Is the age-old reign of Microsoft Office coming to an end? Google Apps for Business seems to be giving Office 365 a run for its money, and according to a report from Frost & Sullivan, 58 percent of admins that support Google Apps are either no longer support or are slowing the use of Office in their organizations.
Cloud providers including Google are giving end users an option, and many are turning to these new options. They're not necessarily completely abandoning Microsoft (MSFT) productivity products, of course, but when paying for a Google Apps license, many admins said it doesn't make sense to pay to license and support both systems.
The report may be a touch biased, even though Google has surely seen a huge uptake in subscribers. The survey was conducted by Frost & Sullivan on behalf of the Cloud Alliance for Google Apps. The survey included responses from 1,158 Google Apps administrators and end users, who said one of the reasons they are choosing Google Apps is because of third-party players, which are helping to send them into the cloud in search of their applications.
Within the group surveyed, there is diminishing use of Microsoft Office. Perhaps some are making the decision not to switch to Office 365 as they investigate cloud options. If so, that's good news for Google Apps partners.
Speaking of partners, Google's growing strength in productivity software may be evident by the company it's keeping. CDW, which is one of Microsoft's largest channel partners, has signed on as a Google Apps for Business partner and is looking to help its sizeable customer base migrate on-premise and cloud apps to Google. It's not giving up Office 365, but the addition of Google must mean CDW is getting more and more requests from customers for an alternative.
"User expectations continue to shift from the traditional Microsoft Office experience to one of continuous productivity in which people can work whenever, wherever and with whomever they need," said Mark Mader, president and CEO of Smartsheet and a member of the Cloud Alliance, in a prepared statement. "The cloud-first and BYOA trends are driving forces behind the adoption of many third-party products and the erosion of Microsoft Office's monopoly."
It's exciting to see the office productivity suite opening up—an area that Microsoft has pretty much owned since it beat out Corel WordPerfect and the like so many years ago.