I ran into this the other day…

Intermedia.NET, the US leader in Microsoft Exchange hosting for small and medium businesses (SMBs), today praised the innovative new service, Google Apps for Your Domain. By offering 24×0 support, no wireless access and scanning of company email and documents, Google has bucked the trend of what companies expect from a business email provider. The Apps for your Domain key features:

* 24×0 support. This is important because companies for whom email and schedules are mission-critical will want to know they can pick up a phone and get support 24 hours a day, 0 days per week. Google also gives the option of filling out a support form and receiving an automated response.

* No wireless access. Where Intermedia.NET hosted Exchange gives users access to information via BlackBerry, Treo, Q or any other device, Google has bucked this trend, perhaps suggesting that wireless email is in fact a productivity-sapping distraction for employees.

* Private data read by others. Google Apps for your Desktop again bucks the trend that businesses should not allow outsiders to read their proprietary documents and email. Businesses can rest easy knowing that Google is looking at all emails and documents.

* Ads inside applications. Clearly, employees are more productive when their business applications stream ads for online poker sites and pills to combat ED.

* No uptime guarantee. Rather than a predictable 99.9% uptime guarantee, such as the one offered by Intermedia.NET, Google does not provide a set percentage of the time when email will be up and running. This keeps corporate collaboration more exciting, by allowing staff to guess whether the system will be working or not.

“While we are happy that Google is making people aware that business-quality email is essential for small and medium businesses, we do have some reservations,” said Serguei Sofinski, CEO of Intermedia.NET. “There is a large difference between an enterprise-class, proven Microsoft Exchange system with 24×7 fully-managed telephone support and wireless access, and a more basic offering with 24×0 support, embedded ads and no wireless access.”

Of course they fail to mention that Google apps is free – which is pretty persuasive compared to intermedia.net’s $11.95/month for the most basic service and a wopping $575 per month for the 50 mailbox account.

Horses for courses I guess…

Ben Kepes

Ben Kepes is a technology evangelist, an investor, a commentator and a business adviser. Ben covers the convergence of technology, mobile, ubiquity and agility, all enabled by the Cloud. His areas of interest extend to enterprise software, software integration, financial/accounting software, platforms and infrastructure as well as articulating technology simply for everyday users.

  • No wireless access??

    I don’t have any trouble accessing ALL my hosted google apps while out of the office.

  • Yep – just goes to show – it was an old-ish press release and already Google is chipping away at their concerns….

  • Wow, that must be more than 18 months old, becuase I paid $50 US per mailbox around Feb last year and got:

    24/7 support and 99.9% uptime garantee

    wireless is fine (IMAP, web, blackberry if I was ever stupid enough to buy one). No, it doesn’t do ActiveSync push, but frankly, I dont care.

    No ads.

    I’d guess it’s harder for google to read my email than someone who’s hosting exchange, which is TRIVIAL to look into any account. But either way – an admin of any system can and should always be able to open any mailbox.

    Looks like a total troll.

  • … and $250/month/mailbox for the same amount of storage I get with google for $50/YEAR…..

    It was a troll, right Ben?

  • Nic – think of it as an interesting historical perspective. And an example of why cloud based solutions will win – there ability to create disruptive solutions and roll out innovations that both substitute (but cheaper) and add value to the incumbents is a hard act to keep up with

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