Channel Marker

Nov 3 2009   8:25PM GMT

Google and Microsoft trading places in mail

badarrow Barbara Darrow Profile: badarrow

So, Google wins a big, prestigious $7.2 billion email account –for 30,000 Los Angeles municipal workers . Google Apps Premier is displacing Novell Groupwise there.  But Google beat out the Microsoft Exchange-Outlook combo even though by most accounts the dollar difference between bids was itty bitty.

What’s big here is that if the implementation–to be performed by CSC –goes well, Google will have a response to naysayers who say it can only do beta-ware and has no cred in business. Such an account could show that Google can hold its own against not only Groupwise but Exchange. A bonus would be if those LA Google Apps users get a taste for the Google spreadsheet, word processor, presentation software and might even opt for them over Microsoft Office apps. That is what you call a toehold.

Google got the big nod Oct. 27. On Nov. 2, Microsoft sliced the price on its hosted Business Productivity Online Suite –which including Exchange–from $15.00 per user per month to $10.00 per user per month. Coincidence? Is anything  a coincidence  when it comes to Microsoft’s reaction to Google?

Some background, BPOS has gone over like a lead balloon with channel players. Not that it wasn’t productive or a good product, but because Microsoft insisted on owning any BPOS customer.  What self-respecting VAR wants to turn over a customer to a vendor partner? The answer is, none.

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