Google's campaign for Apps doesn't address the IT data elephant in the room

Google's campaign for Apps doesn't address the IT data elephant in the room

Summary: Updated: Google has launched a "Go Google" marketing push for Google Apps touting cost savings and recruiting users to spread the word. The campaign---modeled after Mozilla's Firefox marketing efforts---makes sense for browsers, but for skeptical IT buyers, Google drops the ball.

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Updated: Google has launched a "Go Google" marketing push for Google Apps touting cost savings and recruiting users to spread the word. The campaign---modeled after Mozilla's Firefox marketing efforts---makes sense for browsers, but for skeptical IT buyers, Google drops the ball.

Why?

Google's campaign touts how more than 1.75 million businesses are switching to Google Apps. Google correctly targets the Exchange market. The pitch (Techmeme, Google announcement):

It's all hosted by Google, and designed with security and reliability in mind, saving your company the frustrations and hassles of managing traditional IT solutions yourself.

Well that's the problem. In fact, nothing in Google's marketing toolbox---the viral emails, the YouTube videos and the posters you can plaster near the water cooler---are going to change fact that your corporate data is hosted by Google. If Google really wants to entice the enterprise it should have skipped the YouTube videos and allowed companies to store some of their own data.

Oh sure, you can mock the concerns about Google hosting corporate data as overblown. But IT leaders don't have that luxury. Other companies such as Zoho already realize this and allow you to store your own data if you choose.

BusinessWeek recently addressed the corporate data concerns. GE is testing Google Apps, but also Zoho. Why the latter? Zoho allows you to host your data too. If you're in a heavily regulated industry you're not going to be emailing Google's helpdesk trying to track a 2006 email to satisfy a Sarbanes-Oxley requirement.

Microsoft is going to take those compliance worries and inability to store corporate data on premise and beat Google over the head with it. At Microsoft's investor meeting Kevin Turner, the software giant's chief operating officer, said:

Customers don't want 100 percent of every piece of data for every application managed in the Cloud. They simply don't. For some users, for some applications, for some competitive reasons or privacy reasons or security reasons, they want to control that and manage it.

Turner then touted moviemaker Lion's Gate, which tried Google Apps and then bailed. Turner said:

I know of a company that I personally visited called Lion's Gate, the film company, and we went in there. And Google had a big trial and they were rolling it out, and they were unhappy with the security issues, the privacy issues and the performance issues that you continue to read about in the press. In fact, that's one of my favorite ways to compete against this particular product. It's just go out on the Web and pull down the outages, the security issues and the privacy issues for the past 18 months and print them out, and you staple it. And it's about this thick. And you hand it to a CIO and say, "Let's go through this and really understand what you are getting into." And so it's an incredible opportunity for us, again, to get very competitive and to really compete to win in that particular space.

This trench warfare will continue, but Google could thwart much of Microsoft's pitch if it allowed companies to store some of their own data. No one wants to be all cloud all the time.

Overall though, Google's campaign has some interesting quirks. The email to your resident CIO is comical---especially since it opens up in Outlook.

However, these posters are annoying.

The CIO's reply to that poster will be: You need to get a clue about security, privacy and compliance. Simply put, nothing Google has addresses the security, support and compliance worries that IT leaders have to worry about. "Trust us" won't work. You need to be able to store your own data.

Also see:

Topics: Google, CXO, Cloud, Collaboration

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19 comments
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  • Cost

    $50 per user/ per year ? How long does that price last? Especially once Google has all your data and your are locked in with no control or easy way to move it without their help?

    It seems to me that the company would be held hostage pretty easily, especially if it is a company 100,000 employees or more.

    Google can start with.. oh we have to charge an extra $5 per employee for this and that and the other thing... oh and here is our new upgrade now it is $100 per employee cause we added this widget only 10 users wanted.. but you get to pay for it.

    Give me a break. If you think Microsoft overcharges for exchange, wait until Google locks you into their software AND HAS ALL YOUR DATA!
    condelirios
    • Migration Tools

      The Google Apps contract clearly states that you will be given migration tools and assistance for a reasonable time after your contract expires. That's a lot better deal than MS gives you when you say that you want to move off of Exchange.
      daengbo
      • Both Hosted and MS Exchange have tools...

        To migrate the data off of their hosted services and of course the native Exchange Server stores.

        For the Hosted services you have to be an Admin to get the tools.
        dunn@...
  • Security, support and compliance worries

    Google has announced that it is working on FISMA certification and accreditation by the end of this calendar year. Just for reference...

    http://csrc.nist.gov/groups/SMA/fisma/index.html

    If you know of a more stringent standard, please, by all means, let us know!
    IT_User
  • who makes decision

    End users dont make decision; IT managers make decision about a product. Google makes mistake by thinking other way round. Microsoft understands game and targets right people.
    p.vinnie@...
    • who makes decision? Really?

      Yes. That argument panned out for the Mainframe guys when the PCs came around.
      Steven@...
      • Yes it did...

        We mainframe guys were the ones pushing for PCs. vinnie's right. Its the mid-level admins and coders that drive the direction of things in Corp America. Managers are usually just there to settle disputes and tell the suits where we are spending money next year.
        charrisgw
  • RE: Google's campaign for Apps doesn't address the IT data elephant in the room

    Google doesn't know anything about marketing. They've been pure WOM driven since their inception. If they ever had to actually sell something, they might just keel over.
    dklcheng
  • RE: Google's campaign for Apps doesn't address the IT data elephant in the room

    Because you think really that the data of your company is more secured when it is stored on the laptop of any of your employees, not backuped, not managed on your file servers, with multiple version spreaded all over the company (and many times outside), and that everybody can steal at any time? Don't make me laugh :)
    membrado
    • No, no, no... That's Mom & Pop SOHO!

      Modern IT data policies:
      - Check up-to-date security software and / or hardware.
      - No data in your notebook.
      - No attachments in your mails. Only links to official repository. Internal or external.
      - Only one version valid for use (check-out, check-in, version control included).
      - Use official remote storage when out-of-office. Contents is only draft. No final status.
      raul62
      • paradise

        Wonderful check list, I agree with it and it is the perfect objective for a true collaborative environemnt, but how many companies do you know that are really applying this rules?
        membrado
  • Short Term Savings Trump All

    Google will sell this to the enterprise by promising cost cutting. That's all they need. Corporate America is so intent on the next quarter that they will ignore any long-term risks. Its exactly what happened with outsourcing.
    curph
    • Unfortunatelly, I must agree (NT)

      NT
      raul62
  • RE: Security? yeah right

    There are plenty of cases where I would not allow a third party to host data, but most of the argument that I hear is bogus scare tactics that are wrong.
    Most email ends up on laptops which are easily stolen, and many companies have to put out the Outlook Web interface anyway; so now you have internal servers, web interface servers, and rogue laptops and desktops with copies of email to be protected.

    Personally, I think it is easier to protect only one of the three. And as for the email that opens in Outlook, if Outlook is your default app to handle the file type, then of course it opens there; but in this case it looks like someone opened Outlook and type that up just to do a screen shot that is bogus.
    RedVeg
  • RE: Google's campaign for Apps doesn't address the IT data elephant in the room

    Microsoft is always in a huff. They want to be first, and since it appears Kevin Turner visited Google under the guise of being with Lion's Gate and not Microsoft... I'd be very interested to see an anti-trust lawsuit crop up in the future.

    With the Xbox Microsoft lost to Sony and Nintendo.
    With Vista Microsoft lost a lot of their users to Mac and Linux.

    Now with this and the Yahoo merger I suspect more and more people will be seeing just how big-headed Micro$oft really is. It's people who talk like this that make me not buy Microsoft's products. They talk down to people like the consumers don't know anything, and then we have others making posts like these touting Microsoft.

    Sure everyone is worried about privacy and security, but with all the holes in the MS operating systems... Would anyone really trust Microsoft with their private information? I know I and my company wouldn't. This is the reason for private networks.
    Dry_Land_Is_Not_A_Myth
  • RE: Google's campaign for Apps doesn't address the IT data elephant in the room

    Google email security and archiving has been provided by Postini, since Google purchased them a couple years ago, so it is enterprise quality. Most of the other Google Apps are positioned for people that do have or need Microsoft's Office Suite. Zoho has more apps and some cool stuff, but they aren't Google. How many gmail accounts are there?
    bajamn
  • RE: Google wave beta allows for private data and federation

    Watch the video demo of wave. You CAN build your own open source version of the service which can federate with Google or other corporate wave servers.

    They're getting there. 2.5 years of beta later wave will be really cool.
    john.gruber@...
  • RE: Google's campaign for Apps doesn't address the IT data elephant in the room

    I don't think it wise to trust my career on the promises of Google and their "hosted everything" mentality. I think it far wiser to look at what Microsoft and IBM offer, which is the right tool for each type of user. A hybrid approach with power users utilizing on-prem solutions, and fringe workers utilizing the cloud and Open Office or Lotus Symphony is (to me) a better choice.
    ITgearhead
  • RE: Google's campaign for Apps doesn't address the IT data elephant in the room

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