Google Apps vs. Office 365: your choice, but don’t be misinformed… (Part 3)
This is the third installment of a multi-part blog series (read Part 1 and Part 2 and Part 4 and Part 5) where I review an article entitled “Google Apps vs. Office 365: your choice” where I provide a different perspective in this ongoing battle for dominance in the cloud between Google and Microsoft.
Now, let’s cover the area of mobility features for the respective cloud offerings from Google and Microsoft and dive a bit deeper into the author’s claims that Google Apps provides better mobile device support in comparison to the capabilities provided by Office 365.
“Anywhere, anytime, and on any device”. I find it amazing that the industry now embraces a vision pioneered by Microsoft, called Software + Services, whose 3 screens vision has made its way into the technology roadmaps of leading competitors! Now I make no excuses about Microsoft dropping the ball on Mobile, far beyond the scope of this article, but in the industry at large. Windows Phone 7, Windows-based multi-touch devices, and innovative technologies like Kinect will reshape how we interact with the world in the years to come, but it is very apparent that in today’s market, it has a long way to go. With the rapid advancement of mobile technology, it grows increasingly difficult to keep up with the change and both Google Apps and Office 365 are learning from this.
Today’s IT organizations, in the wake of security breaches and other malicious threats as it relates to the protection of their intellectual property, are looking for solutions that not only provide users mobile access to data, but do so in a secure manner and provide the necessary controls in order to manage that security. E-mail is perhaps the most dominant mobile app for business users, aside from the growing popularity of Angry Birds, and will continue to be an area where Office 365 hands down has the more superior solution.
Rather than spend time in this post trying to list mobility support features in Office 365, Microsoft kindly put this information in a document that’s available for download. Rather than go with my opinion (or that of the author of the article I’m critiquing), get the facts for yourself.
With all the knocks the author seems to levy around the lack of mobile support within Office 365 and the need to have Windows-based devices to unlock capabilities within the platform, not once has he covered the challenges of accessing Google Apps with non-Google mobile devices, like… say… Windows Phone. You have to rely on an assortment of 3rd party add-ons to get the most basic of functionality. Things like document editing/authoring, calendar synchronization and other capabilities beg for an integrated phone app experience versus just accessing the pure web-based applications provided by Google. Office Mobile integrated with Office 365 provides a superior productivity experience. While it’s true that mobile support outside of Windows-based mobile devices are lacking, the same could be said for Google Apps as well, can it not? Again, it’s your choice, but don’t be misinformed.
In the next post I’ll talk about collaboration support with respect to the two cloud offerings.