Google, Microsoft Jockey For Enterprise Dominance - InformationWeek

InformationWeek is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them.Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

IoT
IoT
Cloud // Software as a Service

Google, Microsoft Jockey For Enterprise Dominance

Microsoft and Google go head-to-head next year over online apps for business.

An experienced software player that understands enterprise needs, or an innovative Web giant? A hybrid online-offline software model customized to company needs, or a refreshingly hands-free, low-management approach to desktop applications?

These are the choices CIOs face when, in about a year, there will be for the first time two big companies hawking Web-based desktop productivity applications: Microsoft with its upcoming Office Web suite, and Google with its online apps. In recent interviews, executives managing these efforts at both companies explained why they think they'll win the enterprise race.

Microsoft likes to dismiss Google and other online apps as built for consumers. Its Office Web is built foremost for business use, said Ron Markezich, VP of Microsoft Online, citing security-oriented choices such as the ability to host the software in one's own data centers, or on dedicated servers within Microsoft's data centers.

Not necessarily so, says Dave Girouard, president of Google Enterprise. There are two million businesses of all sizes using Google Apps, and the company is "scrambling to keep up with demand," he said. When it comes to the Web, Google was "born of this platform, and everything we've ever built is about the Web," Girouard said.

Google has an ongoing road show aimed at attracting companies to Google Apps; it's hitting Washington D.C., Pittsburgh, and Philadelphia, next week, and expects to have dozens of CIOs at each place, including ones from the largest companies in those cities. When Google talks to CIOs directly, they come away believing that "their data is safer inside Google than inside their own data centers," Girouard said.

Google is planning more cloud offerings in coming months and a greater focus on helping customers collaborate on the Web, Girouard said. That doesn't necessarily mean more products, he said, "but expanding the boundaries of products we have today." Voice, video, and more mobile offerings are all in the plans, Girouard said.

Microsoft says it, too, plans to offer customer more choices, and that could result in more complex contracts. Big companies will likely use Office Web apps as part of an overall desktop strategy that also includes paid-for Office desktop licenses.

A large global company might want to use Office Web for geographic regions with good connectivity, and stick with desktop apps in developing regions with less dependable connectivity or in places where government regulations make cloud computing difficult.

We welcome your comments on this topic on our social media channels, or [contact us directly] with questions about the site.
Previous
1 of 2
Next
Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
News
COVID-19: Using Data to Map Infections, Hospital Beds, and More
Jessica Davis, Senior Editor, Enterprise Apps,  3/25/2020
Commentary
Enterprise Guide to Robotic Process Automation
Cathleen Gagne, Managing Editor, InformationWeek,  3/23/2020
Slideshows
How Startup Innovation Can Help Enterprises Face COVID-19
Joao-Pierre S. Ruth, Senior Writer,  3/24/2020
White Papers
Register for InformationWeek Newsletters
Video
Current Issue
IT Careers: Tech Drives Constant Change
Advances in information technology and management concepts mean that IT professionals must update their skill sets, even their career goals on an almost yearly basis. In this IT Trend Report, experts share advice on how IT pros can keep up with this every-changing job market. Read it today!
Slideshows
Flash Poll