Which Cloud Solutions Integrate Best? Google or Microsoft? - Page 2

By Jabez Gan | Posted Nov 24, 2010
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Verdict – Who is better?

With so many options, companies will need to weigh their options carefully before contracting with a vendor. Just to make your life easier, let me break them down:

Email

Exchange beats Gmail hands down in terms of integration. No matter what platform you are on (mobile, Web, email client), you will be seeing an almost consistent interface, with the ability to search and locate emails easily. Tasks that you have added through your phone will sync with the Exchange Server, pushing it to the email client when you get back to the office. Google's apps come close, but often force users to cobble together a collection of apps with uneven support for the protocols Google Apps depend on.

Collaboration

Google Sites is great for small businesses that need just a simple site user collaboration. However, Google Sites is lacking in some customizability. For medium to large businesses, Google Sites won't always fit the bill. That's where Sharepoint shines, but its price is substantial.

Instant Messaging

Gtalk is good for small businesses without any compliance considerations. Gtalk is not usable if management wants to control or set policies on IM-based communication. Office Communicator (with Office Communications Server running on the backend), however, can monitor and filter instant messages, allowing management and IT personnel to guarantee compliance.

Conclusion

If budget is not an issue, Microsoft Online's solution is better suited for organizations that need control, flexibility and tight integration with their systems. Its client-side applications work with data in the cloud while also maintaining a Web-based suite of applications to ensure that users can still work wherever they are. Google Apps is generally well suited for small companies. Without robust support for local computing, Google Apps provides little recourse for users if they lose their network connectivity for whatever reason. Since Google prefers to concentrate on its Web interfaces and leave local client functionality to third parties, integration with local applications isn't always transparent or simple.

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