If it isn’t right for the USA Government, is Google right for your business?

Google and Microsoft are in the thick of a serious battle for the “cloud”, just look in any major airport around Australia and you see Microsoft’s efforts of creating awareness around their entire cloud offerings from email services, document storage and even customer relationship management solutions.

What is going on in the Google camp? There are some recent developments reported by Channelnomics revealing the Google cloud is losing ground due to the lack of Federal Information Security Management Act certification for its cloud productivity suite – Google Apps for Government.

Already a contract holder for the Department of Energy’s Lawrence Berkeley National Labs and a winner for the contract to provide email to 15,000 employees at the General Services Administration, Google has been marketing its Google Apps for Government as FISMA certified but it apparently is not.

To put the situation in other words, it does have a FISMA certification for another version of the same service but it hasn’t exactly certified Google Apps for Government. Speaking in defense of the allegations, David Mihalchik, overseer of Google’s government software initiatives, said that the service is the same system with enhanced security controls and that they have not mislead their court and customers.

Microsoft’s take on the issue seems to be negative with Microsoft deputy general counsel David Howard’s blog post suggesting that Google, in fact, has been misleading the court with its Google Apps for Government. But Microsoft is not clean on this cloud front either as it too has been accused of influencing officials to insert their brand name in bid specifications for the Interior Department.

Initially, the US Department of the Interior’s $59 million email service contract had been awarded to Microsoft for its BPOS service but Google and its reseller partner, Onix Networking, stepped in to challenge the award claiming that the bidding was specially designed to exclude non-Microsoft products. The original bid called for Microsoft products to fulfill Interior’s cloud email requirements for compatibility and security reasons. However, we can’t blame the US Interior Department for being too cautious as the American federal courts ordered the entire department disconnected from the Internet owing to the plethora of security problems found in their network.

The courts did rule the case in favour of Google in the beginning but Google’s challenge backfired as the case also brought the FISMA certification issue into light. So, while Google takes its time to come out with a clearer explanation for the issue, solution providers and vendors should keep a watchful eye on the outcome of this case as this is expected to set new cloud competition standards.

Does all this cloud chatter leave you scratching your head?

Not to worry, your team at Sydney Technology Solutions is here to address any cloud questions you may have.  Call us today.