In a challenge to Google Apps' recent domination in the enterprise, Microsoft is banking on the devil-you-know attitude of many IT departments in launching its Microsoft Office 365 Cloud suite."
Microsoft's director of the information worker business group, Oscar Trimboli, said Microsoft 365 was set to knock Google off its perch through its integration of familiar applications in the Cloud.
"What they [users of Google Apps] find is that they think the definition of success is being able to use email and documentation," he said. "But as soon as they move to Google, they find they want something richer and with more depth."
Founder of small business Rookie Recruits, Andy Springer, spoke at the launch, saying that while he was initially a Google Apps user, he moved to Microsoft's Cloud offering not long after.
"We investigated Google Apps and started the migration process and within a couple of days, our users were saying that the features they were using previously weren't available," Springer said. "Within 24 hours we found a partner [in Microsoft] and moved to the Cloud."
While Microsoft's Trimboli touted 365 as being as bring "the price of a sandwich", he did concede that customer data will be housed offshore at Microsoft's data centre in Singapore.
"In terms of data centres, getting these kinds of solutions requires scale in data centre solutions," Trimboli said .
"To get the scale and efficiency around security and functionality, only global data centres of the scale of those overseas are the ones that can drive the cost point to be as low as the price of a sandwich."
The deal was also one of the first Cloud offerings made in partnership between Microsoft and Telstra, with rival telco Optus going down a similar path earlier this month when it launched OfficeApps in collaboration with Google as an offering aimed at the small to medium business market.
The heads of IT at broadcaster SBS and mining giant Fortescue Metals Group spoke at the launch, indicating that they plan to adopt 365.