Last month Google announced that it would provide it’s “Google for Work” software for free to Microsoft Office defectors, in an effort to hit its longtime rival where it hurts the most. In the past few years, we’ve become used to the term “asymmetric war,” where under-armed competitors use guerrilla tactics to undermine a vastly better armed competitor.
Now Google has taken it upon itself to take on Microsoft Office 365, not in some viral or guerrilla marketing campaign, but in a plain old-fashioned price war, pitching its deep pockets versus the Seattle behemoth. There is going to be plenty of fall out from this move, as it is pretty difficult to compete with free in the market. At the same time, it will loosen the Microsoft strangle hold on Office productivity and may well open up the market to many other players as buying decisions start to get questioned. Which brings me to the notion of the single vendor cloud.
Like any seismic shift in a market, this move by Google will have knock-on effects to parallel systems, including cloud-based unified communications and collaboration. The days of just interworking with Office will soon be over, and the market will open to not just Google, but likely a wider array of cloud productivity apps like Redbooth and more. Vendors will not just be judged on the breadth of their interworking, but also the intelligence of that interworking - masking some applications whilst promoting others based on the needs of the user.
The whole concept of a single vendor cloud may soon be a thing of the past. Enterprises are going to have to get used to increasing amounts of scattered cloud applications being favored by their users, either bought through IT or via shadow procurement processes.
At BroadSoft, we have been watching this closely and shaping our products to anticipate this new market paradigm. The workplace has changed faster than we ever could have imagined, and the proliferation of cloud-based apps and tools out there just keeps expanding.
We recently announced Project Tempo, a good example of how we think a heterogeneous cloud environment with its scattered communications needs, can be funneled into a coherent business flow that improves enterprise productivity.
Check out our Project Tempo microsite to learn more, and keep your eye out for updates as we start to roll out our Project Tempo deliverables throughout 2016.
By Mike Wilkinson, VP of Product Marketing, BroadSoft