Office 365 Vs. Google Apps: Top 10 Enterprise Concerns
Is Microsoft Office 365 ready to rumble with the ease of use and lower cost of archrival Google Apps? Consider this point-by-point comparison for enterprises.
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Microsoft Exchange is the email server behind more than 300 million business and government mailboxes, according to 2010 figures from Radicati Group. The majority of mailboxes, 76%, are supported by on-premises server deployments, versus 24% supported by hosted deployments or Microsoft Business Productivity Online Suite (BPOS). Whether on-premises, hosted, or delivered as a service, Exchange is business-oriented software that costs money. The vast majority of Google's 198 million Gmail mailboxes as of 2010 are free consumer accounts, so the two figures aren't directly comparable, but with the consumerization of IT, perhaps that's not so important. Google claims more than 3 million businesses have embraced its Google Apps for Business, which include Gmail as part of a subscription-based offering that can use company domain names and logos. Most businesses embracing Google's services are in the small and midsized business (SMB) mold, but subscription services grew some 57% from 2009 to 2010, according to Gartner. Microsoft's IT ties go far beyond Exchange and Office--notably including Windows, SharePoint, SQL Server, and Dynamics Apps--Part of Office 365's mission is to stanch defections from the Microsoft portfolio that might also steer away from its other cloud offerings, like Windows Azure and SQL Azure.
SaaS As Innovation Driver?Software as a service is the clear No. 1 way enterprises consume cloud. InformationWeek's SaaS Innovation Survey reveals three tips to get the most from SaaS: Make it a popularity contest. Have an escape plan. And remember that identity is the new perimeter.