Office 365 = Enterprise Experience

As Warren Buffett once said, "Time is the friend of the wonderful company, the enemy of the mediocre." He should know – his success is all about the expertise that comes with time and commitment. It’s about making a long-term investment.

The recent ZDNet debate reminded me that the success of Office 365 boils down to just that – Microsoft’s commitment to its customers, and its long-term investment in the enterprise arena.

In the debate, which set out to determine which online app is best for your business, 82 percent of readers chose Office 365 as their preferred solution over Google Apps for Business. Now, that’s what I call a homerun!

Among the points emphasized during the debate were Microsoft’s ongoing commitment to its customers and the cloud, and its decades of expertise in the enterprise space. “With 20 years of experience in collaboration software, Microsoft knows what businesses need, and Office 365 delivers that enterprise-class product to businesses of all sizes,” said Ed Bott, who represented Office 365 during the debate.

It’s About Expertise and Commitment
Twenty years of expertise goes a long way – not just with ZDNet readers, but also with the numerous companies that are choosing Office 365 after carefully weighing the options.

Just think about the list of organizations that have selected Office 365 in just the past year: JetBlue Airways, UL, Campbell Soup, Steria, Patagonia, Wunderman, Hersing, the American Heart Association, Lantmännen, Bang & Olufsen, Aviapartner, Toyota Boshoku, Emperor Group, Mecator, Note, Hickory Farms and HSS.

And that’s just to name a few. 

So, why are so many companies choosing Office 365? Consider what some have to say:

“We feel more secure because we do not need to implement all of the security measures by ourselves, as Microsoft professionals are now partly responsible for security measures.” 

--Shigeo Fukami, Department General Manager, Toyota Boshoku Corporation

“With Office 365, we can take advantage of the extensive experience Microsoft has with its own products to help us help maintain our environment and keep us current. For the most part, we can now just be consumers of the service.”

--Michael Busch, Director of Technology at Patagonia

In a nutshell, it’s all about Microsoft’s expertise honed over decades of commitment to our enterprise customers.

In It for the Long Haul
When you think about our long-term investment, it’s no wonder why Google Apps for Business was no match for Office 365 in the ZDNet debate. The debate included 11 questions, which were answered by two ZDNet reporters. Bott represented Office 365, and Christopher Dawson represented Google Apps.

After weighing the pros and cons of each offering, just 18 percent cast their vote for Google Apps, compared to 82 percent for Office 365. It wasn’t even close!

The readers’ choice mirrored that of the moderator, ZDNet Editor in Chief Larry Dignan, who determined that Bott made the better argument. Here are a few excerpts from the debate:

Question: What do you see as the pros of Office 365 and Google Apps?

Ed Bott: There's no question that the biggest pro for Office 365 is its long history in the enterprise. This is battle-tested software that big corporations have used and trusted in house for a long time.

Question: Is it all pie in the cloud? And what’s the downside for both?

Ed Bott: For Google Apps, the lack of solid, offline access is a real problem, but my biggest misgiving is much more fundamental. This is a company that derives 96% of its revenue from advertising and has serious clouds over it as far as privacy is concerned. Google's also not afraid to kill products when they don't deliver results. Are they committed to Google Apps for the long haul?

Question: On the Google Apps side, do you see more traction on the large enterprise side for it? It appears that Google landed a few huge accounts, but is more focused on small and midsized outfits these days.

Ed Bott: If Google wants to be a serious player in this space, they have to step up their game pretty dramatically. Given how entrenched Exchange is, and how well it works in those environments, I find it hard to see what Google can offer that will make people want to jump into the great unknown.

Question: Do you believe that Google Apps will be supported in the long run?

Ed Bott: Businesses can't afford to make decisions on what they believe in. They have to spend large amounts of money and anchor their businesses based on software infrastructure they trust … The Terms of Service for Google Apps say that features can be cut with as little as a week's notice. No matter how big or small my company, I certainly wouldn't feel confident.

You can click here to read the entire debate. It’s definitely an entertaining read, and you’ll walk away with an even clearer picture of why so many organizations are choosing Office 365.

As Bott said in his closing statement, “This is Microsoft’s core business, and they’re in it for the long haul. For Google, this is still a sideline. Maybe it’ll be around next year, maybe it won’t.”

Indeed, time is our friend.

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