Posted by Alan Nazarelli ● Wed, Jul 08, 2020 @ 09:20 PM

Does Google value beat Microsoft Office?

According to this Wall Street Journal article (see link below), Google is aggressively targeting Microsoft's enterprise business. Is the assessment accurate? Will the strategy work? Silicon Valley Research Group's Enterprise Research Team has spent the last several months researching needs and trends for productivity tools in the enterprise. Here are some salient points from our findings:

1. Companies, especially at the lower end of the employee count scale have found value in migrating to Google Apps in the last few years. However, with the recent improvements in Office365, the tide, at least as far as perception, is shifting. This comes down to the value/price equation. When the comparison was purchasing Office versus Google's subscription model, the latter appeared more attractive. The argument was based on the fact that the average user did not need or use all the features of Microsoft Office anyway. However, when the price difference shrinks, the equation changes. Office365 is now considered unbeatable value, according to our recent surveys. And if price is at least at rough parity, the Office suite is more attractive to enterprise buyers as our data confirms. The ability to add Lync and Sharepoint are considered additional value boosters.

2. While there have been some notable wins for Google in the enterprise, the notion of a suite of products being enterprise ready is an important one for IT decision makers. As even the comments on the article attached show, Google has a long way to go to being truly considered enterprise class. Several comments made by readers in the article point to not having enterprise class customer service. With its roots in the consumer end, Google's DIY approach, while appropriate for consumers seeking free tools and apps, will have to change significantly. At the moment, there are channel providers who make up the slack and whose customer service is rated high, but the radical transformation will have to come from Google itself.

3. Enterprise players have a complex set of requirements for purchasing and planning. The ability to see roadmaps and architect solutions for future scaling are important considerations. With the established track record of Office, planners are able to envision the continued evolution of the product even as it "cloudifies" and transforms to a subscription product. Microsoft can therefore "steer by the wake" in helping customers envision the future, Google will have to make their future evolution pathways better known and defined.

4. Microsoft also needs to do significant work in maximizing its opportunities with Office. The unbeatable value mentioned above is not widely known. Smaller enterprises, in particular, do not know what Lync is. Smaller enterprises, we found, are also confused about Office and Office365 and to some extent are prey to the argument for Google due their general confusion. Full page ads touting the latest company to adopt Office365 do not have impact if the average reader viewing these ads cannot define what Office365 does. The real estate could be much better spent on providing relevant "why and how to buy" information.

Here is the original Wall Street Journal article I refer to:


Al Nazarelli is CEO & Founder of Silicon Valley Research Group, a global technology market research & strategy development firm.