Thursday, 26 August 2010

Goodbye Goole Wave, Hello Voice, whither the Enterprise ?

Once again apologies for the absence of posts, well I am settling into a new job and had a weeks vacation too......

So its "Google Wave is dead, long live Google Wave (technologies)" ?

Yes Google killed off Wave as a consumer product, but really did anyone ever think it was going anywhere as a tool for general purpose use by Joe public ? As Google note, they have foldded elements of the Wave technologies into other products, other elements have been open sourced and thus the protocols and other underlying elements of Wave continue to live on. In fact here is an interesting statement from Novell who built their Pulse collaboration product ontop of Wave: Novell perspective on Google Wave announcement and what it means for Novell Pulse.

Most of the articles I have read since Wave's demise was announced seem fall into 3 major groups:
  • It was too complicated for Joe Public / it was ahead of its time
  • It was a really good enterprise collaborative project management tool
  • "I never understood it anyway"
I guess I might be in the second camp, although I never got to thoroughly test in an 'internal' context. Interesting though Novell do seem to agree with my point of view,  that it was never going anywhere as publicly available 'consumer' tool. Generally consumers don't need so much in the way of collaboration power or flexibility. They also stress that they have a lot more enterprise knowledge and know how than Google do. I  agree with Novell on that point.

All hail Google (free) Voice !

As soon as we digest Wave's demise we are offered Google's Voice VOIP capabilities newly integrated into Gmail. Cool, but as someone who lives outside of U.S. borders, when can I get 'standard' Google Voice...... ? (yes I know there are ways to get it in Canada, or anywhere else for that matter, but I want the official tool). Apparently millions of free or very cheap VOIP calls have been made already within days of its release. I am never sure whether Google is trying to shake up the telephony market, or if it really wants to be as evil (and wealthy) as the other Telco's - Android, Nexus and then a straw man on net neutrality co-authored with Verizon - uh ? Well lets stay clear of that for now.

Google Enterprise Tools and Private Clouds
In non Google but related news, RedHat is pushing its cloud offering, as is Cannoncial (Ubuntu), Microsoft continues to wander somewhat blithley towards the clouds, and is EMC going to compete against HP to bid for 3PAR ??? What does any of that have to do with Google - well its a circuitous route, but stay with me dear readers........

As I have written before I would like to see Google make a concerted effort to get its technologies into the Enterprise market. I am not talking about Universities using Gmail and Apps accounts, or even the SMB market. I want them to package thier often innovative offerings in a mannger that would truly make them an enterprise IT player, because some of their stuff is really quite good.

Of course they do have agreements in place with consulting companies such as CA to offer Google Apps, but come on why not just buy a CA, or a Novell, or both !

Seriously though, as I have said before, while they can offer Gmail (and Buzz) and Google Voice for private use as 'cloud' computing, not all enterprises like the privacy or security implications of that. Google have experience of bundling their search engine into an Appliance, so why not bundle up a serious enterprise offering as a number of physical appliances or virtual appliances which large enterprises could run on their "private clouds" with storage from the likes of EMC and 3PAR behind it ?

Google Sites has had a recent upgrade, not enough to make it even a simple corporate intranet in my opinion, but the product is there to be developed, but what other products could be "applianced" - well probably all of them......

  • Messaging / communications - Gmail, Chat (with voice and video) Google Voice (your PABX), YouTube (internal communications like using video as much as anyone!) etc
  • Collaboration - Wave, Google Docs
  • Social collaboration / E2.0 - Buzz, Google Profiles, the mythical GoogleMe (think SharePoint MySites ?)
  • Intranet - iGoogle and Sites
  • Document management - Google Docs, but preferrably with a CMIS plug in
  • Search - erm' that big Yellow GSA........

I am sure your starting to get my drift, and I am sure you can come up with additional examples of your own. With Googles experience in scaling their services for public consumer use, scaling for a global enterprise should not be too difficult.


 So what's missing - well support and consulting, and the razor sharp customer focus. That's why I think they need to buy an existing organization to provide the basis of an "enterprise division", an organisation with the experience and right ethos.

There you go then, the Google-verse for Enterprise Information Management - what do you think ?

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