Monday, August 19, 2013

The fundamental difference between Office 365 and Google Apps


I see a lot of chatter out there about whether Google Apps is better than Office 365 and you know what? I think they are overlooking a very fundamental issue. You can debate the various technical merits of each solution, compare the features point by point but I think this missing a far greater business distinction when it comes to these products.
I covered this in a recent podcast I did on Eagle Tech Genius podcast but I’ll reiterate it here because I think it is very important.
As a business, everything I generally do is focused in helping my business succeed. Success is generally measured via profit. Thus, this blog, my publications, YouTube channel, free downloads and so on is aimed at promoting my business with the aim to generate it more profit.
Likewise Google and Microsoft are businesses. They have shareholders and it is their fiduciary responsibility to maximize the profits for these shareholders. However, what most people overlook is that Google generates the vast majority of its profit (over 80% I believe) from advertising.
Now there is nothing wrong with this business model and it is very successful, however you need to appreciate that products like Google Apps are aimed at assisting the maximization of advertising revenue and thus profit for Google. I am not saying they are doing anything nefarious with Google Apps when it comes to advertising. What I am saying is that products is one of a suite that Google has whose aim is to generate additional advertising revenue.
Microsoft on the other hand generates the majority of it revenue through selling software. Thus, it’s business model is about selling more software.
As a business that chooses between Google Apps and Microsoft Office 365 you need to be comfortable what the business does who makes the product you use. Like I said, both products solve problems for customers but as a business are you more comfortable with a product from an adverting company or a software company? At the end of the day, how are they looking to maximize your contribution to their profit?