Dec 27, 2011

What will UC Berkleley's choice of Google Apps over Office 365 mean for adoption by other institutions and businesses?

Berkleley picked Google to provide calendar and email services instead of Microsoft. It must be said that Google offers Google Apps for free to schools while Microsoft does not do the same with Office 365 as far as I know, so I would expect that played a role. Whatever the reasoning, Berkeley is a very prestigious university, and I wonder how much their decision will be a boost to Google Apps with respect to other institutions and companies at the expense of market penetration by Office 365.  At the least, is this going to provide a significant push towards greater mainstream adoption of cloud based apps by others?


The two choices are in some ways similar, for example email is essentially email from a functional point, but in other ways the choice is between two quite different services.  Google is much more of a true cloud based service, whereas Microsoft's suite is much more dependent on the use of (and installation and configuration of) local software.  The University of Nebraska went with Office 365 almost immediately after the service was released, and they are still working on the migration.  Even so, they expect the use of Office 365 to result in half a million dollars in savings per year once fully implemented.  http://www.omaha.com/article/20111219/NEWS01/712199898

I do think Berkeley's decision will have some impact among universities, and perhaps some companies, but I don't really think that this is a huge coup for Google.  Remember, just a few weeks ago, the LAPD made the opposite decision and decided against going with Google.  They claimed security concerns because of the cloud based structure, which may or may not be valid, but I am certain that in every sales pitch by Google's competitors, they will point out again and again the security aspect of LAPD's decision.  At the same time, I would expect Google to point out that they were the choice of UC Berkeley in sales pitches.   

Well, it *might* encourage Microsoft to offer greater discounts or some sort of free version. On the other hand, it might not.

I doubt it will really mean anything for other businesses or institutions though. UC Berkeley's choice might intrigue some of them to check out Google Apps, but that doesn't mean there will be widespread adoption of Google Apps.

I'd classify this as interesting and something that bears watching, but I wouldn't read too much into it either. We'll see as time goes by if it's really the start of a trend or if it's just an isolated incident.
Answer this