Google Apps vs Microsoft BPOS, Office 365: Part 3

By James Hutchinson, CIO Australia |  On-demand Software, Google Apps, Microsoft BPOS

The experience of AAPT chief operating officer, David Yuile, and the shortfalls of Google Cloud Connect, will likely resonate with the inordinate amount of Microsoft shops in the industry. Years of investment in SharePoint developers, Exchange support teams and business processes built around the fickle aspects of Microsoft Office and its ribbon interface cannot be discarded easily.

That's ultimately where Microsoft's strength is likely to reside. No matter when its Office 365 bundle is released, and despite numerous attempts to forge links between legacy applications and Google Apps, the complexity of a migration for a large organisation would likely be a headache most CIOs are eager to avoid.

At least, that can be said for Coca Cola Amatil CIO, Barry Simpson.

After all, the ability to integrate easily with its existing application portfolio drew the beverage giant to Microsoft's Business Productivity Online Suite (BPOS) in the first place, and ultimately led to a six-month, 9000-seat migration away from an ageing Lotus Notes installation last year. Now, despite existing migration plans across to Office 2010 for staff desktops, Simpson is already eager to yield similar advantages in the productivity suite by moving to the hosted Office 365 solution once it ditches its beta status.

The simplicity of bundling licensing costs for the existing BPOS suite and forthcoming Office 365 option are motivations, yes, but Simpson is also looking at the simplicity of a consolidated application portfolio.

"If you need to move quickly, it's very hard if you have a lot of different moving parts," he says. "Keeping things simple and going faster is a good strategy to me.

"It would have to be a pretty strong reason not to follow that model."

Read part 1: the Google Apps experience.Read part 2: the Google Apps experience.

Follow James Hutchinson on Twitter: @j_hutch

Follow CIO Australia on Twitter: @CIO_Australia

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