Depending on how you voted, the EU Referendum has caused jubilation and anguish. Few expect the process of leaving the EU to be completely painless, but some businesses appear determined to use the confusion to shore up their profits – at the cost of their customers.
There was universal outrage after Unilever tried to force a 10% price increase on Tesco for favourite products including Marmite. The food giant sought to blame weak sterling prices adding to manufacturing costs. Despite the fact that Marmite is made right here in the UK from ingredients also grown in the UK.
But it’s not just food manufacturers who have been using currency exchange rates as an excuse to raise prices. Microsoft has also taken the opportunity to announce a significant price increase on their Office productivity suite.
New year, new prices for Office 365
From January 1st, 2017 “boxed” copies of Office to be installed on PCs will increase by 13%. Office 365, the Cloud version, increases by an eye-watering 22%.
Although Microsoft operates many of their services from within the UK, they are blaming the price rise on fluctuations in the foreign currency exchange rate – particularly against the US dollar.
Microsoft promises that the price increases will only get applied to new contracts, but this means that every new account created in Office 365 will get billed at the higher rate. Cloud services have always promised significant savings over traditional boxed software purchases, but by increasing prices by almost a quarter, Microsoft is gouging their customers – and killing one of their strongest selling points.
It is worth noting that these price increases are being levied against clients who purchase their Office 365 subscriptions direct from Microsoft. Resellers have the option to absorb the increase themselves, but with margins already small, most will be forced to pass the cost onto their customers.
Google keeps prices the same for G Suite.
Google (unsurprisingly) has taken a completely different approach. They have promised no price rises for G Suite subscribers for instance.
To encourage more businesses to transfer away from Microsoft, Google is offering G Suite completely free to all Office 365 customers – until their current contract expire. This free transition period also provides organisations with the breathing space required to migrate data and train employees on the new platform (in the unlikely event additional training is needed). By partnering with a Google Cloud partner like Kimbley IT, your business can rely on our expertise and experience to avoid potential pitfalls during the transition.
But it doesn’t stop there. G Suite is undergoing constant development, giving subscribers access to new features – like machine intelligence – all the time. Instead of providing new “big bang” upgrades every few years, Google is continually delivering new features to help you be more productive. The value of your subscription continues to grow – without paying extra.
For businesses looking to cut costs through Cloud services in 2017, Google is the only sensible option left. Especially if you are an existing Microsoft 365 user - how can you say no to a free service?