Office 365 vs Google Apps: Microsoft COO Rallies Partners

Office 365 vs Google Apps: Microsoft COO Rallies Partners

In the Office 365 vs Google Apps cloud war, Microsoft COO Kevin Turner urged partners to get beyond the price debate. "Office 365 is our joint future," Turner told partners today at Worldwide Partner Conference 2012 (WPC12). "Office 365 will likely be our fastest-growing product in history by next year."

Still, Turner warned partners about the Google Apps threat.

"Make no mistake Google is pitching our customers but fortunately they don’t win much," said Turner. "When they pitch Google Apps at $50, you need to look below the surface and understand there’s a whole lot of cost associated with making their solution work. We have a great story on functionality, costs and enterprise credibility. Winning with Office 365 is the single most important thing we need to do within the enterprise.”

To rally partners, Microsoft earlier this week unveiled Office 365 Open, which allows partners to manage end-customer billing for cloud services. Office 365 Open is a big step for Microsoft, which has controlled customer billing since the cloud platform launched back in June 2011.

Still, Turner is exaggerating Microsoft's success when he says Google Apps doesn't win much. Many of the top 100 cloud services providers are Google Apps partners, and some of those partners are growing more than 100 percent annually, according to Talkin' Cloud's research.

Back at the WPC keynote, Turner also described how Microsoft and partners can defeat VMware, Oracle and IBM  in the channel. Talkin' Cloud's sister site, The VAR Guy, has a complete recap.

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