It’s slow in the document management space after the holidays, but there are still some notable points — including the fact the City of Boston has turned to Google and away from Microsoft. Meanwhile, Adobe is shutting down Workspaces, Dell and PSIGEN have formalized their partnership and Microsoft has announced some of the price plans for Power BI for Office 365.
Boston Turns Its Back On Microsoft
Ouch! The city of Boston has just signed a deal with Google to use its Apps suite and move to the Google Cloud from Microsoft. The deal will result in 76,000 municipal workers, including the police department, teachers and students, using and working on Google Docs, Gmail, and other Google apps, and backing-up their information into the Google cloud.
This one must really hurt Microsoft. Financially, the cut probably didn’t go too deep, but pride ... well that’s a different matter. Google and Microsoft have spent a lot of time over the past two years trading blows over the relative merits of their productivity suites, and while Office 365 cannot be beaten on functionality, when price was added into the equation, Google Apps probably worked out cheaper.
This is unlikely to be the last exchange between the two giants, but the City of Boston is a real gem, and comes at a time when Microsoft is finding it difficult to respond as the search for a new CEO continues.
It is also a major marketing victory for Google. The City of Boston was named the top Digital City in America by the Center for Digital Government in November, so — and you can almost hear the public sector decision makers chewing on this one — if its good enough for Boston, then its good enough for other cities, agencies and federal departments.
The reasons Boston decided to go this road is not entirely clear. In a guest post on the Google Enterprise Blog, Bill Oates, the Chief Information Officer with the city, said that as a tech-savvy city, its managers are “always looking for the best IT tools to help our government run smarter, innovate more effectively and provide better services for our citizens.”
Why, Google? Office 365 has a lot more under the hood and a whole pile of price plans to suit every pocket. In response, he said:
In 2013, following an extensive review of the market, the city initiated a rigorous RFP (Request for Proposals) process that attracted a wide array of bids, including multiple Microsoft and Google cloud offerings. A selection committee composed of members from our City IT organization, Boston Police, and Boston Public Schools evaluated 10 proposals based on both cost and technical capabilities. The committee unanimously chose Google Apps based on its ability to meet the needs of a fast moving city while providing a secure cloud environment.”
So not a lot of concrete information there, except that Boston public authorities believe that Google Apps are agile enough to respond to the changing needs of a busy city.
The move to Google has already started with the migration of 76,000 email accounts to Google Apps, and 20 million mail messages now in the Google Cloud all covered by a 99.9 percent uptime guarantee.
This must be a tough one to swallow for Microsoft, but there is little doubt that it will be back. Maybe not in Boston, for the moment at least, but it will be back.
Dell PSIGEN Ink Partnership
Document capture provider PSIGEN starts the year with a new partnership with Dell that will see it provide SharePoint scanning and capture technology to Dell’s SharePoint business.
The announcement is not exactly a surprise as the two have been working together for some years, but the new Master Relationship Agreement agreement that it signed with Dell during the week formalizes that relationship and looks to develop that partnership in the future.
For SharePoint users, the PSI:Capture product will be particularly interesting in that it enable users to capture information in any format you can think of and pull it into SharePoint, including SharePoint 2013.
PSI:Capture can also be used with more than 60 other legacy enterprise systems to migrate information into those systems. More from PSIGEN soon.
Adobe Closes Workspaces
Meanwhile, Adobe has started the year by announcing that it is closing down its Workspaces features for Acrobat.com, as it continues to develop its PDF creation and conversion products.
Workspaces enables users share files and documents with their teams and assign other administrators for the collaborative space. However, in a post on the Adobe forum, it says that Workspaces tools, including Buzzword, Tables and Presentation, will be shut down over the year. Explaining the move, the forum post reads:
Adobe is exiting the document authoring business for word processing, spreadsheets, and presentation files. Our focus will be to continue to provide world-class PDF creation and conversion products and services that enable our customers to take actions on their files anywhere on any device.”
Adobe has warned that files, or documents, that have not been deleted, downloaded, or stored in the Adobe cloud, will be deleted on January 6, 2015, as will any document that you have shared with others. There’s still a year to go before this happens, but best be safe than sorry. http://forums.adobe.com/docs/DOC-4203
Power BI for Office 365 Pricing
Finally this week, Microsoft has outlined the pricing options for Power BI for Office 365, which was released in preview in July last year.
You may remember that three different Power BI for Office 365 includes PowerPivot, Power View, Power Query (formerly known as Data Explorer) and Power Maps and, in conjunction with Excel and SharePoint, enables users to integrate their on-premises data with Power BI in the cloud.
For the moment, there are three different pricing tiers for Office 365 enterprise plans. They are as follows: Office 365 E3/E4 enterprise users is $20 a month for, standalone service $40 per month, Office 365 ProPlus SKUs at $52 per month. That’s all that has emerged so far, but there will be more on this as it gets closer to general release.