Gartner Research

Cloud Suites for Collaboration: Assessing Microsoft Office 365, Google Apps and IBM SmartCloud for Social Business

Published: 08 October 2013

ID: G00251016

Analyst(s): Bill Pray, Guy Creese


Enterprises are investigating cloud offerings for 3CS to achieve lower costs and more agility. Selecting a SaaS 3CS suite is difficult. Which vendor has the best suite? This assessment compares offerings from Google, IBM and Microsoft.

Table Of Contents

Summary of Findings


  • Google, IBM or Microsoft?
  • Comparison Logistics
    • Google Apps for Business
    • IBM SmartCloud for Social Business (Multitenant)
    • Microsoft Office 365 (Multitenant)
  • Comparison Methodology
  • SaaS 3CS Services Comparison
    • Email, Calendar, Contacts and Tasks
    • Instant Messaging
    • Web Conferencing
    • Collaboration
    • Social Networking
    • Productivity Tools
  • Cross-Functional Services
    • Hybrid Deployment
    • Mobile Support
    • User Experience


  • "And the Winner Is …"
    • Legacy Support
    • 3CS Suite Capabilities
  • Choose Wisely
  • Create an Exit Strategy
  • Leverage User Segmentation

The Details

  • General SaaS Controls and Criteria
  • Pricing and Packaging
    • Google Apps for Business
    • IBM SmartCloud for Social Business
    • Microsoft Office 365
  • A Shortlist of Missing Features
    • "Other" Email Clients Are Second-Class Citizens
    • SaaS IM Does Not Interoperate, and Presence Does Not Federate
    • There May Be Loss of Data or Visual Fidelity After Converting Microsoft Documents
    • Security Logs May Not Be Available
    • Eradication of Client Data Cannot Be Guaranteed
  • Concerns About SaaS 3CS
    • Issues With the SaaS Providers
    • Internal Enterprise Issues With SaaS


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