Why enterprises are moving to Google Apps, Gmail
From CIO.co.nz: Why enterprises are moving to Google Apps, Gmail
This is an interesting article, and shows how (in my opinion) IBM and Microsoft are not competing against each other, but against Google...
Though it started selling software to universities and small businesses, Google has pervaded more large businesses during the past year with Google Apps, the company's suite of messaging and productivity software. Analysts say Google Enterprise, the division of Google that runs Apps, has added many features to the product that make it more attractive to enterprise IT departments.
JohnsonDiversey, a company that sells commercial cleaning products, is Google's most recent win. It moved its 12,000 employees over to the premier edition of Google Apps, which includes Gmail, instant messaging, documents and spreadsheets (among other apps) for $50 per user per year.
"E-mail is critical to our work, but we're trying to simplify IT," says Brent Hoag, JohnsonDiversey's IT director. "We want less infrastructure to maintain, and Google [Gmail] allows us to do that."
I don't think it really matters much if you believe they are overlooking other options from Lotus that could do the same thing. The fact remains that corporations are buying the "less infrastructure/let Google do it" story in ever-increasing numbers. Obviously, that does not bode well for either Lotus or Microsoft when it comes to selling on-premise computing.
But there was a "ah-ha" moment a bit further down in the story, and it's an angle I didn't consider in this light when the news came out last week:
Perhaps most significantly, at a Google Apps CIO roundtable event in San Francisco last week, Google announced that enterprise users of Google Apps could access Gmail through an Outlook client. The company hopes it will quell the protests by users who have become tethered to the desktop app and who, as a result, have sometimes hindered enterprise adoption of Google Apps.
"For me, it eliminates the last hurdle or mindset for letting go of [Microsoft] Exchange or the Exchange mentality," said Bob Rudy, vice president and CIO of Avago, a semiconductor company that moved its employees over to Google Apps, during the event. "This will help with adoption."
I remember reading a number of Yellowverse comments along the lines of "imagine if Lotus had that same type of tight integration with Gmail". But I either didn't see or missed (probably the latter) the angle that Google put the hammer down on Exchange by that little move. We've said it before ourselves... "Users don't want Exchange... They want Outlook." Gmail just gave it to them. So instead of us saying "we'll give them an Outlook connector to Domino", Google has said "use your preferred mail client, and we'll run your mail infrastructure for you." Imagine trying to sell Exchange into that argument.
At least the Notes client isn't "free", so it's not as if Lotus is giving away the mail client which now is back-end agnostic. But overall, I'm not convinced that having Notes able to access Gmail as a easily configurable (or preferable) option is such a hot idea. If Google says "use Notes, Outlook, or Gmail... we don't care", the email server becomes even more of a commodity at that point. And if it's not cloud-based, the selling becomes that much harder.