January 4 2007
Writing on his ZDNet blog, Paul Murphy tees up the hypothetical scenario of how a university addresses its needs for e-mail. Three options: 1) MS Exchange, 2) Domino, Sun, or some open source apps (later referred to just as "Sun"), or 3) Google for domains:
All three choices impose costs on somebody - the Microsoft choice imposes costs on both users and IT, the Sun choice centralises most of the costs in IT, and the Google choice silently places most of the costs on the user. ...I'm glad to see Murphy's analysis, as I've been asked a few times for comment on two recent Google deals like this ( Arizona State and Lakehead). It's an interesting scenario -- do university students require "enterprise-strength" messaging services, or is web-based advertising-subsidized mail good enough? Monash University thought that the enterprise-strength route made sense for them. Others may not. And is it OK for e-mail but not for the class enrollment system? Very interesting issue.
More importantly, a google decision shifts the cost burden from dollars spent in IT, to minutes spent by users - minutes google monetises through paid advertising on email pages. Basically, you're selling both user attention and your organisation's records to get a reduction in IT cost - something you'd almost certainly consider unethical if Google's offer consisted of a check sufficient to cover internal costs in exchange for that same access to user eyeballs and information.
I would certainly have liked to see Murphy acknowledge that in option #2, deploying Notes would provide more than just an e-mail system....
Link: Paul Murphy: How IT execs sell out their organizations >