Analysis of cloud platforms for online collaboration


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A look at the recent research published by Gartner and Forrester, a comparison of pricing models from different vendors and what decisions should be considered when choosing technologies for social computing and online collaboration

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Analysis of cloud platforms for online collaboration

  1. 1.  Analysis of Cloud Platforms for Social Software in theWorkplace and Online CollaborationTools Sharon Richardson Joining Dots October 2012 Web: Twitter: @joiningdots
  2. 2. Presentation Notes  A brief summary of the recent summary analysis released by Gartner and Forrester (September 2012)  Decision criteria when considering a move to online collaboration software/social software in the workplace  A review of the pricing models and feature comparisons between the vendors featured in the analysis  All product names, logos, brands and other trademarks referred to within this presentation are the property of their respective trademark holders Joining Dots
  3. 3. Gartner Magic Quadrant: Social Software  Usual suspects dominate the leader quadrant  Microsoft gets extra points thanks to Yammer acquisition  Most niche players aren’t offering a complete platform  No Google listed… Joining Dots www.joiningdots.comSource: Jive - resources/analyst-coverage/register-gartner-mq-2012-ssiw
  4. 4. Gartner Magic Quadrant: Social CRM  Two markets colliding?  Traditionally an enterprise application rather than platform  Is Salesforce moving beyond CRM? Joining Dots Source: Forbes – sites/louiscolumbus/2012/10/02/ gartners-magic-quadrant-for-social-crm-and-the-social-enterprise/
  5. 5. ForresterWave: Online Collaboration  Interesting mix of vendors  Merged CRM and collaboration  Google makes an appearance  …and Citrix (Podio acquisition) Joining Dots Source: Microsoft - microsoft-leader-cloud-collaboration-.aspx
  6. 6. Decision Criteria  Do you have a preferred vendor?  Platform or specific scenario?  Intended life span?  Size matters  Do prices matter? Joining Dots
  7. 7. PreferredVendor  If you already have a preferred vendor for information- based systems and social software, as long as they are on the list, unlikely to change. Familiar tools for users  Deciding to change would indicate a major shift in strategy … or a pet project (see also: Intended Lifespan)  Moving online and mobile may warrant a re-evaluation of traditional vendor choices. Cross-platform device support and mobile strategy should influence the final decision Joining Dots
  8. 8. Platform vs Specific Scenario  Platforms should include the basics: email, calendar sharing, contacts. And usually span a range of categories: content management, collaboration, communications, search, etc.  Niche solutions are often better when experimenting with specific scenarios for ‘new ways of working’, often offering a cleaner simpler user interface with fewer features  Enterprise applications target scenarios that cover end-to-end processes. Not a platform but may scale as large in terms of features and complexity Joining Dots
  9. 9. Intended Lifespan  Anticipated lifespan of the software vendor and lifespan of the project or system that the software is being used for  If experimenting with new ways of working and/or pet projects, lifespan is usually short and an opportunity to try out niche vendors and new entrants into the market  …but what if the smaller vendor is acquired? Would it matter?  If planning a base platform that is expected to last, mainstream vendors are unlikely to disappear overnight having just invested $billions in datacenters to host these services Joining Dots
  10. 10. Size Matters  Successful projects tend to either be very big or very small. Applies to the software vendor and the buyer  Niche solutions may have brand names for case studies, but how many active users are involved? Departmental pet project or company-wide deployment?  Few features scale well. It’s why email remains the most popular collaboration tool… If unsure, aim to run a trial comparable with the actual solution (e.g. an entire process, not demo scenario) and size of group it is intended for Joining Dots
  11. 11. Does Price Matter?  Software licensing is only one part of the cost when implementing collaborative and social computing solutions  But moving to online services means moving from single up-front licensing fees to an recurring monthly subscription for the lifespanof the system, ranging from free to hundreds of dollars per user per month  If move online is inevitable for convenience (mobile and remote access), evaluate what features will realistically be used to choose the most appropriate subscription plan. Beware issues with migration/upgrade to different plans later  If move online is a choice vs on-premise, calculate based on expected lifespan versus up-front fees as part of the feasibility study Joining Dots
  12. 12. PriceVariations: Small mainstream platform deployments Plan Google Apps Office 365 P1 Up to 10 users $0 $6 11 to 50 users $5 $6 >50 users $5 n/a  Google Apps for Business is free for first 10 users, with some limitations (e.g. 10GB mailbox vs 25GB mailbox)  Office 365 P1 is currently limited to 50 users. Rumoured to be increasing to 250 in 2013 (unconfirmed)  There is no upgrade path from Office 365 P1 Joining Dots All fees are per user per month
  13. 13. PriceVariations: Larger mainstream platform deployments Plan Google Apps for Business Microsoft Office 365 E1, E2 IBM SmartCloud Standard, Advanced, with Archiving Per user $5 + marketplace subscriptions $8, $14 $8, $10, $14  To compete with Office 365 or IBM Smart Cloud (Lotus), would need more than just Google Apps. Most marketplace apps will incur additional subscription fees  Microsoft and IBM offer various plans. Web-only services range from $8 to $14 for both Joining Dots All fees are per user per month
  14. 14. PriceVariations: Niche solution deployments Plan Jive Huddle Box Igloo Per user $12 - 18 $15 $11 $12  Each has a focus: social media and networks (Jive and Huddle), online collaboration and content management (Box and Igloo). Maturing products starting to spread scope into platform territory  Most require a minimum number of users. Igloo sells in blocks of users, only per user for 100+ users  Pricing is very similar to larger platform range. And would still need separate platform for email, could mean dual logins Joining Dots All fees are per user per month
  15. 15. PriceVariations: Enterprise Application deployments Plan Microsoft Dynamics CRM Salesfoce Professional Salesforce Enterprise Oracle CRM On Demand Per user $44 From $65 From $125 From $75  Significant price difference compared to mainstream platforms and niche solutions, targeting complete business processes  Platform-like features also being introduced for free, e.g. Salesforce Chatter – Instant messaging client Joining Dots All fees are per user per month
  16. 16. How to choose? Joining Dots Sample Requirements Need basics (email) Don’t need basics Moving to online platform instead of on- premise servers Choose mainstream platform: MS, IBM, Google Are you sure you are ready to switch? Few can ditch email completely Want some basic social media and networking capabilities Try a mainstream platform but may also need niche solution if serious about social Try a niche solution such as Yammer. Choose one that offers a free trial We’re only a small team or organisation (less than 50 people) If price sensitive and/or keeping it simple, try Google Apps. If tech-savvy business, consider Office365 If want to experiment with new working styles, try a niche solution plus a basic email service More details are provided in the related blog post: on-cloud-platforms-for-social-business/
  17. 17. References  All sources for images and pricing are included in the related blog post, along with additional commentary: platforms-for-social-business/  Contact info for more details about this presentation: Joining Dots Email: Web: Twitter: @joiningdots