eVantage Technology was recently awarded Cloud Accelerate Partner status in recognition of our success delivering cloud solution (predominately in the form of Microsoft Office 365) to our clients across Asia.
We would argue that Office 365 is Microsoft’s most revolutionary product in recent years, and we wanted to briefly share why we decided to back the product in favour of its main rival, Google Apps.
Having thoroughly analysed both options, and experimented with both the services in house, we drew our conclusions.
Our main gripe with the Google offering was that their value proposition was largely cost based. For example, it is free for up to 10 users – an attractive proposition for small business on a budget who do not expect to grow their headcount beyond this number in the medium term.
However once the cost issue is put aside, from a features and functionality perspective, Office 365 has several distinct advantages over the Google offering – an example being its tight integration into Microsoft’s Office suite – a set of tools that almost all our clients use and are already familiar with.
1. Important Key Features
Whilst it is possible to use Microsoft Outlook with Google Apps, there are several key features that are completely missing, such as delivery and read receipts and recalling of sent messages. Key calendar features are also missing – calendar attachments, optional attendees and tentative or out-of-office status, for example.
2. Enterprise Friendly
We also feel Office 365 is more “enterprise friendly” – for the larger Office 365 deployments we have conducted, features such as integration and co-existence with existing enterprise services like Active Directory and onsite Exchange were absolutely critical – such a degree of integration is impossible with Google Apps.
Another critical benefit for larger organisations is staged deployment. Without fail, all of our larger customers have migrated their users to Office 365 in phases, often country by country. With Google Apps this is not possible – the deployment must be all at once in a “big bang” which can be particularly challenging for larger organisations.
3. A-la-carte Offering
Finally, we like the “a-la-carte” offering that Office 365 provides our clients, with a range of different options and prices to suit organisations of every size with a varying range of needs. This contrasts sharply with Google Apps “one size fits all” approach.
Sam Walker, a Director at eVantage Technology, recently shared his thoughts with ZDNET Asia on the Office 365 versus Google Apps debate. Click here to read the article.