Sharepoint conference in Las Vegas, Google is launching the international phase of an advertising campaign that is the largest ever for its push into the enterprise and one of the most extensive in the company's history.On the eve of Microsoft's
The "Gone Google" campaign is significant in a number of ways.
Sharepoint is one of Microsoft's crown jewels. It's a huge business. The technology generates a cool $1 billion in revenues. The technology is at the heart of Microsoft's strategy to remain king of the enterprise. Steve Ballmer says Sharepoint will surpass 1 million developers in the next year.
Steve Ballmer is banking on customers making major investments in Sharepoint 2010. With the upgrade, customers face a host of new IT expenses.
For example, Sharepoint 2010 requires upgrading from 32-bit to 64-bit technology on all servers. Office 2007 will run on Sharepoint 2010 but Microsoft is recommending investments in Office 2010 for richer integration. Office 2003 users will need to upgrade to Office 2007 to even run Sharepoint 2010.
Google App services require no IT environment to manage, no expensive software upgrades and no new server purchases. That's enticing for any sized business.
The Google campaign highlights why the Microsoft model may be slipping a bit. Companies are questioning if they need to make such major investments in Microsoft technology.
For its part, Google has more than 2 million businesses on Google Apps, representing 20 million users. Google is expanding its Google Apps service to the United Kingdom, France, Canada, Japan, Australia and Singapore. Clients include Motorola, New York Life and Konica Minolta.
The "Gone Google" campaign is a continuation of the roll-out that Google did over the summer. It features changing messages from businesses that have switched to Google Apps, Google Search Appliance and services such as Google Postini, their hosted security and archiving service.
The campaign is now running across the globe. With the launch, Google released a montage video. We find this interesting. If nothing else, YouTube offers Google a great way to promote its own products.
Google has not slowed down with its service offering. In September, Google announced an application program interface (API) for its Google Sites technology, effectively providing users with a way to import and export apps from Microsoft SharePoint sites. Google Wave is a collaboration platform. It has received mixed reviews; its effectiveness in the enterprise still too soon to tell.
Google and many others see in Microsoft a giant that can be slow and at times uneasy in how it steps through the market. With each step, they face a community network of micro-sized businesses that are proving formidable with their best-in-breed technologies.
It's a big week for Microsoft. Sharepoint is at a juncture. With Google in such an aggressive mode, Microsoft will have to move faster with its own product development and convince its customers that what it provides is still the best choice for the enterprise.