Google Inc & Onix Neworking Corporation filed a lawsuit against the U.S. Department of the Interior (DOI) on October 29th with the U.S Court of Federal Claims in 2010. In the DOI’s RFQ they specified they required messaging solution/requirements for 88,000 users throughout the agency. From my understanding this should support calendars and collaboration and also meet the required privacy and security standards for government use.
Aparently, before the RFQ was released, Google met with the DOI and described the Google Apps solution. The problem related to this issue was the fact that the RFQ described background information which was directly related to BPOS-Federal Suite were critical to the success of the solution and the DOI standard. The background information in the RFQ directly supported Microsoft’s framework. Microsoft announced the BPOS-Federal Suite in February 2010. The suite is rated to improve the cloud computing security model to provide two-factor authentication and improved encryption technologies which also meets the Federal Information Security Management Act (FISMA) certification.
On the 5th of January 2010 the court ruled in favour of Google’s lawsuit. Google has made complaints against Microsoft where they have been stopped from bidding on government contracts in the past.
Google did make several attempts to build a relationship with the DOI, several months prior to the RFQ process. I’m not sure if the recent lawsuit is the correct way of building a relationship with the DOI, but this certainly raises questions as to why Google’s solutions were discarded during the process. I’m sure this is not the final battle, I’ll keep updated posts on this subject in the future.
I’ve always wondered how many organizations have considered moving to the cloud, moved to the cloud and back again but I’m still researching to find the right numbers. Out of personal interest I came across a company which moved from one cloud service provider to another. I recently came across a case study where WinWire Technologies had moved from Google Apps to the Microsoft Business Productivity Online Standard Suite. There are a number of questions raised when this type of migration occurs, but usually these could just lead down to a few significant and important areas:
- Integration Issues
- Performance Issues
- Service Outage problems
- Maturity of the service providers solution
- Contractual Issues
- Data Corruption
After reading the case study it was very clear that one of the main issues was integration. Specifically, WinWire wanted integration with Microsoft Outlook and SharePoint which unfortunately was an issue with utilizing Google Apps. I was surprised to read the fact that they had some difficulty with formatting when moving documents Microsoft Office Applications and SharePoint to GMail, but this would be a useful test during a pilot of the solution.
The case study can be reviewed here
I will be writing more on considerations a business should take when moving to the cloud in future posts.
I recently came across this article which includes a link to a research paper funded by Microsoft. The research paper specifically reviewed several Cloud vendors T&C’s to identify the legal impact to organizations. I highly recommend reading the post and at least the conclusion of the research paper to understand the issues which could potenitally affect your business.
Direct link to the research paper: http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=1662374