Google resellers to attack Office licence 'overkill'

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Google resellers to attack Office licence 'overkill'

Google is arming its resellers with a tool that can expose overspending on Microsoft Office licences.

SoftWatch, an Israeli software company that specialises in application usage analytics, has struck a new deal that will see Google encourage its salesforce and resellers "to work with SoftWatch and offer the service to customers across the globe".

Uri Arad, co-chief executive of SoftWatch, told CRN that the agreement was signed a month ago, bolstering the company's existing relationships with "many of the main Google resellers", who are already selling SoftWatch licences and claiming commissions.

"We engage with Google partners through several channels: of course, the most important one now is Google who introduces us to their partners; through active research and email campaigns about SoftWatch; and through our website where partners can engage with us directly and become partners of SoftWatch."

Arad said the "intriguing service" helped open doors because prospective customers are keen to know "how and to what extent users are using MS office and other applications and clouds services".

Microsoft Office users have long been the target for SoftWatch, which last year told CRN that companies could save up to 90 percent on Microsoft licensing fees by switching to Google Apps.

Sebastien Marotte, vice president, Google Apps for Work, said: "SoftWatch analyses clearly show that for the vast majority of employees in businesses today, an Office licence is overkill.

"SoftWatch can bring substantial value to our customers by providing insight into their workers’ real versus perceived needs, empowering them to embrace Google Apps for Work, save money and work the way they choose."

One local reseller that has investigated the SoftWatch platform is Brisbane-headquartered Dialog IT. Glenn Irvine, head of the company's Google practice, told CRN that SoftWatch was "just another weapon in Google's recent major push".

"Providing end customers some real analytics on the collaboration products they are – and aren't – using. This enables them to really right-size their software fleet and assess the return on making the shift to Google."

According to SoftWatch data, most users fail to get value from Microsoft Office. Its survey of 146 companies, covering 400,000 employees, found that:

  • The average employee used MS Office applications (excluding Outlook) for only 15 minutes a day for editing activities.

  • The percentage of heavy users in PowerPoint, Word and Excel was 2 percent, 9 percent, and 23 percent, respectively.  

  • 65 percent of the employees were segmented as 'light users' on all three applications, representing a rather low dependency on Microsoft Office.

  • The number of employees who heavily used two Microsoft Office applications was less than 2 percent and the number of employees who were using all three applications heavily was virtually zero.
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