Google about to drop the other Enterprise shoe on Microsoft?

I’m hearing about a few things that Google is planning to do to newly compete with Microsoft’s enterprise offerings.

Several people have told me about an offline version of Gmail, coming soon.
Other people say that Google, or a company working with Google, is going to come out with a new server that will let corporations replace their Exchange servers with ones made by Google. Both groups told me under condition that I not reveal who they are.

Now, it might be that my sources are pulling my legs, but I don’t think so. The news is coming from too many different places. I’m reporting this to explain that Google seems like it’s about to apply more pressure in the enterprise space and see if anything else is happening that I don’t know about. The audience here is far smarter and far more connected than I am.

From what I hear we won’t have to wait for Google’s next developer conference to see some of these things come out, although that’s not too far off either.

But what are you hearing?

Comments

  1. That’s fantastic news, competition is good for everybody, the more pressure that Microsoft comes under the more creative they become.

    I’m looking forward to what Google has up it’s sleeve, I don’t think this will turn the world on it’s ear, but its fun to watch.

  2. That’s fantastic news, competition is good for everybody, the more pressure that Microsoft comes under the more creative they become.

    I’m looking forward to what Google has up it’s sleeve, I don’t think this will turn the world on it’s ear, but its fun to watch.

  3. Hi Robert, this exchange idea would make a good bit of sense. Your post is related to something that Garett Rogers did on March 9. I wonder if there’s a hardware/meets Apps/Gmail thing in the works. Think search appliance for Apps.

    http://blogs.zdnet.com/Google/?p=957

    It almost makes too much sense NOT to do. And if you want to hit Microsoft hit em at Exchange.

  4. Hi Robert, this exchange idea would make a good bit of sense. Your post is related to something that Garett Rogers did on March 9. I wonder if there’s a hardware/meets Apps/Gmail thing in the works. Think search appliance for Apps.

    http://blogs.zdnet.com/Google/?p=957

    It almost makes too much sense NOT to do. And if you want to hit Microsoft hit em at Exchange.

  5. This is a most welcome development. I use Google Docs more than most any work app. I just joined a company that is concerned about the security risks with Google Docs. It just does not meet enterprise standards.

    I don’t think this is a question of if Google is doing this but when. The enterprise market is opening again. Smart move by Google. Microsoft can not forever dominate the enterprise market as Google will not forever dominate search. To diversify at this point makes a lot of sense.

  6. This is a most welcome development. I use Google Docs more than most any work app. I just joined a company that is concerned about the security risks with Google Docs. It just does not meet enterprise standards.

    I don’t think this is a question of if Google is doing this but when. The enterprise market is opening again. Smart move by Google. Microsoft can not forever dominate the enterprise market as Google will not forever dominate search. To diversify at this point makes a lot of sense.

  7. @mike jones – YES! Without seeing the actual implementation I’m not sure if I’d choose a gmail server over an Exchange server. In the end they both do essentially the same thing so there isn’t much Google can offer.

    But I have dozens of employees who don’t need a whole office suite just so they can write simple Word files. I don’t think Google realizes how much they are asking of people to put corporate data “in the cloud” without an iron clad user agreement protecting that data.

    If I could have Google Docs on my network locally I’d jump in a second. Gmail on the other hand doesn’t excite me all that much.

    btw – Yes I’ve considered Zoho but I’m sorry to say I don’t have enough faith in the company’s survival (and yes, I know that is a prophecy I’m helping to bring about by feeling that way but I’m not going to put my companies future on the line so I can do the right thing for Zoho)

  8. @mike jones – YES! Without seeing the actual implementation I’m not sure if I’d choose a gmail server over an Exchange server. In the end they both do essentially the same thing so there isn’t much Google can offer.

    But I have dozens of employees who don’t need a whole office suite just so they can write simple Word files. I don’t think Google realizes how much they are asking of people to put corporate data “in the cloud” without an iron clad user agreement protecting that data.

    If I could have Google Docs on my network locally I’d jump in a second. Gmail on the other hand doesn’t excite me all that much.

    btw – Yes I’ve considered Zoho but I’m sorry to say I don’t have enough faith in the company’s survival (and yes, I know that is a prophecy I’m helping to bring about by feeling that way but I’m not going to put my companies future on the line so I can do the right thing for Zoho)

  9. No “Web 2.0″ company is going to get real traction with the Enterprise customer until they prove their staying power and until they provide a means by which the application can be installed within the confines Enterprise IT infrastructure.

    Google can get away with a Search Appliance because Enterprise IT can place the appliance within the corporate network and it spiders and provides search results.

    The same can not be same for applications.

    Most large organizations have strict corporate policies about the location and management of corporate data. And most Web 2.0 applications are missing a large market by not providing their software as an installable product for Enterprise IT to purchase and manage internally.

  10. No “Web 2.0″ company is going to get real traction with the Enterprise customer until they prove their staying power and until they provide a means by which the application can be installed within the confines Enterprise IT infrastructure.

    Google can get away with a Search Appliance because Enterprise IT can place the appliance within the corporate network and it spiders and provides search results.

    The same can not be same for applications.

    Most large organizations have strict corporate policies about the location and management of corporate data. And most Web 2.0 applications are missing a large market by not providing their software as an installable product for Enterprise IT to purchase and manage internally.

  11. Putting out an open source copy of Exchange is a total no-brainer. Zimbra was far too focused on the front-end. Scalix is interesting but on a weird platform. Open Xchange could be the answer although it clouds it’s story with all sorts of “collaboration” mumbo jumbo.

  12. Putting out an open source copy of Exchange is a total no-brainer. Zimbra was far too focused on the front-end. Scalix is interesting but on a weird platform. Open Xchange could be the answer although it clouds it’s story with all sorts of “collaboration” mumbo jumbo.

  13. Folks,

    Nobody’s beaten Microsoft by trying to be Microsoft. Here’s a little history lesson: http://www.wired.com/techbiz/media/news/1997/03/2634.Eric Schmidt didn’t exactly execute on that Novell turnaround, I don’t think he’ll be able to pull much more off at Google.

    If Novell spent as much effort on enhancing their core product as they did on redeveloping to incorporate Java or trying to be Microsoft, then they’d probably still enjoy the dominant position they held in the NOS space when Schmidt joined.

    What’s wrong with Google acknowledging their core competency and enhancing their search offering? Breaking into the enterprise application space to compete with Microsoft may be interesting from a competitive standpoint, to do it in a serious way, they run the risk of winding up like Novell.

  14. Folks,

    Nobody’s beaten Microsoft by trying to be Microsoft. Here’s a little history lesson: http://www.wired.com/techbiz/media/news/1997/03/2634.Eric Schmidt didn’t exactly execute on that Novell turnaround, I don’t think he’ll be able to pull much more off at Google.

    If Novell spent as much effort on enhancing their core product as they did on redeveloping to incorporate Java or trying to be Microsoft, then they’d probably still enjoy the dominant position they held in the NOS space when Schmidt joined.

    What’s wrong with Google acknowledging their core competency and enhancing their search offering? Breaking into the enterprise application space to compete with Microsoft may be interesting from a competitive standpoint, to do it in a serious way, they run the risk of winding up like Novell.

  15. But Google can’t do Enterprise software, not that Dynamics has shown that Microsoft can either.

    Google snots went arrogant on iPhone too, lots of talk, before much action, seems half of Mountain-Dew View, better stop floating around in their Howard Rheingoldish lucid Mondo space-dreams, and plant feet on actual real terra firma.

  16. But Google can’t do Enterprise software, not that Dynamics has shown that Microsoft can either.

    Google snots went arrogant on iPhone too, lots of talk, before much action, seems half of Mountain-Dew View, better stop floating around in their Howard Rheingoldish lucid Mondo space-dreams, and plant feet on actual real terra firma.

  17. My suspicion all along has been that the whole Google Apps was poised to take a much bigger role in the announcement by Palm of their Foleo.

    Just think if all of Google Apps were available to run on the Foleo and could effortlessly sync up to their online counterpart.

    My hunch is that the Foleo was ready about a year before Google was.

    Could there have been any other explanation for Palm to have tried to bluff that their Foleo was the greatest gadget idea that Jeff had ever? Please! These guys aren’t that dumb. They simply had to coverup a product that mis-launched. Wong timing doomed it.

    That’s my theory and I’m sticking too it!

  18. My suspicion all along has been that the whole Google Apps was poised to take a much bigger role in the announcement by Palm of their Foleo.

    Just think if all of Google Apps were available to run on the Foleo and could effortlessly sync up to their online counterpart.

    My hunch is that the Foleo was ready about a year before Google was.

    Could there have been any other explanation for Palm to have tried to bluff that their Foleo was the greatest gadget idea that Jeff had ever? Please! These guys aren’t that dumb. They simply had to coverup a product that mis-launched. Wong timing doomed it.

    That’s my theory and I’m sticking too it!

  19. Offline Gmail makes sense, should have been implemented already. Who wants to wait until they back to a WiFi hotspot just to begin drafting a reply?

    As for the other, there’s already hosted Exchange from a bunch of places at reasonable prices. There’s even free hosted Exchange, though I think it’s ad-supported.

    What value would Google bring to the party? Free & ad supported? It’s there already. Reasonably priced? Already exists too. All other things being equal, wouldn’t your tendency be to go with “real” Exchange rather than a knock-off that will probably be in beta for the next few years?

    An “Exchange Server appliance” doesn’t seem to add up, either. Anyone who doesn’t want to mess with administering an Exchange server, or fork over money for a server, will probably just buy a hosted service.

    Now a Gmail hardware appliance, I guess I could see them coming out with that, but that’s not the same thing as an Exchange server. You’d need calendaring, an address book, a directory service, free-busy, web access, an automatic update service for the inevitable vulnerabilities, etc. and even then it would be sort of a lame copy of Exchange…

    It sort of makes sense if they partner with other companies to do that, that way, if it fails in the marketplace, they can always claim it wasn’t really a Google product. (see Android, gOS)

    But the fact that Apple is about to implement Exchange push email, contacts and calendaring for the iPhone? Yikes, I think Apple did a pretty good job at securing Exchange’s position for years… not to mention driving a stake through the heart of RIM.

    Meanwhile Google just finally got around to implementing IMAP…

  20. Offline Gmail makes sense, should have been implemented already. Who wants to wait until they back to a WiFi hotspot just to begin drafting a reply?

    As for the other, there’s already hosted Exchange from a bunch of places at reasonable prices. There’s even free hosted Exchange, though I think it’s ad-supported.

    What value would Google bring to the party? Free & ad supported? It’s there already. Reasonably priced? Already exists too. All other things being equal, wouldn’t your tendency be to go with “real” Exchange rather than a knock-off that will probably be in beta for the next few years?

    An “Exchange Server appliance” doesn’t seem to add up, either. Anyone who doesn’t want to mess with administering an Exchange server, or fork over money for a server, will probably just buy a hosted service.

    Now a Gmail hardware appliance, I guess I could see them coming out with that, but that’s not the same thing as an Exchange server. You’d need calendaring, an address book, a directory service, free-busy, web access, an automatic update service for the inevitable vulnerabilities, etc. and even then it would be sort of a lame copy of Exchange…

    It sort of makes sense if they partner with other companies to do that, that way, if it fails in the marketplace, they can always claim it wasn’t really a Google product. (see Android, gOS)

    But the fact that Apple is about to implement Exchange push email, contacts and calendaring for the iPhone? Yikes, I think Apple did a pretty good job at securing Exchange’s position for years… not to mention driving a stake through the heart of RIM.

    Meanwhile Google just finally got around to implementing IMAP…

  21. #8 Tom, I understand how you feel about Zoho. Let me explain: Zoho is part of a company called AdventNet, which has been in business 11+ years now. We never raised any outside capital, have been profitable, and Zoho has been funded entirely from internal operations.

    Please keep in mind that only about half of Zoho actually even faces Google. Zoho has a very thriving offerings in CRM, Project Management & most recently Human Resource Management. We also provide a compelling web meeting solution, and an online application creator that is the most popular in its market.

    While we face giants, we believe if we execute really well and keep customers happy, there is a market space for us. After all companies like Intuit have done well while facing Microsoft all their existence, because they serve their customer well. Even in markets where Microsoft has been absolutely dominant for a while, you look closer(OS – Apple is thriving, Linux taking off in a big way, Browsers – Firefox exploding in popularity …) you find thriving vendors who execute well.

    Thanks,
    Sridhar

  22. #8 Tom, I understand how you feel about Zoho. Let me explain: Zoho is part of a company called AdventNet, which has been in business 11+ years now. We never raised any outside capital, have been profitable, and Zoho has been funded entirely from internal operations.

    Please keep in mind that only about half of Zoho actually even faces Google. Zoho has a very thriving offerings in CRM, Project Management & most recently Human Resource Management. We also provide a compelling web meeting solution, and an online application creator that is the most popular in its market.

    While we face giants, we believe if we execute really well and keep customers happy, there is a market space for us. After all companies like Intuit have done well while facing Microsoft all their existence, because they serve their customer well. Even in markets where Microsoft has been absolutely dominant for a while, you look closer(OS – Apple is thriving, Linux taking off in a big way, Browsers – Firefox exploding in popularity …) you find thriving vendors who execute well.

    Thanks,
    Sridhar

  23. I’m totally hooked on Google products now. After changing my computer 3 times in as many months it became a real hassle moving everything over to the new machines.

    So now I use Gmail for email and G Calendar for appointments. Works great on the iPhone too. Recently started using Google Docs and Spreadsheets to replace Office.

    I do worry a little about losing my Email, Docs and Spreadsheets if Google goes down but that seems fairly unlikely. I can also save whatever I want to my computer pretty easily.

    Google Docs are fantastic for collaborating, far better than emailing Word docs with track-changes backwards and forwards.

    And it’s all free…

  24. I’m totally hooked on Google products now. After changing my computer 3 times in as many months it became a real hassle moving everything over to the new machines.

    So now I use Gmail for email and G Calendar for appointments. Works great on the iPhone too. Recently started using Google Docs and Spreadsheets to replace Office.

    I do worry a little about losing my Email, Docs and Spreadsheets if Google goes down but that seems fairly unlikely. I can also save whatever I want to my computer pretty easily.

    Google Docs are fantastic for collaborating, far better than emailing Word docs with track-changes backwards and forwards.

    And it’s all free…

  25. surely this can’t be coming from google directly? I mean, they’re still iterating that they’re a Search company, and nothing more. :>

    still, i’m all up for competition, maybe this time round they’ll compete more equally with microsoft, instead of the google docs way of competing; you know, bad featureset, and an unhealthy tie-in when using gmail to send attachments.

  26. surely this can’t be coming from google directly? I mean, they’re still iterating that they’re a Search company, and nothing more. :>

    still, i’m all up for competition, maybe this time round they’ll compete more equally with microsoft, instead of the google docs way of competing; you know, bad featureset, and an unhealthy tie-in when using gmail to send attachments.

  27. Wow… isn’t this ironic?
    Microsoft is trying to move more things online to compete with Google.
    Google is trying to move more things to the desktop to compete with Microsoft.

  28. Wow… isn’t this ironic?
    Microsoft is trying to move more things online to compete with Google.
    Google is trying to move more things to the desktop to compete with Microsoft.

  29. Why is Google scared to come out of GMail beta? It has been years that GMail is Beta? Or are they worried about something else? Or just taking undue advantage of calling it as Beta service?

  30. Why is Google scared to come out of GMail beta? It has been years that GMail is Beta? Or are they worried about something else? Or just taking undue advantage of calling it as Beta service?

  31. The more things change the more they stay the same. Why would a desktop version of google apps be any better than having Microsoft Office on the desktop? The obvious answer to that is the portability to web-based google apps. OK, but now how many of my clients would buy off on me keeping their data on Google’s servers? Not many.

    What I really want is the most developed office suite, Microsoft Office, and an internal version of Live Office that I can run from within my network to service my mobile users. That’s the killer set of apps.

  32. The more things change the more they stay the same. Why would a desktop version of google apps be any better than having Microsoft Office on the desktop? The obvious answer to that is the portability to web-based google apps. OK, but now how many of my clients would buy off on me keeping their data on Google’s servers? Not many.

    What I really want is the most developed office suite, Microsoft Office, and an internal version of Live Office that I can run from within my network to service my mobile users. That’s the killer set of apps.