I can see a future without Microsoft. I know that is a shocking statement, but I believe it could be true.

Let me start by saying that I lived through the time when everyone used WordPerfect and Lotus 1-2-3 and Harvard Graphics. These were the 3 software products that the entire business world standardized on.

The sheer volume of users nearly ensured that they would survive forever… and yet I don’t know anyone who uses any of these products today (yes, I know they are out there, but the numbers are infinitesimally small).

Every thing started changing a few years after the introduction of the iPad. I definitely didn’t foresee how fast the proliferation of tablets would take over the business world.

But the lure of “instant on” and wide availability of free or inexpensive software apps is so compelling.

Now with not only free wireless access almost everywhere, but also improved cell phone coverage across the country, tablets and smart phones can easily keep us connected to our business (and personal) lives.

Of course, I want access to all of my files while out of the office. While there are some emulators that help us view the documents, ultimately I want to make changes on the go.

Consequently, last year we almost completely changed our business over to the web. I do all of my work on a $340 HP Chrome book. We switched our CRM to Zoho.

  • no software install headaches or error messages
  • access everywhere, any time and no additional charge for smart phone or tablet access
  • no syncing to stay up to date
  • MAC friendly
  • I’ve been using the online docs, spreadsheets, and show programs and so far have been very pleased with all the capabilities.

There are only a few things we haven’t transferred yet: our tech support software and our QuickBooks. But that is only a matter of time.

Will Microsoft totally fade away? Not likely. There are too many people that are heavily invested in it. But as Microsoft software upgrades and renewals come around and the finance team looks at the cost to renew… Google Apps (and Zoho Apps) will look more and more appealing at way less than half the cost.

I know firsthand that any transition is not completely painless (though our transition from ACT! to Zoho was flawless without loss of any contacts, notes or histories). There are document conversions, testing the conversions of complicated spreadsheets, changing from Outlook to GMail (or Zoho Mail) and then of course training. However, once you’ve switched over, everything is cheaper, faster, and more accessible.

Ask me for a demo. http://susanclark.appointlet.com

What do you think? Could your company make such a move?