Just yesterday I posted about ZOHO and their move in the small business marketplace and potential threat to Google. Google made a significant announcement today where it will partner with Cap Gemini to offer its office applications to enterprise customers. Cap Gemini already runs desktop services for over a million customers will starting offering Google apps to enable productivity and collaboration. Google offers following within its premier app edition:
- Gmail (with 10 GB)
- Start page
- Page creator
- Docs and spreadsheet
- Management apps, enterprise support and
- API access
Well I was hoping that this was just another announcement among the plethora of press releases Google makes. However almost hours later this announcement is drawing heat from other big players in this space.
Microsoft immediately responded with its list of 10 reasons why enterprises should avoid Google Apps. Here is my favorite one:
4. Google’s primary focus is on ad funded search. Their enterprise focus and now apps exist on the very fringe and in combination with other fringe services only account for 1% of the company’s revenue. What happens if Google executes poorly? Do they shut down given it will them in a minimal and short term way? Should customers trust that this won’t happen?
Later in the evening Zimbra a new entrant into the web office space also came out speaking against Google. Zimbra focussed on the hosting aspect of Google’s services and dragged the SOX compliance issue. Here is the quote (via Mashable)
“Google’s deal with Cap Gemini today definitely raises visibility for the SaaS market. However, the pair face a challenge: since all Google Docs are stored on Google’s servers, public companies would face big Sarbanes-Oxley compliance issues if they deployed Google Apps. Zimbra’s Web 2.0 messaging and collaboration platform provides enterprise customers with freedoms that Google Apps just can’t provide, including the ability to archive for compliance purposes. They can use Zimbra as a hosted service or deploy it on-site. They can use it online or offline while retaining killer AJAX functionality. They can offer their employees access from any desktop, Web, or mobile client.”
Google is certainly receiving quite a bit of heat from the competition after this significant announcement. I think Microsoft and others realize the potential Google has and are aware of the imminent threat.