Businesses choose Microsoft Office 365 over Google Apps

REDMOND, Wash. — May 13, 2013 — Microsoft Corp. today announced new organizations have selected Microsoft Office 365 for improved communication and collaboration after having deployed or piloted Google Apps. The organizations include Sensia Hälsovård AB, SEPCOIII, and Arysta LifeScience.

These companies join other recently announced customers, such as Caltex Australia, FHI 360, and Santa Clara County, which chose Office 365 for its enterprise-class capabilities, compliance, security and privacy features, all delivered in a cloud service with a 99.9 percent financially backed uptime guarantee from Microsoft.

“Businesses use technology to be competitive and meet the needs of their customers, which is why they can’t afford to compromise on a service that was retrofitted for the enterprise,” said Michael Atalla, director of product marketing for Microsoft Office 365. “With Office 365, Microsoft has combined the familiarity of Office with the capabilities businesses need, delivered as a cloud service they can trust.”

Arysta LifeScience is one of the largest privately owned agrochemical companies in the world, with sales and services in more than 125 countries. In attempting to connect 34 different email environments, Arysta initially opted for Google Apps but quickly found employees were unhappy with the experience — they couldn’t share calendars and had limited offline capabilities — so Arysta switched to Office 365. With Office 365, employees can now integrate email and shared calendars and use IM and webconferencing to connect with colleagues around the world while they are on the road or working from home.

“Google Apps was difficult to use and lacked the capabilities our employees had grown accustomed to in Office,” said Dustin Collins, global head of IT infrastructure, Arysta LifeScience. “With Office 365 we’re able to interact and engage with each other more, allowing us to efficiently and quickly respond to new opportunities. As a result, we’re a more agile, competitive organization.”

Robust certification and standards

Office 365 offers the most robust set of certifications and standards options of any major cloud-based productivity service, and it is the first and only major cloud productivity service to address the rigors of the federal government’s HIPAA requirements. Office 365 is compliant with world-class industry standards, including ISO 27001, EU model clauses and Federal Information Security Management Act. Microsoft is committed to working with its customers to meet their unique security, compliance and privacy needs, including those that must meet Criminal Justice Information Security.

Based in Durham, N.C., FHI 360 is a global nonprofit human development organization dedicated to improving lives by advancing integrated, locally driven solutions. It also switched from Google Apps to Office 365 because it met the organization’s security and privacy requirements.

“As a nonprofit organization, we work on educational and public health issues and must comply with privacy regulations related to the U.S. federal government,” said Douglas Wilkins, director of IT infrastructure at FHI 360. “Not only did Office 365 have privacy features in line with our requirements, but we know where our data is stored — it’s essential for us to have control and set parameters on who views it. That was not possible with Google.”

Freedom of choice

In today’s business environment, many organizations require the flexibility to enable employees to work anytime, anywhere across devices and platforms. With Office 365, employees can sign in from virtually any device, and their documents and personalized settings roam with them, allowing them to quickly pick up right where they left off. With more than 4,000 employees spread across multiple countries, FHI 360 can easily connect and share best practices and improve services with Office 365 while being more strategic with spending. The organization expects to save approximately US$20,000 annually by utilizing IM and webconferencing capabilities in Office 365. Unlike Google Apps, Office 365 enabled FHI 360 to move to the cloud on its own terms by supporting both on-premises and cloud deployments in its environment.

“Our global work environment sometimes requires us to work in countries where cloud services aren’t yet available or feasible because broadband connections are limited,” Wilkins said. “With Google, we had to be all in or nothing at all. Having the flexibility to make the deployment choices that were right for our business means we can consolidate systems onto the same platform regardless of whether we’re using the cloud or an in-house server.”

Additional new Microsoft Office 365 customers

• Arysta LifeScience. Arysta LifeScience is an agrochemical company spread across more than 125 countries and employing 3,400 people. Arysta LifeScience wanted to standardize its email platforms on a cloud-based email service and initially chose Google Apps for Business. However, Google Apps was difficult to use and lacked the capabilities its employees had grown accustomed to in Office. Arysta LifeScience introduced Office 365 to its employees and found immediate value — the company is no longer a collection of disparate entities in different countries. It is a globally connected organization where employees can instantly find and communicate with one another.

• SEPCOIII. Based in Qingdao, China, SEPCOIII employs 5,800 people and designs and builds power plants around the world. The company wanted a single solution that employees could use to communicate and collaborate with other employees, partners and customers around the world. Staff had used Gmail but found it unreliable, while most found the calendar feature cumbersome and were not even using it. Because Gmail provided only limited offline functionality, it was difficult for employees to work remotely. With Office 365, SEPCOIII has a dependable and robust cloud-based solution that significantly reduces costs and boosts employee productivity.

• Sensia Hälsovård AB. Healthcare provider Sensia Hälsovård AB needed a single communication and collaboration platform to accommodate its rapid growth. Approximately 30 percent of its employees had been using Gmail, but found it cumbersome, unintuitive and when employees needed support, it was difficult for them to obtain it. The company eventually chose Office 365 and found it was a more professional service as built-in scalability is crucial to a rapidly growing company.

More information about how organizations are turning to Microsoft technology is available in the Microsoft Customer Spotlight newsroom. More information on Office Web Apps is available here, and more information about Office 365 is here and here.

Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq “MSFT”) is the worldwide leader in software, services and solutions that help people and businesses realize their full potential.

Note to editors: For more information, news and perspectives from Microsoft, please visit the Microsoft News Center at http://www.microsoft.com/news. Web links, telephone numbers and titles were correct at time of publication, but may have changed. For additional assistance, journalists and analysts may contact Microsoft’s Rapid Response Team or other appropriate contacts listed at http://www.microsoft.com/news/contactpr.mspx.