No doubt about it: Google Apps is a threat to Microsoft’s cash-cow Microsoft Office franchise. Google claims that 5 million businesses are using Apps and it wants to pilfer 90% of Microsoft Office customers.
The general thought is that once a business uses Google, it never goes back to Microsoft.
But that’s not true for every company. Business Insider talked to the top IT person at one 4,500-employee company that mostly ditched Google Apps for Office 365 last year: Fhi360.org.
We say mostly because Fhi360.org still has one 300-person group using Google Apps, Michael Mazza, the IT director responsible for choosing Office 365, told Business Insider.
Mazza was a fan of Google Apps and was pushing for the whole company to use it. But because it is a non-profit company funded by federal grants, it is required to get multiple bids for any IT service.
During the head-to-head bidding process, Google blew it.
Mazza said that Office 365 offered better enterprise security. It also had some important features, like letting administrative assistants manage multiple people’s calendars/mailboxes. It had better support and lots of resellers, too.
And it didn’t cost any more. “We looked at it and it was literally cost neutral to go with either one,” Mazza said.
Plus, the Microsoft sales team supported his enterprise better than Google, even lining up three bids for resellers to help transfer email to the new system. “The Microsoft team was a lot more engaged than the Google team,” he said
We’ve heard this story before. Zack Hicks, Toyota’s top technology executive in North America, gave us many of the same reasons last November in explaining why he signed a 200,000-seat contract for Office 365.
Google’s lack of enterprise expertise is hurting its efforts to win business away from Microsoft.
We predict that this won’t last long, though. Google is madly hiring enterprise sales experts, and currently lists more than 130 enterprise sales jobs worldwide on its job site.