Well, I guess this is a big one:
A GE spokesperson who did not want to be identified said their decision was based around issues of personal and corporate privacy, functionality, support, features and Zoho won hands down. The spokesperson said the Google application was intrusive and the ads started to become a nusiance.
As a landslide is this important two ways in my view:
- If a big enterprise like GE goes down this path, others are very likely to follow. The perceived risk has almost disappeared when such a big customer is won.
- It shows that despite the omnipresent Google there are valid alternatives in that field, with distinctive features in functionality, privacy etc.
For Google this is a difficult situation as they need to grow beyond the private and SMB user market. Says Daya Baran in the article:
This was a major blow for Google and its cloud computing initiatives. Google has won hands down in search, search advertising, and with some consumer products such as Gmail but on the corporate side, the traction has been slow and Google needs the corporate market for the next cycle of its growth.
Also interesting will be how the main Gorilla in the Desktop Applications market will react when he gets confronted with Zoho as an alternative to his flagship products when the reference to GE is given. Are they going to change their behaviour in a situation where competing applications – both in the Cloud (Google Apps, Zoho and alike) and for local installation (OpenOffice, Lotus Symphony etc.) are on the rise?