Google made a good pitch for their Google apps product today - email, calendar, talk (IM and videochat), docs and sites (wikis). Free use for 4 years, leveraging their technology infrastructure, integration with existing portals, 7GB filestore. Their presentation was tailored to the theme of the conference, to the point, and appealed to everyone in the room. That's more than can be said for the next presentation given by a supplier. Better not say which one, but you might guess.
It started well, with a great video looking at how the future might be:
Really enjoyed that - lots of exciting things in it and some great glimpses of how we might change our services. But, I'm afraid things went downhill from there. I have to be very careful as a presenter myself because I'm setting myself up to be criticised, but I just felt they missed a great opportunity. Began by demonstrating server virtualisation and clustering - far too technical for the audience, then progressed to demonstrating the new features of Windows 7 which has a dock, I mean a task bar at the bottom of the screen. Outlook 14 took the ribbon concept to its limit - how cluttered can a screen look? And once a command line came on I'm afraid I turned off completely. There was some nice features - IM which translated text instantaneously into different languages - but these were lost in a very technical demonstration which failed to address the theme of the conference at all.