Written by: Chris Plye, Champions Solutions Group
Champion Solutions Group is focused on improving the lives of our clients with technology solutions that help reduce costs, increase productivity, and improve application availability.
We’ve traditionally sold on-premises solutions but began to see the potential of the cloud. As we started to develop a strategy to diversify our offerings, we also wanted to change the way we did business internally to leverage the cloud. And as such, we evaluated Google Apps.
What concerned us most about Google was what we called their ‘roach motel’ approach to the cloud – once you go in there’s no way out. What happens to customers who try the cloud and later decide it’s not right for their business? What recourse do they have to move back to an on premises solution? There appeared to be very little customers could do if they found themselves in this situation. Knowing we could be locked into a solution that didn’t have the ability to meet our business needs didn’t offer us much confidence.
There were other problems too. We needed an integrated collaboration and communications platform and wanted to partner with a vendor that had deep enterprise expertise. With Google, we couldn’t get either. Google Apps simply were not robust enough to meet enterprise needs and offered very little room to provide our customers with additional value or customization. We don’t use Google Apps and we don’t recommend them to our clients.
After seeing a demonstration of Microsoft Business Productivity Online Suite (BPOS), we were impressed. BPOS was the integrated platform we needed to communicate and collaborate with our Champion teammates spread out across 11 states in 22 locations . It really illustrated the utility of a hybrid approach to the cloud – one that leverages the rich functionality of client apps with the choice and flexibility of the cloud. SharePoint helped us to centralize document workflow, reduce storage and utilize portals. We also use Office Live Meeting which has helped streamline communications, saving both time and money. Best of all, we were able to migrate all users over the course of a weekend.
The power of choice is just that – powerful. We work with businesses of all sizes to help them leverage IT to be more competitive. If there’s one thing we know, it’s that businesses can’t rely on consumer technologies to give them a leading edge. We were so excited and impressed by BPOS we actually decided to become a reseller of the solution so we could pass the benefits on to our customer base. Having the ability to offer our customers a combination of on premises and cloud-based solutions is important. Our partnership with Microsoft has enabled us to provide our customers with the choice and flexibility they need. We’re betting on Microsoft because of our belief in the reliability and manageability of Microsoft solutions as well as the business opportunities they provide partners. We just hired a full team dedicated to selling BPOS. Now, we’re transferring the benefits we’ve experienced to our customers.