google apps microsoft sharepointNo doubt, Microsoft and Google are waging a software as a service (SaaS) war. But the latest shot fired comes from a surprising source: LTech, an enterprise cloud service provider, is helping customers automate document migrations from Microsoft SharePoint to Google Apps. Here's how.

LTech offers "cloud enablement products" for Google's productivity suites like Google Docs Backup, Power Panel for Google Apps, and Single Sign-On for Google Apps in addition to its cloud consulting services. LTech also resells -- wait for it -- Google Apps.

LTech's latest effort invoves Cloudmove, a product designed to do nothing but automate document migrations from Microsoft's collaboration platform SharePoint to Google Apps. Let loose the hounds of war.

Prime Target

Will any VARs and customers actually use Cloudmove? Too soon to say.

But plenty of software companies are attacking SharePiont these days -- everyone from Alfresco (open source content management) to Box.net (online file sharing). What's motivating the competitive moves? Microsoft now sells about $1 billion worth of SharePoint annually, and SaaS specialists like Intermedia further grow the SharePoint market -- making it a lucrative sector for VARs to either support and/or compete against.

LTech's Cloudmove effort has broader implications for the channel at large. It means VARs now have an easy (and cheap, at $10/user/year) way to cash in on Google's name recognition and get away from Microsoft's "technical and operational morass," as one site described the current version of SharePoint.

LTech, meanwhile, is one of Google's loyal resellers. And Cloudmove is surely a sign of things to come in the Google vs. Microsoft SaaS showdown. Microsoft has a new version of Sharepoint out this year, and Google is constantly tweaking their Apps. The only question remaining: Which side will VARs take?