Enterprise Software: Google-Microsoft Battle Turns White Hot

Google has blatantly thrown down the gauntlet. The enterprise-software war is raging as Google has declared war on Microsoft. Both tech giants want your business.

That confirms my assumption after spotting a headline: “Google exec: We want to poach 90 percent of Microsoft’s enterprise users.” The December 2012 article was written by freelance reporter Krystal Peak in the San Jose Silicon Valley Business Journal.

One of Google’s goals is to dethrone Microsoft as the leader in enterprise software, according to the article.

“Our goal is to get to the 90 percent of users who don’t need to have the most advanced features of Office,” the paper quoted Amit Singh, president of Google’s enterprise section.

Actually, while Mr. Singh’s comment is eye-opening, it’s not a complete surprise.

To be blunt, Microsoft Office has become an overt Google target.

For example, on December 6, 2012 Google quit offering new accounts for its free edition of Google Apps. But preexisting users can still take advantage of the apps.

But a couple of weeks later, Google gave more signals about the changes to come when Mr. Singh published his blog, A year in review: work the way you live.

Almost simultaneously, another Google executive, Jonathan Rochelle, wrote: Quickoffice + Google Apps = better document conversion and an iPad app. Mr. Rochelle is the director of productive management at Google Drive.

Mr. Rochelle suggested ways for businesspeople to convert Microsoft Word, Excel and Powerpoint to Google Docs, Sheets and Slides. 

“We know the gaps between our features and theirs,” the newspaper quoted Mr. Singh. “We’re improving them week by week. We’re going to get to the 90 percent.” 

Google’s enterprise revenue is reportedly $1 billion. That’s only about 4 percent of its revenue. Most of Google’s revenue stems from advertising. (Disclosure: The majority of The Biz Coach advertising is Google’s AdSense.)

The No. 1 search engine is also targeting Microsoft’s Azure and Amazon Web Services in heavily promoting Google Cloud Platform. Google touts it as a way to economically build apps and Web sites, and to store and analyze data.


Such competition is terrific. However, I have two observations.

Firstly, regarding Mr. Singh’s media comment about stealing Microsoft’s customers — that’s a big no. To use a sports metaphor — no matter if it’s baseball, football or basketball — great players never telegraph their next plays to their opponents. You never want to give information to your competitors. Nor do you want to antagonize them by publicly stating you want to “poach 90 percent” of their customers. Besides being terribly gauche, you risk inflaming them — to motivate them to beat you — at any cost. Don’t ever wake the sleeping giant.

Secondly, despite all the hype, my recommendation to clients has been to ignore the cloud — for best practices in risk management. My sense is that giving up full control of important data is taking too big a risk in this era of digital security issues. Indeed, an authoritative study concluded that open source technology is preferable to the cloud.

But if you must, see my tips for picking the best cloud storage provider.

From the Coach’s Corner, respectively, here are more articles on Microsoft and Google products:

“The difference between stupidity and genius is that genius has its limits.”

-Albert Einstein



Author Terry Corbell has written innumerable online business-enhancement articles, and is a business-performance consultant and profit professional. Click here to see his management services. For a complimentary chat about your business situation or to schedule him as a speaker, consultant or author, please contact Terry.

Seattle business consultant Terry Corbell provides high-performance management services and strategies.