In November 2008 it was all over the press : Serena Software is moving from Microsoft Exchange to Google Apps. The motivation for this move was TCO so the articles said. November 16, 2008 I wrote a blogpost on this :
eWeek featured an article with the title : “Serena to Dump Microsoft Exchange for Google Gmail, the Cloud”.
The article ofcourse got my interest and when I started reading I thought this can’t be true. The article is one big confusing apples and oranges overview. I am quite sure that nor Mr Bister of Serena, nor the journalist has used Microsoft Excel to do their calculations …
And my (arrogant ?) recommendation back then :
My recomendation to Serena Software would be to do some homework, look into Microsoft Online Services and reconsider their options …
read the whole blogpost : here
No more than a year later Serena Software has made the choice to migrate from Google Apps to Microsoft Online Services, and here is some of their motivation to do so :
… One of Serena’s core values is a deep, organization-wide commitment to customer success. We work closely with our 15,000 worldwide customers to deliver solutions that help them be more successful. As a result, we rely heavily on collaboration tools for our employees to share information and work together with customers and partners.
This is one of the chief reasons we’ve chosen to adopt Exchange Online and SharePoint Online together with Office 2010. They deliver trustworthy, enterprise-class solutions – with the performance, security, privacy, reliability and support we require. We know that Microsoft is a leader in the providing these kinds of solutions, and in our discussions with them, it became clear that they are 100% committed to Serena’s success and delivering solutions that drive the future of collaboration.
Using Office, SharePoint and Exchange will allow us to collaborate more effectively internally and with customers and partners, many of whom use the same technologies, and we can do so without having to deal with content loss or clients being unable to open or edit a document. In particular, Exchange is unchallenged in its calendaring and contact management abilities, mission critical functions for a global company such as Serena.
There are alternatives on the market that promise lower costs, but in our experience, this is a fallacy. When looking at alternatives, CIOs should really evaluate the total cost of ownership as well as the impact on user productivity and satisfaction, as there can be hidden costs and higher TCO. For instance, slow performance and/or lack of enterprise-class features (e.g., with calendaring and contact management) will torpedo the value of such a backbone system, and may get the CIO fired. …
Source : Microsoft Online Services Team Blog
Google’s prime argument for ‘switchers’ often is TCO (or plain cost is a better choice of words) and
most often always comparing older versions of on-premise email systems to their online offering. Apples and oranges as I have explained more often.
Serena Software’s motivation for migrating from Google Apps to Microsoft Online Services is one of value. The sheer value the Microsoft collaboration platform can bring to an organisation compared to just a cheap solution proves to be more valuable in the long run.
And Serena Software is not the only organisation switching from Google Apps :
I regularly read Chris Dawson’s blogposts as he blogs about technology solutions in the education sector and that happens to be one of my areas of interest. Today he blogged about something that I hope to see and here more about … a different perspective on Microsoft … simply because there many good solutions coming from Redmond …
…I’m having an identity crisis. Regular readers of both this blog and my Education blog will know that I border on being a Google fanboi and Linux tends to work its way into my computer passions as well. I work almost constantly in the cloud and Linux obviously provides a cheap, stable platform […]
… And then there’s Microsoft. Microsoft was easy to hate a few years back when they were the antitrust bad guys. Then they released Vista and it was even easier to say that they’d sealed their fate. Apple and Linux were going to dominate the desktop! The 3000 pound gorilla was dead! And suddenly, the betas of Windows 7 were stable, fast, attractive, and everything that Vista should have been. Office Web Apps and other Windows Live properties started to appear and mature and were compelling bridges to the cloud. And if the cloud wasn’t your game, Office 2010 rolled into beta and was even better than Office 2007. Seriously, have you used the beta? It rocks out loud. I may spend a lot of time in the cloud, but I also often have to produce publication-ready documents. Besides, have you ever tried to do a mail merge in Google Docs? Of course you haven’t, because you can’t.
It’s gotten to the point where I actually look forward to hearing from Microsoft PR since they usually have something particularly cool to tell me about. In fact, Office 2010 just might be one of the more compelling reasons to buy a Windows PC. Then there’s Sharepoint 2010, the cloud-oriented meat of which has already appeared in Live@Edu and Office Live Workspace. …
Yes lot’s of cool stuff coming this year … hope to see more positive news coming from Chris’ blog soon
Good article by Zack Whittaker about the number of users supported in education by some of the online players :
… Microsoft and Google are still plotting away at each other in attempts to get colleges and universities on side with their own email, document and general productivity suites.
Google hasn’t got back to me with any of the questions I sent over in regards to this vague tweet:
Since then there has been an awful lot of email to’ing and fro’ing between myself and a number of public relations folk. My last post comparing the two suites was a few months ago; it’s time for a revision and seeing where universities rank the in-house email killers, by deconstructing the jargon and seemingly meaningless spin. …
Although the Live@EDU estimates of 50 Million + users is not an official Microsoft number it at least shows this is very, very large :
… Live@edu is used by more than 10,000 “schools”
Microsoft finally updated its press release to confirm that over 10,000 “schools” – which as Americans often describe school as “a form of education” not mutually exclusive to compulsory education but university/college also. Considering most universities have over 10,000 students, I would fairly say that there are definitely over 7 million users using Live@edu; it’s probably closer to 50 million if not even more. …
Source : ZDnet.com
Mary Jo Foley highlights an interesting point who/what is the real competition for IBM Lotus iNotes ? It’s the Business Productivity Online Suite from Microsoft. Lower price, more functionality, more choice.
…IBM’s announcement of a new hosted entry-level communications offering has led to lots of punditry around how it compares to Google Apps. But I’m not sure that’s IBM’s main competition here.
Google Apps Premier, which costs $50 per user per year, includes Web-based office applications (Google Docs), plus Gmail for businesses, Google Calendar, Google Sites and Postini hosted/archived email. IBM’s LotusLive iNotes includes hosted email, calendar and contact management service — but no hosted productivity apps — for $36 per user per year.
I’ve seen almost no one analyzing IBM’s new hosted offering in comparison to what Microsoft is offering business users.
Microsoft already has a business-focused hosted e-mail/collaboration product on the market known as the Deskless Worker Suite, which includes Exchange Online and SharePoint Online. Customers can get that suite for $36 per user per year. Exchange Online Deskless Worker includes e-mail, calendaring, global contact lists, anti-virus and anti-spam filters, and provides access to company e-mail via Outlook Web Access Light. SharePoint Online Deskless Worker gives you read-only access to SharePoint portal and team sites. If users want only Exchange Online Deskless or SharePoint Online Deskless, it’s $24 per user per service per year.
Microsoft offers a more comprehensive hosted communications/collaboration subscription service — one that includes Exchange Online, SharePoint Online, Communications Online (corporate instant messaging and presence) and Live Meeting (Web conferencing and videoconferencing) — for $180 per user per year. That is the company’s Business Productivity Online Suite (BPOS). …
Hopefully a cloud initiatve that does work. Interoperability is a key component in Cloud Computing. Glad to see Microsoft is one of the active participants.
Open Cloud Standards Incubator Created to Address Management Interoperability for Cloud Systems
… The Distributed Management Task Force (DMTF), the organization bringing the IT industry together to collaborate on systems management standards development, validation, promotion and adoption, today announced that it has formed a group dedicated to addressing the need for open management standards for cloud computing. The "Open Cloud Standards Incubator" will work to develop a set of informational specifications for cloud resource management.
As virtualization technology continues to be more rapidly adopted, it is emerging as a common enabling foundation for delivering software solutions into IT environments along with the potential to lower IT costs and improve operational efficiencies. While deploying virtualization technologies it is also critical to have comprehensive management capabilities associated with the implementation. Along with the adoption of virtualization, more and more enterprise IT customers are looking at the cloud computing paradigm to better deliver services to their customers.
No specific standards currently exist for enabling interoperability between private clouds within enterprises and hosted or public cloud providers. DMTF’s Open Cloud Standards Incubator will focus on addressing these issues by developing cloud resource management protocols, packaging formats and security mechanisms to facilitate interoperability.
"Cloud computing will have a major impact on IT management," said Winston Bumpus, DMTF president. "With the DMTF’s track record for leading the industry in the development of proven standards for management interoperability, along with its extensive network of Alliance Partners, this Open Cloud Standards Incubator provides an ideal setting for initiating work on specifications to enable interoperable cloud management."
The work of the Open Cloud Standards Incubator will focus on ways to facilitate operations between private clouds within enterprises and other private, public, or hybrid clouds by improving the interoperability between platforms through open cloud resource management standards. The group also aims to develop specifications to enable cloud service portability and provide management consistency across cloud and enterprise platforms.
The Open Cloud Standards Incubator was formed as part of the DMTF Standards Incubation process, which enables like-minded DMTF members to work together and produce informational specifications that can later be fast-tracked through the standards development process. The incubation process is designed to foster and expedite open, collaborative, exploratory technical work that complements the DMTF mission to lead the development, adoption and promotion of interoperable management initiatives and standards.
The current incubator leadership board consists of AMD, Cisco, Citrix, EMC, HP, IBM, Intel, Microsoft, Novell, Red Hat, Savvis, Sun Microsystems, and VMware. Please click here for more information, or to learn more about participating. …
Continue at source
This Forrester report confirms my findings when it comes to webbased Office functionality. Everyone talks about it but very little people actually use it as their primary Office tools. Because everyone talks about it, there is also the general perception that webbased Office tools are widely used. Well they’re not according to this Forrester Poll.
This research shows that only 3% of the users interviewed use Google Premier Apps. I doubt if this is truely the replacement for their Office Suite or if they use Google Apps alongside it.
In many cases where people talk about webbased Office suites or have questions in that direction I find that it is not actually the editiing functions they like / desire, its the ability to share documents; often with people outside their own department / organisation. Something we used to call groupware. Hence in the same research the requirement for Collaboration functionality.
I do agree with the conclusion that the demand for webbased office tools will grow. Not because the browser is the ideal UI but because users want the ability to choose. Rich functions and offline capability when running Office locally and browser / mobile functions when they are not behind their own PC.
Functionality in the browser is the ideal companion next to my PC based apps, basically this is the way I use Outlook Web Access today. I access email through OWA whenever and wherever I am not behind my PC and when my mobile phone doesn’t help me process emails fast enough.
Microsoft Office Web Applications will be part of the next release of Microsoft Office; Microsoft Office 2010.
…. Forrester is set to release a new report about Web Office, which ReadWriteWeb got a sneak peak at. The report offers new data on office productivity innovation and cloud productivity suite adoption. The full data will be presented at Forrester’s IT Forum, to be held in Las Vegas May 19-22, 2009. The data shows that while enterprises are looking forward to innovation in web access and collaboration, they’re not so forward-looking when it comes to data integration. Also we discover that the vast majority of IT departments still support Microsoft Office, but very few support Google Premier Apps right now. …
In another slide, Forrester concluded that cloud computing adoption within enterprises is still low. 80% of respondants still support crusty old Microsoft Office, while just 3% claim to support Google Premier Apps. It really does seem like the whole enterprise industry is sitting back and waiting on Microsoft to roll out their long-awaited Web Office offerings. By these figures, it doesn’t appear like Google is making too much of a dent in the market. However we’re sure it is just a matter of time before Web Office suites are common in the workplace – even Microsoft has acknowledged that cloud computing will be an important driver for enterprise software. …
Bill Pray has a positive assessment of Microsoft Exchange 2010. Exchange 2010 is the most rock-solid Email and Calendaring solution for bith on-premise as well as Online scenario. I believe the recently released beta is very well received.
… As the Microsoft marketing machine cranks up the information on Exchange 2010, it is interesting to note how many articles are devoted to new productivity capabilities for users. However, user productivity is not what Exchange 2010 is about… Exchange 2010 is about Microsoft competing with Google and anyone else who throws their hat into the ring – Cisco? IBM? Yahoo!? – in the software-as-a-service (SaaS) e-mail market. While there is no question that Google still has a limited presence in enterprise e-mail, Gmail continues to garner fans and install base in the small and medium business market. Microsoft is no stranger to that strategy and must respond by providing a better enterprise SaaS e-mail solution or risk losing future market share.
Microsoft has not made it a secret that Exchange 2010 is intended to become Microsoft’s attack on the SaaS e-mail market, but the Microsoft marketing machine sometimes obscures things in an effort to get messaging to various audiences. However, the press announcement states in the second sentence: “Exchange 2010 is part of the next wave of Microsoft Office-related products and is the first server in a new generation of Microsoft server technology built from the ground up to work on-premises and as an online service.” …
… Obviously, many of these features are good for an on-premise implementation also. However, when you start perusing the feature list for Exchange 2010, it is clear that Microsoft is executing on a strategy to make Exchange SaaS friendly. The story line for Exchange 2010 is not about enhancements in productivity features for the enterprise, it is about Microsoft taking Exchange to cloud. …
Be sure to check the article for all details ..
The Australian Catholic University has implemented a new Emailsystem based on on Microsoft Outlook Live.
Some background and most interesting the selection of this email system is based on experience with pilots of Google Apps for Education vs Microsoft Outlook Live (part of Microsoft Live @EDU). The is the student feedback based on actual use and not just some functions and features evaluation …
… In Semester 1, 2009, ACU National introduced a new Web-based email system for students, based on Microsoft Exchange and Windows (Outlook) Live Mail.
This new, modern and more user-friendly system will feature:
- A Microsoft Outlook WebMail user interface including access to calendars, contacts lists and collaboration tools
- Improved SPAM filtering
- 10 GB of online mailbox storage space (100 times the previous 100Mb limit and double the standard Live Mail quota)
- 20 Mb message size support (including file attachments)
- Ability to share address book contacts and calendar information
- No banner advertising – unlike ordinary free email accounts.
- Web-based administrative tools
- Support for 25 languages
- "Email for Life" – ACU student email accounts will continue to be available for use after graduation, making it easier to stay in contact with classmates, colleagues and teaching staff. ….
source : Webmail Survey Results
Australian Catholic University is not the only university / school to recently implement Microsoft Live@EDU. Check out the recent press release on other institutions that recently implemented the service:
Education institutions worldwide embrace Microsoft Live@edu to enrich student experience, enhance learning outcomes and fuel productivity; new Microsoft Outlook Live delivers new e-mail functionality based on the popular Outlook interface. …
Ovum gives a brief analysis on Microsoft’s international launch of BPOS. Unlike some other analysis I’ve seen trying to compare Google Apps to Microsoft BPOS, this highlights one of the main differences … Choice …
…Microsoft’s recently announced Business Productivity Online Suite (BPOS) is much more than a challenge to Google Apps, playing as it does to organisations from five persons to millions, and allowing a combination of in-house and hosted deployment – the so-called ‘software plus services’ model. The release of BPOS is very timely, offering guaranteed availability and with well thought out functionality. However, there is still some work to do on the product that might make it appear like a beta release in the eyes of a CIO.
Mix ‘n’ match for customers and partners
The BPOS hosted products are: Exchange, SharePoint, Office Communications Server and LiveMeeting. This package is priced at $15 per seat per month and organisations can subscribe to additional facilities such as archiving.
But this is not just cloud-based services like Google Apps, although that offering is definitely a threat that Microsoft wants to see off. Rather it is a software plus service offering that gives organisations that have the IT support infrastructure and wish to retain in-house capability the option to have their BPOS services linked to the corporate servers to provide an anywhere information service for employees, partners or customers. …
Continue at source : Ovum.com