WebRTC World Feature Article

January 02, 2013

Google Apps a Viable Candidate in Office Battle

Enterprises can expect WebRTC to become robust enough for use in communications applications and be used in browser-based unified communications and collaboration, making it ideal for integration with Google Apps.

Google Chrome is leading the way for WebRTC on the desktop, with Firefox lurking in its large shadow. Not surprising, considering Google has invested millions of dollars in expanding its business solutions over the past six years. The company has narrowed the gap between Google Apps for Business and Microsoft's Office suite. Google charges $5 a month per user account for access and has seen wide-scale adoption, especially during the past 12 months.

Microsoft Office 365, however, starts at a list price of $72 a year, per person, and can cost as much as $240 a person annually - significantly more than its counterpart. Additionally, Microsoft's browser, Internet Explorer, is nowhere to be seen when it comes to WebRTC adoption, at least not as of yet.

Over the course of 2012, Google secured packaging deals with Swiss drug maker Hoffmann-La Roche and the United States Department of Interior, allowing a combined total of 170,000 employees at both companies to have paid subscriptions to Google Apps.

"We're adding features. We're building confidence. The more our customers get out there, the better people feel about it," said Amit Singh, vice president of Enterprise at Google.

Singh recently told tech website AllThingsD that its competing Web-based software service will look to take 90 percent of users who do not need the advanced features in Office. Singh went on to say that the reason why the service has become so widely adopted is because it can deliver cloud-based solutions to scale, with high-level security that complies with the regulatory environment both in the United States and in Europe.

Microsoft says it does not see a threat. In speaking with The New York Times, Julia White, general manager in Microsoft's business division, said “Google has not yet shown they are truly serious. From the outside, they are an advertising company.”

Google continues to invest in other enterprise solutions for business including its cloud storage solution, Drive, and its next generation of Chromebook laptops, which integrates the company's Web browser and all of its cloud-based apps.

Edited by Rachel Ramsey


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