Office 365 vs. Google for Work: Round 3…FIGHT!

Unless you work in the tech industry, or in IT, you may not always understand these kinds of techno-pugilist-endeavors.  Nothing wrong with that.  Most consumers think of the world as Apple vs. PC…when in the business world that isn’t really so.  Apple makes consumer hardware that some folks use at work, while the App software created for that hardware really drives everything.  In this case of Microsoft vs. Google…they provide the Apps that drive our working lives.  FAR more important than simple hardware, mind you.

Simpler than hardware?  You bet your braying donkey it is.  These applications transcend simple operating systems and hardware, thanks to both Google and Microsoft understanding that early on.  The hearts and minds are not won based on shiny doo-dads, but in the applications you use every day.

Like many of you, I use Microsoft and Google pretty much all day most days for different things.  Gmail and Hangouts at home for things, and Microsoft for nearly everything at work.  That seems to be the norm across the board…but Google wants in on this and has been making inroads into the space over the past couple years.  Microsoft being the juggernaut they are was slow to start, and Office 365 in 2011 is NOT the Office 365 of 2014.  Google wholeheartedly won rounds one and two of this fight, but now, to quote Woody Leonhard at Inforworld… (This is just a great fair review from earlier this year.)

“Office 365 has turned into an 800-pound gorilla, with loads of new features and new options. Back then (2011), Office 365 seemed like a cobbled-together mélange of Office 2000 and Exchange Server, with a few goodies tacked on the side. Now it’s richer, smoother, more tightly integrated…” 

Where I think you win if you buy into either product is getting the heck off of your own Exchange server.  Stop managing your own email…it wastes your time and keeps you and the rest of your IT department from managing better projects.  Microsoft has a 99.9% email uptime that’s financially guaranteed.  Google has it exactly the same, but I’ve heard from clients/friends nightmares about their lack of customer service.  (Whereas Microsoft is utilizing local people in the US for all of their CS, and it’s never a long wait.)

Now, I’m not going to break down the features of each product.  Chances are if you’re reading this, you already know what you are looking for and need a nudge in the right direction.  So here’s my analysis of each product:

Google Apps for Work:

This is for organizations that are not happy with Microsoft, and do not mind a leaner office-type product.  For the heavier users of Office in your organization, you will likely still need some MS Office purchases, because Google Sheets isn’t as indepth of a product. (I find their pivot tables to be a real pain, to the point where I just tell folks, they can’t do them right.)  Be advised the Google Apps for work is just like a regular Google account, only you’re paying for unlimited storage ($120 a year/per person/min 5 people) and to be able to manage those accounts under your own umbrella…otherwise there’s zero difference between paying for accounts and using them for free.  Hangouts is an amazing tool, and far surpasses the hefty Lync in being a collaboration tool.  Prices are similar, but in reality you get less for your dollar spent than you do on their competitor.

Final Analysis: As I was told by a Google employee, “Microsoft doesn’t innovate, but we do.”  I find statements like that to be haughty, and empty.  Good for you that you made something useful for some, but it’s not replacing what the standard has been unless you’re changing the game.  You’ve just made a new way to play the game, not change it entirely.  This is software for businesses that have 1-100 users tops, or again for those who do not like Microsoft.  (Oh yes, and remember to turn off email scanning by Google, so they’re not scanning your company email.  Supposedly this comes turned off, but I’ve been told otherwise.)

Office 365 (2014)

If your users will not be affected by a move to Google Apps, and you’re happy with Microsoft, then 365 is the product for you.  Personally I’m a little annoyed with Lync, but I think that comes more from a lack of training on the product, than the product itself…and it trails behind Google.  To compete against Google’s “we have two skus and that’s all, and you’ll have to fit” methodology, Microsoft has a program that is specific to your needs.  From Office 365 Essentials (basics for mobility, but still more robust than Google Apps), to full on Pro versions of the software that can be downloaded and run on multiple machines. The downside is that Office 365 is the explicit opposite of simple. The controls are deeper and more intricate than Google, but provide a lot of value if you’re ready to jump into the deep, choppy end of the pool.

Final Analysis: Microsoft isn’t going to be left behind in the war for the Apps you use at work.  They’ve been in the game longer than some of my co-workers have been alive, and still know it well.  Office 365 has come a long way in the last 3 years, and now outshines Google Apps in many ways.  Get off of Exchange TODAY. 🙂 Microsoft might not be the Innovator that Google claims to be, but they did take their time getting there and have a better overall product in many ways.  Personally, Getting it Right trumps innovation any day.

Lastly, I was just reminded by a coworker to address the fears about “cloud” computing.  I think many of us now understand that Cloud computing is the wave of the future, and is going to save your organization a lot of money should you choose to embrace it.  From allowing employees to collaborate on documents without having to email them, to having access to documents wherever you have internet, to inherent Disaster Recovery…using a Cloud to store your users’ data is very cost effective.  If you aren’t sure still, talk to me…I’ll introduce you to experts from any manufacturer we work with who’ll show you how safe it actually is…clients who have moved to Cloud Disaster Recovery and are excited about it.

Want a demo of Office 365?

Want a demo of Google Apps for Work?  Here are some videos that’ll show you. 🙂

 

Who’s the winner?  Me, I’ll pick Microsoft to win overall if they keep going the way they’re going.  Minimalist settings aren’t for all offices.

 

Have a great day!

 

Edit:  Update….for those of you who didn’t hear… Microsoft is offering unlimited Cloud Storage to all Office 365 customers.  o.O

http://www.crn.com/news/cloud/300074595/microsoft-gives-unlimited-cloud-storage-to-office-365-customers.htm

 

 

Advertisements

Google Apps & PCM!

This is a rehash of my post on LinkedIn…I don’t know how many of you cross pollinate so I figured it wouldn’t hurt to post the information here. 🙂

Howdy Folks! We here at PCM just added on Google Apps for work as something we can help provide for our clients. With specialized packages and plenty of options…which you can see below, we can help you be more successful!

Google Apps has unique characteristics that makes it the right solution for more than 5 million companies…

Better Collaboration – a new way to collaborate, resulting in higher productivity and more connected teams.

Cloud-Based – Accessible online, Google Apps is easier to use on the go, and on any device, but allowing for offline editing. No hardware to purchase and install either!

Continuous Innovation – Between online storage through Google Drive, Priority Inbox for organization, and video meetings with Hangouts…Google’s innovations are there to save you time and money.

12 Month licenses for this product start at $45 per seat. Contact me for more details! 🙂

Welcome to Google+!

I would tell folks 3 years ago how annoying Facebook was…and how friends and family forced me to be on it.  But like most people, even when presented with a way out, I didn’t take it.  Well today I am…with PCM and this Blog.  So as of today, I have a Google+ site that you can follow me on.  Everyone loves +1s and this blog will also update there too.  I’m in the process of adding pages of content there in the coming weeks that will mirror some of the Blog, and what I wanted to do there, but was limited by the WordPress setup.

For the newbies reading this on Google+, here’s a couple of my recent past posts so you can get caught up.  ESPECIALLY on the 3D printing.  If you’re a personal friend on my Google+ account, get me in touch with your work’s IT team.  Don’t have one?  Wow you need me even more! 🙂

3D Printing part 1

3D Printing part 2

Disaster Recovery Just Sucks, Doesn’t It?

Red Alert: Apple stepping in!

I”m going to leave you with an amazing version of a song everyone from my Generation knows.  Enter Sandman…by an equally awesome bluegrass band called Iron Horse. 🙂  Peace.

Enhanced by Zemanta

Cloud Myths…

No this isn’t a tribute to Final Fantasy VII… 😉

The folks at Trend Micro put this out to my team the other day, and I wanted to share it with all of you too.  Cloud Computing has a lot of use to small & medium businesses…but uses never come without danger of misuse.  This article here, discusses the myths of Cloud Computing and what the realities are.  Now if you ignore the last couple of pages…the ad for TM…there’s some insight in this article.  Let me discuss the first 3 now, and the rest in a followup post.

Myth #1: SMBs know they are using The Cloud.  – Do they?  I think a lot of companies who use Gmail, Yahoo mail, facebook, twitter, picasa, dropbox and other online tools forget that those are Cloud tools.  The Cloud is a nebulous thing that encompasses concepts of how technology is delivered to people, it is not a specific thing.

Myth #2: Paying for Cloud Services is more costly than buying hardware or software  – Have any of you bought and managed servers these days?  Do you think that a company that’s struggling along and cannot afford a proper IT manager can take care of that?   It’s a tough call for businesses.  While I think most people outside of work rely too heavily on one thing at a time (yes I have duplicate files spread out among Dropbox, Google Drive, Skydrive, and Copy.com…but I’m paranoid 😉 ), a business needs to invest into protecting its data, and if they’re too small…it’s very difficult.

Myth #3: Cloud Computing slows processes down and reduces productivity – Wow that myth is so untrue it leaves a bad taste in my mouth.  Like I mentioned in #2, an SMB that isn’t running their own servers and IT staff reduces expenses.  Shoot, we have a hosting service through PCM for your Exchange and servers…and for what it costs, it can take a lot of pressure off of your company to maintain its own servers and pay someone to do it for them…including repair bills.

More to come! 🙂

Peachy Keen, Jelly Bean!

So on Wednesday, June 27th, Google announced it’s Nexus 7 tablet…something on their end to get in and fight against the Kindle and Nook units.   Revealed at the end of their I/O Conference, the Nexus 7 is the first unit to have their newest Android operating system, Jelly Bean (4.1), as well as being the first unit to ship with the Chrome browser pre-installed.

This looks to be great for Google, and their partner Asus (who designed the hardware)…because this unit will stand out in that market easily.  Why?  Cores.  That little 7inch tablet has 16 cores in it.  Those cores include: Nvidia’s quad-core 1.3GHz Tegra 3 CPU and its 12-core GeForce GPU.  The Nexus will match the price of the Kindle Fire at $199 as well.

OOOOOOOH…I smell new kid on the block fight!

I’m no fan of the Android OS…too much malware for me in too short of a time…but I’d pick this device over the Kindle or Nook ANY day. 🙂

Apple vs. Samsung – Round 2: Legal Smackdown

This just in…

(I’ve always wanted to type that.)

Looks like Apple got what they wanted in their lawsuit against Samsung for infringing their patent on the iPad.  (You know, the device that existed long before in design before Apple made it a reality…thank you Star Trek.)  The patent revolves around the design of the device and how it is similar to Apple’s iPad.  The courts originally told Apple no, but the court of appeals said otherwise, granting them a preliminary injunction (sales ban) against Samsung’s Galaxy 10.1 and has pretty much forced this to a trial by jury.

Originally, Samsung countered this in Germany and other places by designing the Galaxy 10.1 N, which looks a little different than their standard model.  LOOKS.  This isn’t about the system itself of what the product does…Apple has stated that they’re concerned that Samsung is pushing “cheap knockoffs” that look like their product into the market.  My opinion?  Horsehockey.  Samsung is a competitor, Apple is sue-happy (much like Microsoft used to be), and Apple doesn’t like competition…from Google, Samsung, Microsoft or anyone else.  Other such knockoffs exist, and I’m sure Apple will find a way to go after Microsoft in the future for something to do with the soon-to-release Surface.

Like I said above, this is going to a trial by jury, so that’ll be the proving ground.  It’ll be interesting to see how this will pan out for all parties involved.  Maybe Apple needs to sue Paramount for reruns of Star Trek that have their pads in them too…they look awful similar. 😉

Lastly, before the Apple-fanboys get on here and flame me, let me say this.  I own Apple products, but I am allowed an opinion on their tactics in the free market…which are poor and heavy handed when they don’t need to be.

Chrome Leapfrogs IE!

Well howdy folks…something of interest just crossed my plate.  (Thank you Michael Winton!)

According to this article here, it looks like Google Chrome just surpassed Internet Explorer as the most popular browser on the market.  Here’s a look at their survey chart…

 

It’s pretty interesting to say the least…but then Microsoft is embedded everywhere with Windows.  It’s not like that stuff is going away any time soon…and actually using it lately has been surprisingly a good experience.  With the exception of the folks at Firefox (who apparently decided a browser that’s slower than a toaster is a good idea), Microsoft and Google are working hard to better our Internet experiences. 🙂

(Posted from my Chrome browser 🙂 )