Walking a Different Path – Redux

Yesterday I wrote briefly about Colgate-Palmolive shifting to Google G-Suite:

Colgate-Palmolive needed to refresh its collaboration tools portfolio, and unlike most of its industry peers, did not embrace Office 365. A year after the migration to Google Cloud, it looks like things are still going well – the core collaboration team is happy, and so are the users.

I’m not happy with the brevity of what I said. I’m not happy with my lack of articulation about the story. So I’m going to try again.

The clients I work with now are all-in on Office 365; I don’t have any clients that have gone Google. And so I’m on the outside of the decision process at Colgate-Palmolive, although I know and know of some of the people in the video above. With the velocity that Microsoft is ramping up on Office 365, Azure, Dynamics 365, Enterprise Mobility + Security, Microsoft 365 and more, it’s very easy for an organisation to look at the general market dynamics and say “let’s flow with everyone else.” It takes a different level of gumption and decision tenacity to stand in the flow of the messaging and collaboration market and decide to step outside of that general flow and do something different.

Especially when you are a well-known global brand that gets put in front of many people first thing in the morning and last thing at night.

Especially when you are a larger organisation who will get video time with any vendor you go with. And conference talk invitations. And conference keynote interview time.

Especially when, as decision makers and decision influencers, the embrace and adoption of something outside the general flow will have career-limiting impacts on you if it all goes wrong. Either immediately or within several years.

Especially when, as a consequence of making the decision to say no to Microsoft and yes to Google, you will be subjected to an ongoing barrage of sales pressure to switch and “do it properly this time.” Imagine the partying that would happen if that was to transpire.

Especially when you put yourself on the outside of the large and dynamic conferences around the world and join a much smaller group of large organisations that have gone Google.

This is the beauty of the decision process at Colgate-Palmolive, and the in-your-faceness of the video above. I applaud the courage to make a counter-flow decision, and wish the team at Colgate-Palmolive all the best. Given the focus of my work, I have nothing that I can offer to help or assist them in their Google journey, but as a fundamental principle, believe that one horse races are boring. Having more players – and strong ones at that, who are well-capitalised and enjoy strong product adoption by major brands – makes the entire segment a much more interesting place to be.

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