Microsoft has just taken another pop at Google, this time with the help of MetaVis Technologies. MetaVis, which develops software to help organize SharePoint and Office 365 environments, launched a new migration wizard that can quickly move content from Google Apps to Office 365.
With the expanded MetaVis Architect Suite customers can migrate File Shares, Google Drive, Exchange Public folder or SharePoint content to SharePoint 2013 and SharePoint Online.
The launch of the wizard is just the latest in a long, drawn-out battle for the hearts — and pockets — of productivity suite users. It's been going on since Google launched Google Apps in 2007 to compete with Microsoft’s Business Productivity Online Suite (BPOS).
Since then, the two have been exchanging blows in an attempt to corner a bigger part of the market by cutting prices and adding functionality. Last year, when Microsoft launched Office 365, it took the competition to a new level.
Google, however, has not been sitting back. It is still competing strongly in the productivity space with regular updates, even if Office and Office 365 dominate the enterprise market.
Migrating To Office 365
One of the issues with Office 365 and Google is the difficulty users have moving content between the two. Generally speaking, a user that starts with Google Apps tends to stick with Google Apps even if the functionality of Office 365 makes a convincing case for migration.
This is where the new wizard comes into play. MetaVis states it developed the wizard on the back of overwhelming user demand to provide a migration tool that is quick and efficient.
The result is a wizard that offers users a quick way to bulk move their content to SkyDrive Pro used for an Office 365 tenancy, according to a blog post by MetaVis Chief Technical Officer, Mark Klinchin.
This is done simply by enabling the wizard to discover Google Drives and SkyDrive Pro areas. Once you have done this, you simply select the content you want to move, including metadata, file structure, versions and permissions, and send it across. Another useful feature is that it also converts Google Docs formats to Office formats.
MetaVis Google to Office 365 migrator
Klinchin’s blog also offers a number of reasons why users might make the move, in case they were struggling to justify it. One of the primary reasons, he says, is because of pricing, which is surprising given the fact that Google Apps still works out at $ 5/per user/month, or $50/year, as opposed to nearly $10/month for Office 365:
There are many reasons to switch to Office 365 from Google Apps, price being only one of them. Google used to offer a free version of Google Apps for Business users, but once it stopped doing that (in December 2012), many users started to question whether it was worth continuing with the cloud-platform."
While Klinchin goes on to list specific reasons that you might want to move to Office 365, such as access to services like Yammer, SharePoint and Lync, or the promise of 6-monthly updates, there are also reasons to stay with Google Apps, not least of which is the price as well as Google’s ongoing development of its business apps.
For the moment, though, Office 365 is in the driving seat and there is anecdotal evidence that many users are making the move, while Microsoft announced that it had passed the 2 million home user, subscribers mark last week.
This is a battle with a lot more fight in it. Expect Google to react again in the near future.