The true Cloud computing service providers allow you to access all the information and applications within your account from anywhere whether it is in the office, by laptop from a remote laptop, net book, notebook or mobile phone. The better providers also allow your staff to work on documents in real time together; if there is more than one member of staff working together on a document they will see all edits and alterations to the document as they are applied.
This is one area where Microsoft 365 falls down to competitors like Google Apps; all of the Microsoft 365 computers working within a cloud still need their own installation of MSWord or other application installed on all of their computers, laptops or mobiles. This means when a document is opened it only appears on one computer therefore after alterations or edits you have to save a copy of the document to the server and tell colleagues of the changes they then have to access the saved document in order to see any changes. This is time consuming and can lead to errors or the wrong document or information being used.
Are Microsoft right?
So have Microsoft got it right? Although there are many followers of Microsoft 365 running their businesses successfully they may actually be able to improve productivity and profits by using a different service provider. Google Apps is cheaper than Microsoft 365 and adding the difference in cost to the increased productivity and time savings could make a company more profitable and more efficient.
My own feelings are that Microsoft have not got Cloud Computing right, they watch their monopoly on the software and applications market slipping away from them as companies realise there is no need for expensive packages, updates or licensing. Unlike true Cloud Computing service providers, such as Google Apps, who already supply these much needed resources within the price of the package and presented as a more effectual resource.