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Microsoft exec says Google is 'failing' in the enterprise

In Q&A, Microsoft's Tom Rizzo says Google doesn't understand business needs

By Sharon Gaudin, Computerworld
November 30, 2010 02:01 PM ET

Computerworld - Raising the stakes in its war of words, Microsoft today said Google simply doesn't understand what businesses need, and is failing at pushing its way into the enterprise.

Microsoft's Tom Rizzo.

In an interview with Computerworld, Tom Rizzo, senior director of Microsoft Online Services, talked about the company moving its popular Office apps into the cloud, as well its competition with main rival Google .

Rizzo wasn't pulling any punches. The verbal sparring between the two companies has only heated up in recent months since they're battling on many different fronts - cloud -based apps, search , browsers and operating systems. Just late last month, Microsoft leaped into Google 's territory, launching a beta of Office 365 that officially took its ubiquitous Office suite to the cloud.

And that move turned up the heat on Google which has been vying very hard over the past few years to move from the consumer realm into the lucrative enterprise market.

In this edited version of his interview, Rizzo talks about Google's privacy issues , scanning user data, the difference between consumer and corporate needs, and his doubts about Google surviving in the enterprise space. And he also said he thinks Google will be shocked to see Microsoft's momentum into the enterprise cloud sector.

What are the biggest challenges you're facing in getting customers to move to the cloud?

I think some people are still wary about the move to the cloud, especially around giving up control of privacy, security and reliability. People think if they run it themselves, they have more control about it going down. They're used to running down the hall and yelling at their IT department. If we go down longer than we should be, we give back money.

What is your service-level agreement (SLA) regarding down time?

We put our money where our mouth is. When you talk cloud, people do talk Google. When you look at their SLA, they don't start counting down time until 10 minutes of down time. If they were down for 9 minutes, they'd say, "Oh, no, we weren't down according to our SLA, we were up the entire time." If they're down more than they should be, they'll give you X amount of days more of their service, you know, the one that was down. Our SLA is 99.9% and we count all down-time, except for planned maintenance down-time. If our servers crash or email stops sending... we have a sliding scale. We start giving money back.

Our customers said we need to go in to our executives and say this is a reliable service and there's a financial solution if this doesn't meet our needs.

Is that the main thing you're hearing from customers adopting Microsoft's cloud-based Office apps?

Well, folks like Google, since they're trying to sell you ads, will scan your data and they keep your data. We don't scan your data. We don't keep your data. If you want your data back, we'll give it back to you and we'll delete it out of our data centers. If you look at it in terms of a comparison, we understand business. They come from a consumer advertising standpoint. They need data so they know what ads to service you that you'll click on.

Originally published on www.computerworld.com. Click here to read the original story.

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