Beginning today small businesses that move their productivity apps from Google Apps for Work to Office 365 are eligible for Microsoft’s FastTrack program, which provides tools, resources and dedicated engineers who can help them migrate from existing solutions.
The offer is available to organizations with as few as 50 users. Until now, only businesses with a minimum of 150 seats could use the FastTrack program.
The move comes on the heels of accolades from Gartner, which concluded last month that Microsoft Office 365 beats Google Apps for Work.
Microsoft claims companies "reach a breaking point" with Google Apps around the 50-employee mark because it lacks centralized management, security capabilities and integrated collaboration tools.
Not So Fast
Constellation Research analyst Alan Lepofsky finds at least part of the aforementioned statement a little hard to swallow. “Google clearly understands security,” he told CMSWire, noting Google has hundreds of customers who have 10,000 or more seats in Google Apps for Work.
Damon Tompkins, senior vice president of corporate and business development at Metalogix, said Office 365 provides advantages over Google Apps for Work in some areas, specifically when it comes to activities like on-boarding and off-boarding contract labor from their systems.
“Microsoft, unlike Google, has always provided far greater control over user identity and roles through Active Directory. If you consider that every IT process and journey starts and ends with a user, the power of Office 365 over Google is obvious,” he said.
He added that Skype for Business, part of the Office 365 suite, may very well become the desktop phone of the modern era. “Small businesses could save considerable time and money by being early adopters of this probable evolution in communication,” he said.
To be fair, Metalogix, where Tompkins works, is a Microsoft partner.
This is the latest volley in an ongoing battle for the customers. Last year Google offered Microsoft users who have enterprise agreements Google Apps for free for the life of the contract.