Google Sues US Government Agency over SaaS & Cloud Contract

Google Sues US Government Agency over SaaS & Cloud Contract

If that headline made you do a double-take, you're not alone. I was surprised when I read a Seattle Times' blog indicating Google was suing the US Department of the Interior for only taking bids from Microsoft partners reselling BPOS/Office 365 cloud solution. The Google lawsuit definitely has cloud channel partner implications. Here's the update.

Just the facts, per that blog: Google and Ohio-based reseller partner Onix Networking say they went after a five-year cloud migration project worth $59 million. But the Department of the Interior they were only interested in Microsoft BPOS solutions due to security concerns. Google met with department officials, but couldn't convince them of the security of their own Google Apps cloud suite.

And now Google's literally made a federal case of it, saying that preferring Microsoft to the exclusion of other e-mail systems was arbitrary and could potentially end up costing taxpayers millions in licenses -- Microsoft Office 365 is slightly more expensive than Google Apps (though Microsoft boosters say you get what you pay for), and that adds up.

And, of course, it would be a major PR blow if Google lost the suit. Google has been making the Google Apps suite government-friendly. Having a court potentially rule against Google could potentially kill a lot of the search giant's government momentum.

Moreover, there are channel implications here. Google is essentially going to court over a channel partner losing a deal. Neither Microsoft nor the Department of the Interior are commenting on the suit. But we'll be watching it closely, so stay tuned.

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