Microsoft Continues to Service the Majority of Very Large Organizations with SharePoint and/or Office 365

If the group of attendees at this year’s SPTechCon, Boston, can be used as a reliable gauge of the positions of Microsoft SharePoint and Office 365 in the enterprise computing market, market interest in these solutions remains healthy and infectious. This writer has had numerous conversations, at this popular conference, with stakeholders from large organizations spread across a number of industries, including:

  • Government, both State and Federal
  • Healthcare
  • Banking
  • Insurance
  • Consumer Staples

In each case, these contacts have expressed keen interest to do what it takes to improve the computing experience of their users, and, thereby, hasten their adoption of computing methods unique to SharePoint, or SharePoint Online, Office 365.

A number of these contacts let us know their organizations had either decided to migrate from SharePoint on premises, to SharePoint Online, Office 365, or to implement the latter in parallel to SharePoint running on premises. Under normal circumstances this point would not be noteworthy, but when the industries within which their organizations compete — healthcare, banking, insurance — the notion of any of these firms seriously considering public tenancy on a cloud, SaaS has to be seen as some sort of win for Microsoft.

Contrary to a lot of market commentary, these organizations did not exhibit a diminishing interest, neither in SharePoint, nor in SharePoint Online. On the contrary, many of them spoke to a very high level of utilization for SharePoint, which can only elevate the importance of an application like this one to the position of a “mission-critical” set of procedures.

Once an application takes on this importance for an organization, it is not likely to be unseated. Since many of these organizations include thousands of seats, Microsoft should be able to count on a dependable, substantial revenue stream from these products for years to come. The only possible threat is the intensity of Microsoft’s own efforts to convince its customers to migrate to Office 365. Pressing much harder on this petal could turn out to be a bad thing to do.

Ira Michael Blonder

© IMB Enterprises, Inc. & Ira Michael Blonder, 2014 All Rights Reserved


What Google At Work Needs to Enhance Its Appeal to Large Organizations with Centralized IT Operations

Large organizations with a centralized IT operation neither have the time, nor the resources to support solutions built from lots of components. Nevertheless, in this writer’s opinion, Google Apps for Business and its parent, Google Enterprise, which has just recently been renamed Google At Work, do not seem to have learned this lesson.

These twin constraints on enterprise IT organizations are determining factors for most purchase decisions. An integrated solution is usually favored over a basket of components. The rationale is simple: with one vendor on the line via a Service Level Agreement (SLA), there is really little need, if any, for enterprise IT to maintain a staff of subject matter experts capable of supporting a very diverse set of solutions.

But of even greater importance is the need enterprise IT organizations exhibit for portability (perhaps scalability would be a better word) as a prominent feature of the platforms they purchase and implement. If management calls for a change in business direction, then the task of migrating computing procedures over to new methods will fall on enterprise IT. Often enough it will be difficult to simply move one computing platform into a new direction. But the prospect of moving 5 solutions over to a new way of processing computing, more often than not, will not be acceptable.

Organizations deciding to implement Google’s revamped Google At Work suite of office automation tools, to fulfill a need for an Enterprise Document Management (EDM) requirement, will have to not only implement the Google Apps platform, but also at least one third party product, if they are going to obtain satisfactory results from their purchase decision. This writer couldn’t find a cohesive presentation of an EDM solution anywhere within the Google Apps website, but a search of the Google Apps Marketplace did surface several solutions purporting to be useful in an EDM solution.

If the Google At Work suite lacks the mandatory features larger organizations have come to expect of the platforms they decide to implement, in this writer’s opinion any conjecture about Google mounting a serious challenge to any of the ISVs already established with enterprise IT, any time soon, should be looked at with skepticism.

Ira Michael Blonder

© IMB Enterprises, Inc. & Ira Michael Blonder, 2014 All Rights Reserved