stories filed under: "saas"
by Mike Masnick
Mon, Sep 10th 2007 6:13pm
The media is having a field day with the news that IT consulting firm Capgemini has come to an agreement with Google to push Google's online apps into enterprise customers. It's true, as many of the stories point out, that this is a huge win for Google, and is likely to help increase adoption of its apps within the enterprise. However, what's not clear and not explained is why the two companies needed an agreement first. As the article notes, it appears that there were financial considerations in the agreement as well. If anything, this should call into question Capgemini's impartiality in recommending apps to its customers. If Google Apps is the best solution, then shouldn't Capgemini support it with or without an agreement? Waiting until the two companies have an agreement (and announcing that fact) just makes it sound like Capgemini's recommendations are going to be based on who paid them some money, rather than on what's the best solution for customers.
Thu, Aug 23rd 2007 5:16pm
from the end-of-the-road dept
For a long time, Google insisted that it had no intention of competing directly against Microsoft in its core business areas, but as the company started to expand its online office suite, it became clear that the two companies would form a rivalry. That being said, few have argued that Google's office apps actually offer a substitute for MS Office (at least not yet), but rather that they work well in certain key areas. Nonetheless, one analyst is warning that deploying Google apps could be a potentially "career limiting" move for any enterprise architects. In other words, don't throw out your Office licenses just because you can save money going with Google. That might be good advice, except that it's basically just knocking down a straw man, as it's hard to imagine there are many people out there actually considering such a drastic course of action. What's funny is that the analyst then goes on to describe the 'limited' areas where Google's service might be useful; they include startups, small businesses, collaborative projects, and enterprise non-power users. It sure sounds like a large swath of the market could be well served by these tools by the analyst's own admission. Simply warning of dire consequences for anyone who puts too much confidence in Google doesn't really address the question.
Wed, Aug 22nd 2007 11:30am
from the helping-out-a-friend dept
Back in May, Google announced the release of Google Gears, a set of tools for enabling offline access to web-based apps. Although the trend in software is towards web-based delivery, which Google has embraced wholeheartedly, the inability to access or edit documents when not connected to the internet, remains a concern. Now, one of the first offerings to embrace Gears comes from Zoho, which makes an online office suite that rivals Google's own. As we noted when Gears was first announced, Google was clearly interested in advancing the whole area of web-based software, not just in pushing its own apps. Just as Microsoft seems hesitant to give even the slightest endorsement of this model, Google recognizes that it will benefit, regardless of which offerings users choose in the short term.
Tue, Jul 31st 2007 11:15am
from the whatever-works dept
For obvious reasons, Microsoft is extremely reluctant to touch the business model of its money-spinning Office suite, despite the fact that competition from free, web-based services is increasing. Not only is Microsoft unlikely to introduce a web-based Office anytime soon, the official line from the company is that software-as-a-service isn't what customers want, but that software+services is the ideal model. Of course, nobody else in the industry seems quite as excited about software+services as Microsoft is, which probably has something to do with the fact that such a model would leave the company's overall business model intact. That being said, the company has apparently released a new ad-supported version of its Microsoft Works suite, the company's low-end productivity suite. However, the company still isn't delivering it over the internet. This is sort of an odd compromise. For one thing, consumers won't be particularly enthused by ad-supported desktop software. Faced with a choice between this and Google's productivity offerings, they'll likely choose the latter. If Microsoft were to make Works the backbone of a web-based offering, it'd be a different story. The fact that the company isn't doing this sort of makes you wonder whether Microsoft is really fearful, to use an old cliche, of validating the market. Perhaps it believes that by releasing an on-demand Works, it would draw attention to this whole area, thus benefiting the competition. If so, this strategy can't work for long. It's only a matter of time before consumers learn more about the options available to them, and it's up to Microsoft whether it wants to follow the direction its customers are likely to go.