Competing against gmail

The other day at the TS2 someone was asking about how to compare and compete Microsoft online services with gmail.  And it got me to thinking, how do you compete against free?  How do you bring a solution to a small business looking at this crazy economy of ours, and urge them to take a service that is for pay and compare it to something that, maybe doesn’t work perfectly, but is free?


(Mind you I’d argue that the WAMU muckety muck who gets to keep a 3 million signing bonus and a ten million severance package after he’s only been in the job three weeks a bit unreal… but that’s another blog venue)


One of the issues that I see over and over again is that when I deal with small businesses (usually Attorneys) that they don’t pay any attention to centralized email, and instead use any means of email including but not limited to AOL.com addresses, cable company addresses and any number of other email means that bypass a centralized repository. 


While some would argue that these small businesses are cheap and would never pay for such service, there’s sometimes the issue of not being able to see why what they are doing is hazardous to their business. 


Using a home email account to conduct business is a risk to that business.  It opens up issues of evidence discovery.  Of comingingly of business and personal emails (look at the Sarah Palin concerns of her using personal email to bypass government oversight). 


 

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