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Director, OpenShift Strategy at Red Hat. Founder of Rishidot Research, a research community focused on services world. His focus is on Platform Services, Infrastructure and the role of Open Source in the services era. Krish has been writing @ CloudAve from its inception and had also been part of GigaOm Pro Analyst Group. The opinions expressed here are his own and are neither representative of his employer, Red Hat, nor CloudAve, nor its sponsors.

8 responses to “Google’s Disruption Of Enterprise Email Market And Their “Social Challenges””

  1. Bob Timmins

    I don’t think you know what you’re talking about. (Links at end of this comment)

    You are referring to the “email market” in a single dimension. You are mixing social and business markets, as well as paid vs “free”. There are vast differences in each of those areas.

    Google may have won the “free”, social email market. Yahoo and AOL The race for business is clearly between MS and IBM, whilst Google is still playing catch up. Google’s first attempt at an integrated social collaboration platform (Wave), was over-engineered and counter intuitive, alot like what IBM workplace strategy. Although I am not particularly fond of Microsoft I think they will conquer the business space for social collaboration as IBM have a strong track record for poor deployment and screwing things up, and generally making things more complicated than they need to. Which gives a free pass to MS. But to say Google is currently a distant 3rd in the business space and is unlikely to close the gap any time soon.

    Go check your numbers before making assumptions.

    http://www.networkworld.com/news/2010/092810-google-apps-market.html
    http://www.gartner.com/technology/media-products/reprints/microsoft/vol10/article19b/article19b.html

  2. Nils Bunger

    In the startup community I’ve been surprised at the high rate of google apps adoption. Having touched several dozen startups over the last 6 months, about 75% of them are on google apps. Some of those startups grow up to be enterprises (or bring new ideas into their acquirers). And while google apps isn’t fully mature yet, it’s on a quick trajectory.

    You’re right that the “social” angle is google’s weakness here… maybe 3rd party apps in the google apps mktplace can solve that?

    One question: what’s the data behind the “expected success of Android in the enterprise market” ? I’m a believer personally, but haven’t seen forecasts or datapoints regarding android enterprise.

  3. Nancy Munro

    I would say that one of the reasons Google has done well so far w/ the email is their ability to continually innovate. In a Forbes article posted by Adam Hartung http://bit.ly/hV8ID7 he points out how Google has consistently demonstrated their ability to grow while companies like Microsoft are defending their business model. But is does look like Microsoft is starting to “get it” but I’m not sure it’s too late. And even if Google’s social skills are not as strong, they know how to continuously add new applications to the market so they will not be stuck with just one core product.

  4. Aswath Rao

    I would like to put forward a thought that “social” in work environment is different from “social” in personal life. Relationship is not bidirectional by default and it is also temporal. For example, you may share an information with me because of a common project. I may not be given access to that information if my role in that project has changed. Also I might share information with you because you are my superior; but you may not. Like that there are many other differences. But as far as I know many attempt to replicate personal social network features. My expectation is that as organizations try to roll out such services, they will ask for changes. Google having a clean slate may be in a better position to develop a more appropriate feature set.

  5. David Sanchez

    I would say that my reason for using Google Apps is integration. All their Apps are connected is a simple and smart way. Maybe Google Apps have few options “in the menu” and less functions, for example Google Doc in comparison with Microsoft Office. But ALL the Google Doc’s options and functions are useful everyday, but is not the same with MS Word or Excel (just 20% of their functions are used by standard users on a daily basis).

    We connect Google Apps with Sugarcrm as a whole package for our clients in Spain, that are dynamic NGO’s, private foundations and fresh startup companies with tight budgets, lot of new projects and large teams to collaborate with.