With the announcements at I/O 2014, Google trained its sights firmly on Microsoft with changes to its cloud storage and online office tools. But it seems that customers are not to be swayed, and they still prefer Microsoft Office too Google Apps. infoWAN Datenkommunikation GmbH is a German Microsoft partner, and CEO Lars Riehn explains why people are choosing Office 365 over Google's offerings.
"The cloud-adoption wave is building, and bringing with it great opportunities for us and our customers. As part of that trend, Office 365 is becoming an increasingly important part of our business as more customers choose it over other options. In 2012, Office 365 and other cloud-related projects accounted for about 2 percent of our revenue. In 2013, it was more like 20 percent. This year, we expect it to represent a third or more. Office 365 is definitely a growing business for us, and so are Azure and Windows Intune."
Riehn says that cloud services have increased in popularity because of the speed and ease of deployment as well as the potential to save money. Frequent updates to Office 365 are also a key factor. Customers "don’t have to wait three years for a new version of the software to come out. They benefit from Microsoft’s ongoing innovation in the cloud. They’re pleasantly surprised by the new features and services that Microsoft provides at no extra cost."
Google has been in the news a great deals recently because of privacy concerns. Riehn suggests that this partly explains why there is a preference for Office 365 over Google Apps ("in our experience, enterprise customers in Germany rarely use Google Apps. Among customers with more than 250 seats, we don’t know anyone using Google Apps right now. Part of it is trust") but there are other reasons:
"Google Apps sometimes looks "good enough" to smaller and even bigger organizations. But once they start using it, especially if they are familiar with Microsoft Exchange, Outlook and Microsoft Office, they often realize they are missing things they really want that Google Apps can’t deliver. There’s a level of overall end-user happiness that they just don’t get from Google Apps compared to Office 365."