all green lights across the board, so it /MUST/ be the user's system at that point, right? And if no other user in the organization happens to be using that functionality at the time being, my team loses time troubleshooting the user's system only to find out that it's an issue with Microsoft's infrastructure and they haven't considered it a big enough problem to report it as a service health issue.

Then there's the support time turnaround on more complicated issues, such as e-mail delivery issues. One example from earlier this year took in excess of 30 days to fully troubleshoot, eventually getting escalated level after level to the point that the automatic system purge had kicked in.

If you have an Android or iPhone, the integration is somewhat easy. If you need to support Blackberries, ensure that you've ordered your fair share of patience. Kudos to the fact that the migration from the Microsoft BPOS product to Office 365 was painless as far as the Blackberries went, but adding new devices and administering them is not entirely intuitive and the portal provided for administration seems to be powered by a lethargic hamster.

Finally, I'll never forget the day that Office 2013 went live... made my life a living hell. We'd been on Office 365 for 4 months without major issues and then, all of a sudden, when the flood gates opened with all of the new users logging on and trying things out, Microsoft's systems simply could not handle the load. Poor planning, if you ask me.

Is it more cost effective than an on-prem solution? Certainly. Is it painless and carefree? Not in my experience, no.

And with regards to your question about license and storage pooling for organizations, there seems to be the prevalent thought process that it's easier to move a user's data between servers if it can be considered an independent unit as opposed to part of a concatenated unit. Also makes it easier to administer permissions and such.

Andrew Hornback
InformationWeek Contributor
ANON1247561180385
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ANON1247561180385,
User Rank: Apprentice
5/7/2013 | 11:37:55 PM
re: Google Apps To Office 365: Why To Switch
A key issue in my case was Windows / Mac compatibility. With an Office 365 licence on my Mac and SkyDrive I can now "seamlessly" share documents across OSs and devices (including my Windows 7 PC at work). I gave Google Docs a good try, but its spreadsheet was a pale imitation of Excel. Similarly, Numbers and NeoOffice on the Mac were not Excel substitutes. So far I haven't found a downside of Office 365 and SkyDrive.
Deirdre Blake
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Deirdre Blake,
User Rank: Apprentice
5/7/2013 | 6:07:57 PM
re: Google Apps To Office 365: Why To Switch
Did they give any indication of why they prefer Google Docs even when they have access to both? Just curious.
ANON1255469923942
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ANON1255469923942,
User Rank: Apprentice
5/7/2013 | 2:26:49 PM
re: Google Apps To Office 365: Why To Switch
My analysis using MBA student assessments for the past several years indicates that they rate Google Docs much higher than Office 365 even though they use MS Office at work.


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