Google Pushes into Enterprise Market

January 9, 2013

Google is about to tackle the enterprise market head on, particularly targeting the areas of the cloud, social media, and mobile software. Could this have anything to do with softening ad revenues? Not sure; that is one topic not mentioned in the informative interview from Computer Business Review, “Q&A with Thomas Davies, Head of Google Enterprise UK and Ireland.”

Journalist Steve Evans spoke to Davies about Google’s enterprise push. Davies names three trends, cloud, social, and mobile, that his division focuses on, and specifies mobile as the most influential. Because smartphones and tablets are becoming important tools to many businesses, Google plans to seize the day with Android for the enterprise.

There are those who question whether the security and management capabilities of Android are up to the task. Davies assures us, though, that his team has been communicating with business leaders and is tailoring the OS to meet their specifications. Furthermore, he says, Android is now pushing out updates the way Chrome does, so companies won’t have to contend with different stages. The chaotic way Android versions have historically been distributed, though, suggests that every worker would have to have the same iteration of the same device for that to work; not ideal.

As for social media, Google anticipates that it will soon melt into collaboration tools, rather than remain a standalone destination application. Oh, but make no mistake– Google+ will remain a destination app. They have a lot invested in that project, Davies says. Evans presses that point, asking why Google + is different from failed attempts like Wave and Buzz. Because Google learns from mistakes, of course. Well, that’s good.

Regarding the cloud, Evans notes that it’s a big step for companies. Davies replies that it’s all about the money. Businesses have now been hard pressed for years- years!- to reduce costs, and there’s only so much you can cut. According to him, porting to the cloud can save on operational costs by 30 to 50 percent—a reduction many companies find well worth the bother.

So, it seems that now is the time for Google to aggressively push into the enterprise market. Financial pressure and technical advancement have come together to create the perfect opportunity, and they are not about to let the moment escape them. Davies concludes:

“People want to change. I think the time for personal productivity – going to the office, filling in your spreadsheets and sending them to someone else – is going. There was a standard, monolithic build; SAP in the background, Office and IE on the desktop and BlackBerry. That’s changing and I think the speed of that change has caught IT departments by surprise.

“That plays nicely into our hands. I think where we will win, and where we are winning, is when it comes to the three main benefits: business benefits, technical benefits and cultural transformation. That’s how you change an entire company.”

Cocky, isn’t he? But the man has a point. I predict the company will succeed spectacularly in this venture.

Cynthia Murrell, January 09, 2013

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