I recently got a letter from Go To Meeting to subscribe to their web conferencing service for $40/user a month. What????? Microsoft offers the same technology (Office Live Meeting) for $4.50/user a month.
And if you are willing to pay $10/user a month, you can get Microsoft Business Productivity Online Suite (BPOS), a suite of cloud based products including:
- Exchange Online: Enterprise class email, shared calendars, contacts, antivirus/spam, offline sync, archiving.
- SharePoint Online: Collaboration, Enterprise Search, Document Repository, Workflow Mgmt.
- Live Meeting: Sharing desktops, Web Conferencing (1:1 and multi-party), and
- Office Communications Online: Internal Instant Messenger and Presence Awareness
What is so cool about these software as a service products?
- Much lower upfront costs vs traditional software licenses
- 24 hours technical support via email and phone (they are amazing….)
- Anywhere anytime access
- No server (harware) investment and maintenance (electricity, storage)- A big one!
- No downtime
- Recognize investment as a expense rather than capex
- You always have the latest software technologies (the latest versions of the products!, no more upgrades!)
- If your laptop is stolen, plug in a new one and you are good to go!
- User subscription model allows for more accurate forecasting of IT expenditures