It’s been a few years since Google started its mission to convince big businesses that G Suite, its alternative to Microsoft Office, is the better choice. And it looks like they’re finally starting to gain more territory, but they’re still far from taking over.
Currently, Microsoft Corp is the player dominating the market for business productivity tools – evaluated at more than $15 million, as a side note – for one main reason: Office, one of its longest-lasting products, is absolutely reliable, not to mention that IT managers don’t show any sign of willing to try something new.
Despite this, we simply can’t ignore Google’s efforts to obtain a bigger stake in this lucrative market and, after a long wait, their willingness to listen to its business customers. To be more specific, they got serious regarding the development of features for major enterprises two years ago. Automatically, the number of organizations paying for the services in the G Suite doubled, reaching more than 4 million.
Big names in the game, interested in G Suite
A big part of these customers are actually small and medium-sized companies, but this doesn’t mean that some big names haven’t signed as well. Verizon Communications Inc, Nielsen Holding Plc, and Colgate-Palmolive Co are just a few of the companies using G suite, managing to bring about 250,000 workers to the G Suite over the past years. Other big firms are also giving it a try, according to Jeffrey Mann, analyst at research firm Gartner.
“I have been talking to traditionally conservative companies in government, aerospace, financial services” that are considering buying G Suite, Mann said. “That would not have happened two years ago.”
Right now, there’s no chance for G Suite to become an Office killer, as just 15 companies listed in the S&P 500 are relying on Google’s business tools. Also, the Suite’s overall value, of $1.3 billion, is still years behind Office’s $13.8 billion, according to research data from 2016.
However, even though there’s a big market value difference between the two, analysts say that second place is not a bad spot at all. Smartphones, alongside AI, have opened several new opportunities for Google to be noticed by IT departments from big companies. And this will happen even if they don’t come any closer to Microsoft’s Office since the G Suite is actually a cornerstone of Google’s huge efforts to diversify income streams and not rely just on ad sales.
We can say that Google is managing to loosen loyalty to Microsoft, at a time when the Redmond-base giant is dealing with some serious competition from chat services like Slack or other online business tools. The idea is that Google’s low-cost set of tools managed to somehow push Microsoft to adopt a similar strategy with its Office 365, which is an online version of its popular software.
Targeting new markets
Since 2006, when it was officially introduced, schools and startups have been Google’s main targets for its Office competitors. And they made some excellent choices, offering low prices and collaborative features, like the ability to have multiple users working on a document simultaneously.
Starting with 2012, they opted for bigger, more profitable clients, while in 2016, when the whole package was rebranded, they announced that they have big plans, offering a complete package, for all sizes of businesses and, finally, giving Microsoft all the reasons to…fear them. What’s next, only time can tell.
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