Image via CrunchBase
Google is far away from being a success in the Enterprise 2.0
segment. In fact, if you ask many pundits in the field about Google’s
enterprise offerings, they may even laugh at it.
However, Google is slowly, but steadily, moving towards developing
Gmail, its browser based email application, as the dashboard for
Pundits may argue that the product looks amateurish. They may claim
that enterprises are not comfortable with mashups unlike how the
consumers are embracing them right now. They may even say that
enterprises may not want a purely browser based environment. All these
arguments may be completely valid at this point in time. But, as I
argued before, we cannot underestimate Google.
As it is the case with many SaaS vendors, they release early and keep on
iterating for a long time before a product matures into a truly enterprise
ready product. Google may not be able to convince enterprise community
right now to use their SaaS offerings but it could eventually get
there. It may not happen overnight as it is the case with any new
trend in the enterprise segment. But they are positioning themselves to
be ready once the enterprises loosen themselves up and become SaaS
ready, either with further maturation of SaaS products or due to a much
deeper economic recession.
Recently, Google announced the availability of Google Calendar and Google Docs integration into Gmail through their Gmail Labs gadget. They also announced the availability (pretty soon) of SMS text messaging through Google Talk gadget inside Gmail. Last week, they announced a new browser plugin that will allow users to do video and voice chat
through the Google Talk Gadget in the newer version of Gmail. These
gadgets make Gmail a powerful dashboard and the web browser a powerful
platform for the enterprise users. I expect them to be integrating Google Sites into Gmail in the future. I also want to
point out that it is now possible to add any Google gadgets,
including those developed by third party vendors, to Gmail. Who needs expensive
Exchange Server and Sharepoint Server
when you can have similar capabilities within a browser for a fraction
of its cost? Before people jump on me for this assertion, I want to
highlight the fact that I am talking about what could happen in the
future than the current state of Google SaaS products.
Google’s voice and video chat integration is right now available for
Windows and Mac and I hope that it is available for Linux pretty soon.
It should be noted that this video and voice integration is done using
open standards for communications like XMPP, RTP and H.264. This implies
that anyone can build an application that could interoperate with
Google voice and video chat. Technically, it means that we can do voice
and video chat from almost any of the SaaS applications in the market.
This is a powerful feature that could change the enterprise
collaboration upside down, leading to browser being the only major
"infrastructure" enterprises need to implement on their side. The way
enterprises do IT is definitely going to change and Google is
positioning itself to be a major player in the Enterprise 2.0 segment.