After Hours

10 reasons to be wary of Google in business

Google caters well to consumers, but it falls short of meeting the business needs of larger organizations. Here are the biggest areas of concern.

Without a doubt, Google is playing a larger and larger role in business IT. But as many have found out, doing business with Google requires certain expectations to be set up front. This is not to say that doing business with it is awful, or that other companies do not have many of these issues as well, of course. Still, there are some good reasons to be wary about doing business with Google.

1: Customer support is not its forte

The biggest reason to think twice about doing business with Google is that its organization is simply not designed to provide support for customers. Google has recently opened some phone numbers for customers to reach them, but by and large they prefer support to be email only (if they provide it at all). This is a perfectly fine approach for a free or ad-supported product. But if you are hoping to run a business built on Google's offerings, you'll want to check out the support options first.

2: Leadership has questionable views on privacy

Eric Schmidt (executive chair of Google's board) recently joked about whether your Android contact list and most recent calls should be used to customize advertising. Whether Google is heading in that direction or not, no one wants to think that Google takes these matters lightly. Time and time again, Google's executives (particularly Mr. Schmidt) have made it clear that they will get as much data generated by your online activities as legally and technically possible. Is that necessarily bad? No. But their attitude seems to be that if you want any kind of online privacy, you need to go through extreme measures.

3: It makes its living by leveraging information about you

Most users never stop for a moment to ask themselves how Google can do so much for no cost to them. Of course, the answer is advertising, and that is nothing new. But what makes Google's advertisements so valuable is not just their wide reach but the selective targeting. You see, Google has taken the same engineering that produced its excellent search engine and applied the effort toward linking ads to people, based in no small part upon the data harvested as a result of your daily interactions with them.

Of course, seeing ads on Google Search based on previous searches is not a shock. But it's a bit creepy (and occasionally embarrassing) when you go to a site and look at products there, and then ads from that site follow you around to every site you visit for months. If you want to know what other users do with their computers, just look at what ads Google displays for them.

In addition to the inherent privacy concerns ("What if a hacker gets a hold of this?" and "What if other sites figure out how to use this?"), there are legal concerns. As the government continues to subpoena Google's data, it is quite possible that data concerning you will end up in a government database, and who knows where it will go from there.

4: It's too willing to yank products and APIs

Google is famous for rolling out new products on a regular basis. Unfortunately, it is also famous for pulling the plug on them. Sure, other companies do the same thing. But Google's threshold for failure feels a lot lower. Even more frustrating is when it does this with APIs. It has become clear that Google opens APIs to study usage in the wild, but once it has learned what it wanted to, Google shuts down the APIs. This may work great for Google, but it is a nightmare scenario for companies that depend upon its products and services.

5: Quality is sometimes lacking

Overall, the quality of Google products is high. But there are some exceptions, and those exceptions (especially Android's issues) are quite visible and damaging. Google's "perpetual beta" was cute when it was Gmail or Orkut. When the same mentality is applied to your phone's OS or your business email, it is an entirely different story. Google seems to currently view its target audience as consumers or small businesses for whom its applications are not mission critical.

6: It has minimal contact with real-world users

Google takes an extremely data-driven approach to deciding how to do things. For example, its usability changes are driven by massive amounts of data. It will roll out a change to a "small" group of users (which could be millions of people), observe how usage patterns change, and then make decisions from there. Google is lucky to have one of the largest user bases in the world for its applications, so it can take this approach and have tons of data.

Google doesn't like user feedback, in large part because it is hard to quantify. The problem is that it believes the data, not users. While this isn't terribly surprising (IT professionals have plenty of horror stories about how they did what users wanted, and it was a mess), it can be very frustrating to work with Google or to hope for a particular feature or change to be made. There just isn't a way for the voice of the customer to be heard.

7: There are no SLAs

Google doesn't do SLAs because, for the most part, Google doesn't have any contracts to use its services. Now, that said, Google's track record with uptime has been pretty good; better than most, honestly. If you look at its history over the last few years, an SLA is more a security blanket for you than anything else, and it would not change how it runs its business one bit anyway.

8: It has a consumer focus for features

One of the big reasons why Google has done so well is that its solutions cater well to consumers, and by extension, small businesses. At the same time, large companies have needs as well, and Google just does not meet them. For example, where is the federated Active Directory authentication for Google Apps for Business or the central management of Android phones? Those are the kinds of things that businesses need but consumers and small businesses do not. And until Google expands its focus a bit, these needs will not be met.

9: You are not important to Google

If you are part of a business, the traditional customer-vendor relationship is familiar, comfortable, and normal to you. But this is not in Google's DNA. Google's main currency is actually your clickstream data. Why does it give away Google Analytics? So it can collect clickstream data? Gmail? Search? Same thing. Its APIs? More data to feed the machine. Google's true business is to run a commodities market where it is both the market itself and the sole producer of the commodity. In Google's eyes, it is seller's market. You have no other choices, and there are plenty of other people happy to buy that same commodity. Where other vendors would work hard to keep you happy, Google does not even bother to tell you to take a hike.

10: Google does not cater to business expectations

Google is really good at getting individuals and small businesses the products they need for free or nearly free. But it struggles when doing business with enterprises because the expectations are different. Google succeeds with the smaller companies because they understand that you get what you pay for. They don't feel that a service that is free, or nearly so, is worth complaining about.

An enterprise, though, is often willing to pay more money to get certain things, like no ads, preferential treatment, a dedicated account executive, and SLAs. These are not bad things. But again, Google just is not set up to do business like this (with the exception of Google Apps for Business). Because it has such minimal interaction with you as client, it isn't going to understand your needs, let alone try to cater to them. If what it delivers is fine with you, that's great. But if you want the handholding, customization, support, etc., that a traditional vendor will sell you for an upcharge, Google isn't going to be providing it.

About

Justin James is the Lead Architect for Conigent.

83 comments
alexstriganov
alexstriganov

Forbidden so sorry... Google is temporarily blocking this Scroogle server. Please wait ten minutes before trying again. Yes, Scroogle is upset with Google. 1. Google handles 1 billion searches per day, while Scroogle handles 350,000 searches per day. This means that Scroogle is 0.035 percent of Google's load. 2. Google uses 900,000 servers, while Scroogle leases just six low-end dedicated servers. 3. Google has billions and billions of dollars in the bank, while Scroogle is a recognized public charity and survives on modest donations averaging $43 per day. 4. For more than six years, Scroogle has always made serious efforts to detect and block any and all bots. Almost every Scroogle searcher is a live person clicking on a mouse. Yet Google treats Scroogle like a bot because they see the traffic from our six IP addresses as higher than normal. Searching Google with a bot is against Google's terms of service, but Scroogle users are not bots. Is it "Terms of Service" for Google, or is it "Terms of Monopoly"? You can tell the Antitrust Division what you think about Google.

alexstriganov
alexstriganov

Google is blocking Scroogle, which allows to do searches anonymously, in opposite to Google, which shares it's search results and allows such websites as for example eXtremetracking.com publish keywords of search and IP address of the person who performed the search. If you search for your own name as a keyword, for example, a hacker can get it using free extremetracking.com website along with your IP address and attack your PC / network. Results of your search are published online and available to anyone breaching your privacy ... as soon as the hacker or cyber bulling attacker will get your real IP, he will be able to track all your searches (all your keywords). Such as Scroogle is inconvenient being usually blocked by Google after about 6 searches, you are forced to use VPN or proxy to keep your privacy. Otherwise you are vulnerable and can be a victim of online predators, thanks to Google. The same with your business - and/or your business name / searches.

pjasz
pjasz

Ten great answers. Excellent post Justin ! pete,

alexstriganov
alexstriganov

Add here gmail accounts - free access of Google to all information on those accounts, Carrier IQ for Android platform - and so called "marriage" between ripoffreport.com and Google (i.e. extraordinary high ratings of PR6 website "complaints" in Google search results comparing to other PR10 and PR9 websites results) and you have a pattern ... how Google can possibly be dangerous for any other business. Basically Google has no legal right to show defamatory search results in countries, which ratified ICCPR. Hiding under umbrella of Section 230 of Communication Decency Act is good enough for the USA, which ratified ICCRP, but made provisions of Article 1 through 27 of the Covenant not self-executing. Other ratified ICCPR countries: 1. Do not have not-self-executing reservations. 2. Do not have Section 230 of the Communication Decency Act. It means Google should revise it's Legal Policy for foreign countries, even having no technical abilities to evaluate all indexed pages. But surprisingly they have an ability to remove copyright breaching pages, and "have no ability" to remove defamatory statements, intentionally / or not breaching the ICCRP in some foreign countries.

FrescaJ
FrescaJ

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jmbrasfield
jmbrasfield

1: Customer support is not its forte My own personal experience with small business is that they DO NOT EXPECT ANY customer service from anybody. They are just out there on their own. 2: Leadership has questionable views on privacy This is Google we are talking about. Like any of the social media, privacy is not of any great concern. Privacy is not of concern to a whole generation of social users who, apparently, have no problem putting it all out there for everyone to see and no regard to the possible consequences. 3: It makes its living by leveraging information about you Google knows more about you than does the government and the government is trying to figure out a way to leverage that knowledge. Frightening! 4: It???s too willing to yank products and APIs Google is all about Google, users are just a means to an end. Oh, wait, that's the American way, or so it seems. Google, Micro$oft, Apple, Oracle, Bank of America, etc., its all about what we can do for THEM. 5: Quality is sometimes lacking ??? especially Android???s issues??? - IOS excels at security because it is a locked down system, as are all Apple products. That is the ONLY way to have any control over security, corporate or otherwise. I did a paper for speech class two Summers ago on smartphones and security and one of the facts that came out was that 85% of Droids and 100% of jailbroke iPhones had been infected severely by some form of malware but less than 5% of non-jailbroke iPhones had any form of malware, thanks in part to Apples absolute control of it's consumer stores. Security first, this is why big business has turned to them over RIM based. I know of three businesses locally where having a Droid device on your person, on their premises (including the parking lot), is grounds for dismissal, PERIOD. 6: It has minimal contact with real-world users And why should it, USERS are at best insane and worst just plain STUPID. They are their own worst enemies, how else could 5 year old malware still be infecting systems world wide. Explain that one to me if you can. 7: There are no SLAs And why should it change, it is doing a much better job of uptime than anybody else. When was the last time your search engine went down? I'm a little more leery of what it does with Cloud apps. So, just were is my stuff , who gets to look at my stuff, and why? Data mining of what is stored in its Cloud can not be good for anyone but Google. Oh, they don't data mine your stuff, are you sure? 8: It has a consumer focus for features I believe this sudden integration into corporate, driven by consumer product usage, caught them by surprise. It does not seem that they designed their products with corporate as a primary goal, only as a secondary thought because they had no choice. Consumer has always been their first and only goal. 9: You are not important to Google The perfect American business, much like Ma Bell of the 60's. We are THE phone company, we don't have to care. With no real competition, they are correct in their assessment. 10: Google does not cater to business expectations And that says it all, End of Line.

invisiontechs
invisiontechs

From a personal experience, most of the article is TRUE. Google is all about data collection, asinine robotic-automated responses and hype. It uses FORUMS for CUSTOMER SUPPORT, go figure.

vezycash
vezycash

You are right...they really do not care about individuals. Its all about the data and their earnings

TomMerritt
TomMerritt

I do not agree with Justin's premise that Small Business should act like the consumer. We are much better off from a security, functionality and productivity perspective if we take our lead from Enterprise Business. We in Small Business do not have the resources to develop business IT models, but models developed by people who have spent millions developing them are available to us. Its silly for us not to take advantage of them.

nathan.kaiser
nathan.kaiser

I agree with the article - we are a firm with 42 users, moved all to Google Apps, using all (paid) bells and whistles, Google-approved external IT service, external Postini, etc. etc. ... - But: for several months now, my email signature is corrupted, which cannot be fixed, and Google - after several months of Kaskasque service behaviour, numerous emails and attempts to fix it - has finally simply given up: "our IT team has decided not to fix the issue". In other words, as paying Google Apps business customer, I now permanently have a corrupted email signature, which Google does not want to even try to fix. Hmmmm.... In a nutshell, and based on over 40 emails and heavy (but ultimately useless) involvement of Google certified external IT support: Customer service is not Google's forte, Quality is sometimes lacking, It has minimal contact with real-world users, There are no SLAs, You are not important to Google, and finally really: Google does not cater to business expectations.

AxelWiresmith
AxelWiresmith

Now I don't consider myself any -sort of Google fan-boy by any-stretch but, I can't believe the attitude of some ppl. I have been using Google stuff for years, and out of any I.T product(s) I have used/supported/installed/configured etc.. of the last 30+yrs the Google stuff has been the best, planned,implemented and supported AND IT'S FREE! There's a reason they're the only game in town, THEY SIMPLY HAVE THE BEST PRODUCT AT THE BEST PRICE. It would seem some ppl just dont feel like they're getting something worthwhile unless they're paying through the proverbial for it. Shopping centres and supermarkets know this well.. some ppl will always just buy the most expensive product s they assume that you get what you pay for... NOT SO! and nor should it be. I have far more faith in the security of my Chrome/Gmail 2-step than any explorer/exchange server (most likely running exchange on server 03 or whatever that needs 6000 patches a day that it doesn't get because M$(or whoever) apply a costing formula to security, ie; only patch when they're certain tasking ppl to patch will cost less than not etc..) and don't even get me started on Lotus etc.. Yes they OPENLY admit to ANONYMOUS usage of some of my data, well at least they admit to it! Every cloud-based service collects ur data and most don't tell u that they plan to sell it WITH ur details to several databases! I agree that live/hotmail has improved (still gets slightly more spam than Gmail) But it still lacks many of the features and the integrity of Gmail. I wouldn't use it(livemail) if I wasn't being forced to in order to use other services that require live-ID... As for all these Andriod bashers.. they all seem to be I-noobs who are upset when they found-out there is a much better system at much better price, and instead of giving specifics, they just generically imply that Andriod is somehow lesser or 'Ripped-off' (don't even get me started on that nonsense, I dont believe the S.J quotes either) Pick up a galaxy2 and tell me how ur Iphone is in any way better and I will educate you. I'm as sorry as you are about S.J's passing but I think if he really made that 'going nuclear' comment then the tumor or treatment must have been affecting his thinking, or perhaps he was more narcissistic than me (not likely ;-) Re: above points.. 1. 'Customer service' .. Well thank-god Google puts-out such good products one rarely needs customer-service.. and wait.. they actually provide it for my users ALSO!! how many vendors do that? 2.'Leadership's Views on...' Well I'm glad about their views on altruism, I really wish the other CEO's were as focused on actually providing the end-user rather than lightening their wallet. 3. 'It makes it money leveraging info..' Well I'm sure glad that's where they're making their money and not on providing bloatware that's engineered to generate revenue from intentional shortcomings, as far as monopolies go, they have been the most responsible with theirs yet. 4. 'Too willing to yank products/apis' What products? what API's? If something is goog then it's good, if it's intrinsically crap then all the patches in world won't make ur poorly planned product fail any less, If you are planing a product, then it should be well planned and thought-out based on solid,reliable and time-tested components and if the need be, it should be portable.. I know this can be difficult in the code-biz but I think Google has a relatively good, much better than average track-record in this area. 5 .'Quality' Perpetual beta is not 'cute' it's actually really smart, if u can't roll with it then ur too old fer I.T.... BETA does not = Unstable .... Give me a Google beta over other's Alpha's anyday! Maybe you could say that in it's infancy that Andriod had some 'issues' that made it rather un-user-friendly when compared to Apple stuff that's based entirely around being user-friendly but (at least it's feature-rich) everything past 2.2 is pretty-much rock-solid and makes a very sensible choice from a corporate standpoint, especially when you look at how is it is to make/port apps for and the security is far better than any-other.. I could go on an on.. but I'll just cover one more as I think it kinda sums things up: 9. 'You are not Important to Google' From the standpoint of a large-corporation, you are probably on the right track, as I think from Google's point of view, the large corporations (to whom we owe this wonderful economic climate) you are not the most important client, as they are more focused on delivering to the masses as a whole and looking at the bigger picture, and as a corporation for that they should be commended! Like any company they supply a product and instruct you on how to use it and just as with any product issues may arise, but you cannot expect them to jump through hoops and provide you with a direct hotline no. because you are paying them directly... besides when was the last time a 3rd-world call-center gave you anything useful that could not have been accomplished online? If the others had call-centers with real-staff from the actual companies in their actual countries of origin then I would lend more credence to call-centers, but in my experience as 2nd/3rd etc.. lvl support.. having a number to call often doesn't help, things get (generally)fixed in the same amount of time if they are handled according to the vendor's instructions. I think the title of the article is misleading... but seeing as you brought it up.: TRUST GOOGLE? Hell Yeah! a LOT MORE THAN THE OTHERS!!!

janitorman
janitorman

I signed up for G-mail and was shocked that they use the CONTENT of my emails to choose ads to show on the page. This can't be a good security practice. Email should be confidential between the sender and recipient (barring a virus scan or something of that nature, where content isn't examined for words, but for malicious code.) Needless to say, I no longer use G-mail for anything but signing in to sites such as this one, to avoid my REAL e-mail being compromised. Just think, if the contents of EVERY letter in the US mail, for instance, was read, and analyzed for content, people would scream (Although, during wartime this has happened with soldiers letters home, but again this was a security concern, and not done by a commercial enterprise.)

LAGUY88
LAGUY88

SLAs are very subjective and never RealTime for Google. They lost their "cherry" for business intergrity long ago. They were were only a leader and at the start and now they are just a re engineering group; ie Android (IPhone wantabee) for starters and the Apps are a rebirth of the ASP model done long ago by USI, which was ahead of it's time. Jobs was right in his final but indirect statements, that innovation here is at a crossroads. Our Universities fund too many PHDs student from oversees and don't grow enough of our own. We outsource our children's futures and keep giving ourselves away with unfair trade agreemets. We don't have to follow the history of Greece, Rome or the UK............a little out on a tangent, but valid statements........ And by the way, how rip offs of our innovations are used oversees? Countless...............

mick.schonhut
mick.schonhut

Gmail has now started insisting on capturing your Date Of Birth information. Outrageous behaviour and this is NOT OPTIONAL information request!!! This marks the beginning of the end for my use of ANYTHING GOOGLE. I need to check back and see if they've done an Animal Farm and changed their mission to "DO EVIL". Am I upset about this? You bet. Be very wary out there... Mick

marketethiq
marketethiq

There is absolutely no difference when it comes to ethics between Google, Facebook, etc. Ever tried calling facebook? Hell ever tried calling microsoft. You have to pay for them to give you any real customer service. This is the world we live in. You can either do your best to control your own online existence or you can simply avoid it all. I don't think we will see increased ethics from Google or any other org that is collecting data on everything and everyone in the near future. All we can hope for is better legislation (an oxymoron).

mikel
mikel

You really need to do some research before posting one-sided comments. We've been on Google Apps for a few years now and couldn't be happier. Every time we've called support, they've picked up within a minute, and typically resolve our problems right away. One of the things I like most about Google is that they make their beta products available to anyone. However, any company putting their user base on something that isn't widely adopted might want to rethink their strategy, or hire a new IT Director. Google does make features for real world users, and does make them available before rolling it out to everyone. It's called Google Labs. Based on how the community uses the lab determines if it's rolled out and migrated as a standard feature. There are SLAs, for paying customers. Google's not going to make an SLA for a free version of product. What would they refund you, pocket lint? Google spends it's time developing it's core product, and yes, if something is widely needed they develop it, or just buy it from someone rather than reinventing the wheel. Most SMART SaaS vendors recognize they aren't in the market to appeal to niche customers, that's why they make their API's readily available and create app stores (Google Apps MarketPlace, SalesForce AppExchange, etc). If you want to compare Apples to Apples, why don't you compare Hotmail to Gmail. It appears from your perspective that you're comparing the free version of Google Apps to .... what? Something that doesn't exist for free from Microsoft.

suezew
suezew

I HATE Google gmai. I had an issue last week and could not talk to anyone. I contacted the HQ and got "we don't have support" so I was just SOL. Have change to another provider that will talk to me.

vernleblanc
vernleblanc

I have not trusted Google since the begining. Google makes me thhink of Skynet in the movie Terminator.

Becca Alice
Becca Alice

...at least for their public reputation. There is a milling herd of furious game players out there right now swearing never to use Google again for anything after it bought and killed some games that were tied into FaceBook previously.

afarinacci
afarinacci

Wow. You struck a nerve. Pro Google users follow blindly much the same way users followed Microsoft at one time. I have learned to be wary of both, but this article fired up politics and liberal bias. Bottom line is, companies in business have learned from their decades of technical experience and mistakes to fall in with the next tech-messiah. Business is still smarter than coffee shop idealists polarized by their sexual fascination with new technologies. LOL See? I added sex and politics you mush-minded little dweebs! God, this is so much fun!

GreyGeek77
GreyGeek77

An employee of a Microsoft GOLD Partner (http://www.reuters.com/article/2010/03/02/idUS147699+02-Mar-2010+BW20100302) that earns its money by selling an add-in to Microsoft Word posts an article misrepresenting and then criticizing Google's business model. I'm sure he's getting high-fives all around his office and is receiving congratulatory emails from Redmond. Can't make a "Table of Authorities" GoogleDoc or LibreWord plug-in for your bread and butter? If he wanted to find a bad example of a business model he could have discusses the effects of the ISO committee debacle, or the extortion of money using unproven IP claims from vendors using Android or Linux in their products, knowing that they don't have the money or legal resources to contest. Or, how could he hide his eyes from James Plamondon's "Technical Evangelists" and their convert attacks on all things non-Microsoft? You can read about "The Stacked Panel" on page 54 of http://www.groklaw.net/pdf/Comes-3096.pdf, which is one of several examples of a corporation gone rogue. And, what about the elephant in the room? The Clayton Anti-Trust Act forbids one corporation making the purchase of an unnecessary product from another corporation as a pre-condition for the sale of its products. Yet, PC OEMs, with the financial encouragement from Microsoft, via "ad rebates", force consumers to buy Windows when they purchase a PC. Just because you are apathetic or turn a blind eye doesn't mean that you haven't paid the price in BILLIONS of dollars of excess profits because of a corporate monopoly. After all, Win95 was written using YOUR money, not Microsoft's. Microsoft paid its coders in stock options, for which they got to take a tax "refund" when the coder cashed in his options, at his own expense. So, rather than absorb the deductions from revenue for payroll expenses, which would have reduced their net income, Microsoft was able to double their money, in effect, earning profits at the expense of everyone else, including companies which followed the law. Oh, Microsoft "followed the law". They bribed ("Campaign Contributions") Congressmen to include a line in a bill which allowed THEM to get a "refund" for stock options their coders cashed in to get money to pay their bills. So, you paid TWICE for Win95. Once when it was written, and again when you bought a PC onto which it was pre-installed.

StevenB77
StevenB77

Google is full of techheads (no offence I am one too) and not enough marketing professionals who focus on CRM and developing relationships. To get any sort of support from Google if you are an Adwords advertoser you need to be in the top echelons of advertisers (spending millions). With regard to privacy I will like to bring up one point related to public Gmail accounts. Do you know that there is a bot that crawls your emails? Have you ever noticed how the ads beside your emails are related to the email you are reading that is because of the this bot that reads your emails and delivers relevent ads. Scary!!!

Brendan P
Brendan P

Jim, From the headline I was wary lest your column be just another "pile on the big guy" article. Thank you for thoughtful substance. I would note that most of the problems are problems for this consumers also. (#1 thru 6, 9 & 10) Customer support is number one reason for not staying with Google as either a consumer, or for my one-man business consultancy. As for there conceptual focus on consumers (#8) it is just that. Without much contact with real-world users it is hard to have a true consumer focus. The are a wonderful engineering company designing for themselves. I'm no apple fan either, but one thing they do consummately well is designing user interfaces, Microsoft tries to imitate, and Google interfaces are ,.. well, far, far, less than elegant. I still like them as a search engine, though they have taken progressively to garbaging the results with commercials "shadily" hiding as results. In truth, they are still what they started as data miners, damn good ones, but it still narrows their world view, though they clearly don't get it.

oldbaritone
oldbaritone

if you don't have "googleanalytics.com", "revsci.net", "crowdscience.com" and "doubleclick.net" (and many others) "Mark[ed] as Untrusted", why not? When I see an unfamiliar domain embedded in a page, I usually try opening the domain's home page in a protected window. If they're bragging about "enhanced revenue", they get marked as "Untrusted" immediately.

tomatsalvair
tomatsalvair

Google has a very strong SLA for corporate users. Check your facts. Google has a dedicated team of support personnel for corporate users, and provides better support with each passing quarter. Google doesn't want your data, especially in the corporate world. It's a liability. Google operates more in the "hands-off" realm because of privacy and liability issues. You can easily find Google's corporate SLA at http://www.google.com/apps/intl/en/terms/reseller_sla.html. Your article is titled "Beware of Google Apps in Business" and then you seem to center the discussion on the free, consumer-based offering, rather than the paid version which caters to businesses, and which is widely lauded for the security, and the business applications provided.

shivandatiger82
shivandatiger82

All this article does is rehash popular perceptions, and realities, of the FREE versions of Google's products. I know all this because I was just involved in a large(500,000+ users) procurement project, involving primary and secondary education, so you can imagine how closely we heeded legal advice. I will debate several of your points(using your numbers) 1. You can buy support agreements off Google, proper phone support, yes you pay for it, but so do you with every other vendor out there. It's entirely up to you whether you choose to make use of it or not. Google also has SI vendors who offer support contracts. 2 & 3. You confuse the free version(where Google does own your data, and read your emails and harvest your searchs, etc) with the enterprise and education versions. We had legal advice on this one, lawyers trawling through the EULA, this would have been a complete show-stopper for K12 education. NO, they do not use, analyse or sell your information for the paid service, and you legally own your data. You want the free product, well they have to make money somewhere, but that's a different story. 5 & 7. Have you formally compared Google Apps offering with MS' 365? Google actually has a working product, which is innovative and simple to use and more geared towards Gen Y who grew up on Gmail and not Outlook. The interface looks simple, sure, but it just works, very well. Again, feature by feature comparison as per our detailed, heavily-MS skilled team, our procurement panel had to choose Google. 8. Is just plain nonsense. We were able to federate to Google using SAML in about half and hour using several industry-standard federated access managment solutions from IBM, Oracle and Novell. Their LDAP directory sync tool and provisioning APIs work with almost any vendor as they are standards-based. ADFS is not standards based, nor is Office 365 for federation. I work in identity and access management, MS expected us to put an AD and ADFS ON TOP OF our already solid IBM and Novell IMS hosting 300,000+ identities in order to federate to O365. Absolute insanity when they could have chosen to support any number of open federation standards(shibboleth, liberty, SAML). Sure AD works fine in your average enterprise environment, but when you're talking govt and educational sector and the objects start to hit half a mil on up, you want a real X500 LDAP directory, not AD. 9. Short-sighted here, heard of the cloud hype-frenzy? It's real. Even more so with iPads and Chrome books hitting the scene. MS is terrified of breaking it's cash cow on-premise office productivity software by providing cheap, cloud-based services. Try and compare the licensing models of Google and MS, it's clear. Google view the enterprise as a strategic market. It's going to be a battle which the enterprise consumer will win in the end. Yes Google needs to build up traditional channel partners and build relationships with big SIs and consultancy firms, but it certainly is not ignoring the enterprise, it just needs to market itself better so people like you don't spout misinformed myths about them. No offence intended. Any savvy business will not go by perceptions alone. A formal procurement is the best way to go about choosing new technology.

boweb
boweb

take it down the tale pipe till you grow a pair. This virtual hijacking will not stop and will only extend to the physical. This kind of system is made to hang on, not lean on. Living in the cloud takes away the ground you stand upon. Only an country where there is lots of evil needs an religion, and everybody seems to want to sell one instead of really making the place better. Privacy is an ground we need to take it away, so they have to pay to keep at bay.. And the rhetoric goes on, but isn't less true.

tbmay
tbmay

Quote... "a Droid device on your person, on their premises (including the parking lot), is grounds for dismissal, PERIOD." Presumably the idea is to avoid the opt out feature on a droid regarding wifi. That is not going to work and if that's what they're relying on, they've probably already been compromised. If security matters, people need to think long and hard about who they give wifi access to. I mean they need to seriously trust the people they give the keys to, or think about ditching it altogether. The truth is, wifi has always been a security issue.

kandrolewicz2
kandrolewicz2

Your reply to this article makes a better article than the article itself. Plus Google has deep roots into the NSA and makes no bones about censoring information thus violating your right to freedom of speech!

Justin James
Justin James

Small businesses, for better or worse, tend to act more like consumers than enterprises... but I think they should take some cues from enterprises, especially in things like security. J.Ja

ScionT
ScionT

You must have been in a cave for the last 10 years. Google has blantantly abused it's power over the internet and other people's data. They are being investigated and convicted in multiple cases across the world. Microsoft is a kitten compared to Google.

Gromanon
Gromanon

You should seriously try Windows Live Hotmail, it changed alot over couple past years. I know people use to hate on Hotmail alot for it being slow, but that changed alot. I have both Hotmail and Gmail and today I find Hotmail MUCH better than Gmail!

shortkutz
shortkutz

This is by far the best response on here!

Justin James
Justin James

"An employee of a Microsoft GOLD Partner (http://www.reuters.com/article/2010/03/02/idUS147699+02-Mar-2010+BW20100302) that earns its money by selling an add-in to Microsoft Word posts an article misrepresenting and then criticizing Google's business model. I'm sure he's getting high-fives all around his office and is receiving congratulatory emails from Redmond. Can't make a "Table of Authorities" GoogleDoc or LibreWord plug-in for your bread and butter?" You know what I was doing last week? Evaluating what it would take for us to make our application work in OpenOffice, LibreOffice, and Google Docs. Why? Because we feel that while our *customer base* has chosen Microsoft Word 100% of the time, this may not always be the case. My employer happens to be a Microsoft Gold Partner. What that means is that we've specialized in writing applications on the Microsoft platform. It hardly precludes us from making applications for other platforms. And since you are so eager to research the details of my employer, I guess you can look at little deeper, and discover that we got our start writing software for WordPerfect. In terms of the rest of your comments... completely, utterly irrelevant. You'll note that nowhere in the article does it say that other companies are saints or better than Google. This article isn't meant to (nor does it) compare Google to other companies, it is simply meant to shine some light on things that surprise people when they start to incorporate Google products into their business. J.Ja

TG2
TG2

Obviously you must run your own copper, fiber, and or other data lines from where you are, to where you want to connect. Comcast redirected my mistyped URL's into their own search engine without telling me, and initially without a very good way to turn it off. Comcast could see my outbound packets, and make negative decisions on those packets without my permission ... idiots would just say "oh change your DNS" ... and if comcast wanted to, they could see the outbound port 53 calls, and put them through COMCAST's servers anyway! You want to talk about scary ... just plug your computer in and put it on line .. at that point, anything you do could be seen. Risks and rewards .... we balance these every day ... regular users never realize the dangers until it happens to them. Now *THAT* is scary. Its like being on a crowded highway where *you* are the only licensed driver...

pgit
pgit

To add to it, I set everyone's search preference to scroogle scraper, so google only gets the search terms in the aggregate. They cannot associate a search term with any other of the information they gather, be it flash cookies, regular cookies, scripts phoning home etc etc. Blocking all the monitoring scripts is not only good for privacy, but comes with the added bonus of potentially preventing getting turned into a zombie on a botnet. My users have mostly gotten pretty smart about what scripts to allow vs which to ignore or mark as untrusted. Google make the untrusted list across the board, with the occasional exception of google apis, when someone is durn fool enough to use google apps... (he ducks)

paleshire
paleshire

You honestly believe they're going to rip through consumer data but completely reverse and do an about-face when it comes to corporations? I highly doubt it.

TG2
TG2

So you left out #6 .... Contact with Real World. Google Forums? ... a touchy feely place for users to complain and "feel" that google listens only to realize nothing changes with google, no surveys of the users, and the weight of users.. if a user has gone to the point of looking for an answer and even more posting their dislike of a change google has made.. why google doesn't give things like that the proper weight of the item.. how many others would actively go out of their way unless it was that much of a problem? And still google is deaf to its users. Remember we all pay a price for this .. some of it is the "data of us", other parts are paid for by the advertisers on behalf of "us" ... and still google is deaf.

servic
servic

Would like to know more information about where the large (500k+ users) procurement project took place involving primary and secondary education. I am from a very large school district (K-14) and we are entertaining the same thought process and would like to review the steps taken already? No need to reinvent the wheel in education.

abc123a
abc123a

Good set of counterpoints in the Corporate world. I think Google is as much business oriented as any other company. Most people "learn" about Google because they use the free email and other services and yes, Google has to make money and does so by selling your information. That is the reason to mistrust Google and stop using it. If anyone uses Google (and we do it voluntarily) we have no reason to complain.

paleshire
paleshire

...makin better decisions every day.

TG2
TG2

Really? you set everyone's search preference to scroogle scraper? Odd my search preference is still uneffected ... What you mean to say is you've created yet another "protected" cell surrounded by the plasma of life. One cell against the world ... and how many idiots would you classify in that cell? Anyone let their kids on a machine? (had that happen and the client says they take a negative view, but it happens again and again). Had a friend ... his son's friends were over, the main computer was used and the next thing you know it was infected ... because the sons' friends went someplace my friend didn't normally go.. Not everybody getting onto a computer is computer litterate, and not everybody feels about personal protection while on the computer the same way ... so unless you're standing there ... behind that keyboard 24/7 ... you're only the next greatest exploit away from running into another compromised machine and if that machine has a position of trust inside your cell ... your cell then is at risk. The real answer is to get people on board the "Google, Do no evil" bandwagon, and make the march upon google's door, that their privacy practices must be stepped up to meet what is neccessary to protect everyone as best as possible. Otherwise you're just one cell engulfed by the sea.

tbmay
tbmay

Reality rarely has anything to do with it. Google is darn convenient and feature rich. But the elephant is still in the room.

shivandatiger82
shivandatiger82

Hi, FYI, I'm in Australia and it was for Catholic K12 Education. I'm happy to discuss more with you via privately. iniccolai att cenet.catholic.edu.au www.cenet.catholic.edu.au

pgit
pgit

There have been a few home office types that had their best laid plans blown up by visiting children. (or grandchildren) Not too often, though. I've found where someone discovered they couldn't do what they wanted with firefox (due to noscript) and they installed chrome and used that. That, fortunately, has not resulted in mayhem, I assume sandboxing is effective enough to prevent scripts from messing up the OS. In contrast, those who know enough to disable noscript have gunked up a few machines. The last one in an office setting got fired in part for this, he'd been looking for free mp3s and allowed a ton of crap from a "mp3search" site to install. It turned out to be a network aware worm. I spent a weekend rebuilding the dozen or so clients in the office.