As an IT professional who works for a medium size Accounting firm, I get phone calls and emails from numerous vendors. Sometimes I get a few too many calls that I would want to, but this is just the nature of the business. The majority of the calls I get are from document imaging, printing solution, document retention, system management, and virtualization companies or vendors.

As recently as a month ago, I started getting phone calls and voice mails from a company that had never contacted me or our company – Google!

I found this pretty strange, but disregarded the voicemail (Yes shame on me, right). A week or so after the first voice mail from Google I received another call, this time I listened to the whole message and actually paid attention of the content.

Want to guess what Google was trying to push? Guess no more – the sales representative was advertising Google Apps and Google Docs. Hmmm…Strange – I thought and moved on with my day. A week later I got another phone call from different sales representative from Google, and he was pushing Google Apps as well.

Being a few weeks prior Google’s current announcement of the upgraded version of Google Docs, I had no clue what was going on, but something in me knew that the search giant is up to something.

On April 12th 2010, Google announced the Face-Lift of Google Docs and everything started to make sense. Google wants you, and wants to take what has been Microsoft’s for many years! They want to get a share of the huge business market and millions of people that use word processing and excel spreadsheets on daily bases. The battle for Cloud dominance in the “Office Suite” niche is not going to be neither an easy one nor a quick one. Microsoft on one side will not easily give up that lucrative market and Google on the other side will put up a good fight by offering anytime/anywhere access and improved collaboration for employees.

You can read more details about the new version of Google Docs in my recent article – “Google Docs Gets a Face-Lift and Prepares to Battle MS Office”

For now, nearly every big company that implements Google Apps also keeps MS Office. The transition is not going to be an easy one. Changing the way people think and use applications is not an easy task. Intercompany linking between legacy applications and applications that reside in the cloud is not going to be an easy task.

Here are 10 reasons why you should at least consider switching to SaaS or Cloud based productivity tools:

–          Anytime, anywhere access

–          Lower total cost of ownership

–          Universal access for employees

–          Improved collaboration capabilities

–          Lower cost of acquisition for basic and collaborative functionality

–          Lower cost of acquisition for basic functionality, compared to MS Office

–          No Upgrade cycle

–          Better security

–          Ease of use

–          No maintenance or local technical support required

If Microsoft is able to match the online collaboration functionality of Google Docs, then maybe Google won’t be able to take the lead in this battle for Cloud dominance. Microsoft is very serious about the Cloud and they certainly do have the resources to stay ahead of the competition. Will that happen? Only time will tell. Microsoft’s pricing module is still very complex and cannot match the simplicity and the low cost of $50 per user-per year that Google offers.

Busy and overworked IT professionals are in a constant fight with time, rushing from one project to another and working with reduced budgets. They will be the first to weigh-in the advantages, disadvantages, cost and be the main “engine” for a product like Google Docs.