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Boston ditches Microsoft, switching to Google Apps to save $280,000 a year

Google Apps

“Google Apps” has been seeing a lot of valuable customers since last year. After Colorado and the US Naval Academy, the latest in line to get Google Apps is Boston. The local newspaper Boston Globe reported that Boston will soon switch to Google Apps for its city employees.

According to the report, Boston is currently using Microsoft’s Exchange service. But the city can save around $280,000 a year just by ditching Microsoft and going to Google Apps. Undoubtedly, that’s why the city has just chosen to do so.

It’s not all that cheap to switch to Google Apps, though. The newspaper reports that it will cost Boston some $800,000 just to move all emails to Gmail, all documents to Google Docs and other files to Google’s cloud storage. However, by going Google, the city on a yearly basis will save around $280,000.

However, the decision isn’t very heart-warming for Microsoft. In an email, a Microsoft spokesperson wrote that the company believes the citizens of Boston deserves cloud productivity tools that ‘protect their security and privacy.’ The statement further added, “Google’s investments in these areas are inadequate, and they lack the proper protections most organizations require.”

Clearly, though, this statement is not going to make Boston change its decision. Despite Microsoft’s ongoing efforts to ‘make people ditch Google,’ Microsoft just lost one big customer.

What’s your reaction to this story?

6 comments

    1. I use Google Docs for personal and some organization-related stuff and never really faced an issue (apart from the fact MS .doc files can’t be directly edited). Could you tell me a few reasons why it sucked in your previous companies? Just curious to know.

      1. In a nutshell, the reason you gave is exactly why. In both businesses I’ve worked at that had Google Apps, clients would send us documents in Microsoft formats and Google would butcher them. Also, exporting things made in Docs looked awful for non-Apps users.

        Continuing on, the spreadsheet application is GARBAGE. It can’t do 10% of what Excel can… and Excel is very important to most business users. Same deal with PowerPoint vs whatever Google has. It just doesn’t come close to matching the functionality.

        Not to mention the copy/paste irregularities to and from Docs. You wouldn’t believe the amount of support cases our users opened due to this kind of thing. In short, Google Docs just isn’t viable for most businesses. I can’t see it working long term for one as big as the City of Boston.

      2. Thanks for sharing. I’m now more curious than ever to see if Boston can hold out. (Colorado and the US Naval Academy signed up last year. Colorado moved on March 2012 and both of them are still on Google Apps as far as I know. So, perhaps Boston will stick to G Apps, too. Let’s see.)

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