There’s no place like Microsoft, and there’s no need to leave.
That’s what the world’s largest software company hopes you’ll believe when you get a look at OneDrive for Business, its Enterprise File Sync and Share (EFSS) service.
While there’s nothing wrong with the idea — being everything to everyone isn’t a bad business strategy, if the community appreciates it and you can pull it off. And Microsoft thinks it’s off to good start. It owns the desktop, after all. Most of us have grown up using and are now raising kids who also use Word, Excel, PowerPoint …
So, earlier this week, when John Case, corporate vice president of Microsoft’s Office Division, announced the company would be increasing the default storage on its EFSS offering from 25GB to 1 TB, it seemed like a sweet deal. In fact, it still does. Ditto for granting the same allotment to Office 365 ProPlus subscribers.
But is giving away extra storage the winning ticket in the EFSS space?
Cheap and Cheaper
Cloud storage is becoming dirt cheap, after all. Companies like Google and Amazon are practically giving it away.
Microsoft’s Case does, however, offer a secondary pitch. He writes that “As important as robust file sync/share is, we believe it’s only useful if it’s part of a holistic and comprehensive solution for team-based productivity and collaboration. “
(Can you say Office 365 or SharePoint Online?)
He then goes on to list five ways in which it’s delivered; the most compelling (though obvious) of which is native integration with Office documents.
Now if Microsoft could turn the clock back a few years, before the consumerization of IT and just as mobile was taking off, he might have an easy win.
But it’s 2014. And while Cloud and its storage costs are important to IT, the end user doesn’t really care about them unless they’re causing problems.
It’s the Mobile UI, productivity and functionality that rule.
Consider, too, that if you ask the average worker to name the top 20 apps he uses on his phone or iPad, Microsoft OneDrive won’t hit the list, neither would Office.
We’ve learned other ways of getting “work” things done on our mobile devices.
That can quickly change, of course, and it probably will to some extent when it comes to Office, since it’s finally available on the iPad.
But does that mean that OneDrive will become the default for storing, synching and sharing documents, and other content, on the Cloud? This has yet to be seen. It doesn’t rank among the top ten platforms in Forrester’s most recent Sync and Share wave.
A recent survey sponsored by Enterprise Mobility vendor Wandera found that workers gravitate mostly toward Dropbox. Google Drive comes in second and Box comes in third. OneDrive isn’t even on their radar.
Add to that, that the IDC recently named EMC’s Syncplicity as the fastest growing EFSS solution.