Gone Google – Will it Work?

image Today an article on Read Write Web highlights the launch of a new campaign from Google to get companies to consider Google applications for their enterprise. The campaign is called “Gone Google” and it is being launched at the start of the Microsoft SharePoint Conference. It asks, or at least implies, the question --- “Does Google have a play in the enterprise?” and encourages readers to look more closely at the “App at Work” site.

I applaud Google in their efforts to bring competition to the dominant market positions Microsoft Office and Microsoft SharePoint hold. Will it work? I’m not sure.

What are the disruptive factors that will affect Google’s ability to successfully convince and engage enterprise accounts?

  • Google Wave
  • Partner Ecosystem
  • Over $2B served

Google Wave

Have you received your Google Wave invitation yet? I have and I’ve played with it a bit. So far it looks promising. Ironically, it’s got a lot of the same look and feel of what I built on Lotus Notes back in the early 90’s. This is not to denigrate Google Wave at all. It’s just proof that what’s old is new again and that Ray Ozzie (Now Microsoft’s Chief Software Architect) was a visionary.

Google Wave has the hype. Can they capitalize on this effort and build some momentum? We shall see.

Partner Ecosystem

This is Microsoft’s secret sauce. Microsoft has a well established partner ecosystem that generates a lot of revenue. I have written about the power of the Microsoft Partner Ecosystem several times – see Microsoft Partner Ecosystem and the 1:3:5 Ratio

The challenge for Google will be to empower a vibrant group of partners that are willing to adopt, adapt, and accelerate.

Over $2B served

Microsoft has momentum on their side. SharePoint surpassed $2B in sales last year and with the pending release of Office 2010 and SharePoint 2010 this revenue will continue to grow. I predict it will start to accelerate. Especially as the partners at the SharePoint Conference start to take what they are seeing in SharePoint 2010 and create horizontal and vertical solutions.

Google will need to move quickly to let prospective customers know they are committed to the enterprise, that they are committed to partners, and to prove they are in this for the long haul.

What do you think?

  • Can Google change the way enterprise customers think?
  • Are you going to recommend Google for your enterprise?
  • Does Google have partner ecosystem that is “tuned” to serve enterprise customers?

Comments, Critiques, Questions? Please post them in the comment section or contact me via one of the other means below. I do want to hear what you have to say. I’m always up for a healthy debate and/or some collaboration too.

Image Credit: Read Write Web

clip_image002About The Author:
I have spent the better part of the last 16 years working in various aspects of the ECM space. I spent time at
Kofax, Microsoft, FileNet, K2, and most recently Captaris (which was acquired by Open Text in Nov 2008). Prior to that I was a Unix VAR running my own company. Follow me on Twitter, check my blog, send email or find me on Facebook or LinkedIn.

** I am available for speaking engagements and consulting projects. My areas of emphasis are business development and alliance management where Social Media and Enterprise Content Management intersect.

Creative Commons License

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 United States License.


Jim Moffat said…
Can Google change the way enterprise customers think? No - but they can follow how enterprise customers behave. For external collaboration, Google Sites or Google Wave provide happy lowest common denominators, richer than email and IM.
For internal collaboration, for some diverse enterprises with disjointed infrastructures, the same holds true for Google Apps.

Would I recommend a wholesale shift to an enterprise? Not yet.
And clearly Google's enterprise serving partner ecosystem is still nascent, but for what they are trying to achieve, it doesn't need an ecosystem anywhere near as broad and deep as Microsoft's.
hanum said…
I've got the invitation of Google Wave on November 25. Yay.. finally :D