Google’s “five year plan” to get into Enterprise continues

Yet another example of Google’s five-year-plan for sticking its foot inside the Enterprise door. What Google is doing here is brilliant.

Google knows that Ray Ozzie is coming later this year with a string of initiatives to keep Microsoft relevant to the new enterprise. They also know that once Microsoft does buy Yahoo Microsoft will use the cuddly Yahoo brand to keep people on its services, too.

So, what is Google doing? Is it trying to build its enterprise strategy itself? No. Look at what it did over the last few weeks: it partnered with Cemaphore to get a Gmail/Outlook connector. It shipped App Engine, which doesn’t seem like it’s aimed at the Enterprise, but watch what developers do with that and you’ll see that’s an important part of the five-year-strategy, and tomorrow it’ll announce a deal with Salesforce (TechCrunch has the details).

Brilliant. They, like the open source movement, are leveraging partnerships to pry open the Enterprise door.

Now we will watch to see how Ray Ozzie defends the door to keep the competition away from its cash cows. I’m visiting Microsoft on June 10-12 to study just that. Oh, and keep June 11th open. Jeff Pulver and I are throwing a breakfast there (Jeff’s breakfasts have become famous around the world — yesterday he had 200 geeks in Tel Aviv — he’s developed a unique way to get people to talk with each other, which is ingenious, more on that later).

Anyway, the Google Five Year Plan is starting to take shape in public. What do you think about its moves?

97 thoughts on “Google’s “five year plan” to get into Enterprise continues

  1. 5-year plan?? This sounds socialistic. The erstwhile Soviet Union and India before the 90′s used to have 5-year plans. Look where that took these countires ….No where.

    Learn from History. 5-year plans are useless. It shows that Google has become large enough. So large that it cannot remain nimble and agile and execute fast enough.

  2. 5-year plan?? This sounds socialistic. The erstwhile Soviet Union and India before the 90′s used to have 5-year plans. Look where that took these countires ….No where.

    Learn from History. 5-year plans are useless. It shows that Google has become large enough. So large that it cannot remain nimble and agile and execute fast enough.

  3. 5-year plan?? This sounds socialistic. The erstwhile Soviet Union and India before the 90′s used to have 5-year plans. Look where that took these countires ….No where.

    Learn from History. 5-year plans are useless. It shows that Google has become large enough. So large that it cannot remain nimble and agile and execute fast enough.

  4. IBM is in the business to sell hardware. Their software is an adjunct to their core hardware business. Is there a real solution out there there that lets .NET connect to a CICS application? Java to CICS? The AppEngine is worthless for this.

  5. IBM is in the business to sell hardware. Their software is an adjunct to their core hardware business. Is there a real solution out there there that lets .NET connect to a CICS application? Java to CICS? The AppEngine is worthless for this.

  6. IBM is in the business to sell hardware. Their software is an adjunct to their core hardware business. Is there a real solution out there there that lets .NET connect to a CICS application? Java to CICS? The AppEngine is worthless for this.

  7. Interesting theme on partnering here and good discussion around the what, why and who but little on the how – one of the biggest challenges in partnering is not just what and why or who, but also how you are going to do it well – did you know that up to 70% of alliances fail and a key reason behind that is that the organisations trying it dont have a capability to partner but still run out and try to find the right partners before thinking about their internal ability to deliver on their promises. Google, Microsoft and others like them may have some attractive assets (cash, brand, software et al) but if they and others want to win with partnering more needs to get done than it does today….for some free resources around how to partner well try alliance brand or see ALLIANTIST – best wishes

  8. Interesting theme on partnering here and good discussion around the what, why and who but little on the how – one of the biggest challenges in partnering is not just what and why or who, but also how you are going to do it well – did you know that up to 70% of alliances fail and a key reason behind that is that the organisations trying it dont have a capability to partner but still run out and try to find the right partners before thinking about their internal ability to deliver on their promises. Google, Microsoft and others like them may have some attractive assets (cash, brand, software et al) but if they and others want to win with partnering more needs to get done than it does today….for some free resources around how to partner well try alliance brand or see ALLIANTIST – best wishes

  9. Interesting theme on partnering here and good discussion around the what, why and who but little on the how – one of the biggest challenges in partnering is not just what and why or who, but also how you are going to do it well – did you know that up to 70% of alliances fail and a key reason behind that is that the organisations trying it dont have a capability to partner but still run out and try to find the right partners before thinking about their internal ability to deliver on their promises. Google, Microsoft and others like them may have some attractive assets (cash, brand, software et al) but if they and others want to win with partnering more needs to get done than it does today….for some free resources around how to partner well try alliance brand or see ALLIANTIST – best wishes

  10. Indeed, cross-platform compatibility of software is extremely important. Even more important is the ability for software to scale and adapt its code automatically to be able to run anywhere – mac, pc, web browser, console, etc etc etc. I just read over on information week that IBM employees who tried macs wanted to stick with them. The only problem was that they didn’t have all the software tools then needed. If custom software ran on a cross platform app engine, like googles app engine, that could start to solve some of the issues here…

  11. Indeed, cross-platform compatibility of software is extremely important. Even more important is the ability for software to scale and adapt its code automatically to be able to run anywhere – mac, pc, web browser, console, etc etc etc. I just read over on information week that IBM employees who tried macs wanted to stick with them. The only problem was that they didn’t have all the software tools then needed. If custom software ran on a cross platform app engine, like googles app engine, that could start to solve some of the issues here…

  12. Indeed, cross-platform compatibility of software is extremely important. Even more important is the ability for software to scale and adapt its code automatically to be able to run anywhere – mac, pc, web browser, console, etc etc etc. I just read over on information week that IBM employees who tried macs wanted to stick with them. The only problem was that they didn’t have all the software tools then needed. If custom software ran on a cross platform app engine, like googles app engine, that could start to solve some of the issues here…

  13. Last time I checked, the Enterprise included Mainframes. Real IBM zOS type machines. What software has giggle provided for their use?

  14. Last time I checked, the Enterprise included Mainframes. Real IBM zOS type machines. What software has giggle provided for their use?

  15. Last time I checked, the Enterprise included Mainframes. Real IBM zOS type machines. What software has giggle provided for their use?

  16. Robert, while I would never count Google out of anything, I’m not convinced these guys get all of the conflicts of interest I would have in letting an advertising company handle my sensitive documents.

    I do think Google has some things down pat, and I use a lot of their services because they are awesome – especially for free. However, I am very skeptical in how government agencies are allowing Google access to some of the backrooms.

    For Google to make it in the enterpise, they are going to have to create some walls between me and the world.

    For instance, I took a look at Google Doc’s terms of condition and came up short on comforting answers:

    http://www.changeforge.com/2008/04/09/does-google-docs-care-about-your-privacy/

    Regards,
    Ken Stewart
    ChangeForge

  17. Robert, while I would never count Google out of anything, I’m not convinced these guys get all of the conflicts of interest I would have in letting an advertising company handle my sensitive documents.

    I do think Google has some things down pat, and I use a lot of their services because they are awesome – especially for free. However, I am very skeptical in how government agencies are allowing Google access to some of the backrooms.

    For Google to make it in the enterpise, they are going to have to create some walls between me and the world.

    For instance, I took a look at Google Doc’s terms of condition and came up short on comforting answers:

    http://www.changeforge.com/2008/04/09/does-google-docs-care-about-your-privacy/

    Regards,
    Ken Stewart
    ChangeForge

  18. Robert, while I would never count Google out of anything, I’m not convinced these guys get all of the conflicts of interest I would have in letting an advertising company handle my sensitive documents.

    I do think Google has some things down pat, and I use a lot of their services because they are awesome – especially for free. However, I am very skeptical in how government agencies are allowing Google access to some of the backrooms.

    For Google to make it in the enterpise, they are going to have to create some walls between me and the world.

    For instance, I took a look at Google Doc’s terms of condition and came up short on comforting answers:

    http://www.changeforge.com/2008/04/09/does-google-docs-care-about-your-privacy/

    Regards,
    Ken Stewart
    ChangeForge

  19. I think Google is biting off more than it can chew. As they move away from their one spectacular competence — search — and try to eat more pie, they become less defined. That’s why so many senior executives are leaving, I’ll bet. The vision is getting blurry.

  20. I think Google is biting off more than it can chew. As they move away from their one spectacular competence — search — and try to eat more pie, they become less defined. That’s why so many senior executives are leaving, I’ll bet. The vision is getting blurry.

  21. I think Google is biting off more than it can chew. As they move away from their one spectacular competence — search — and try to eat more pie, they become less defined. That’s why so many senior executives are leaving, I’ll bet. The vision is getting blurry.

  22. Bottom line? Google will capture a small percentage% of the low-end of the market (small businesses) in the short-term.

    However, Google Apps is ‘basic’ software at best right now. In order to be ready for enterprise, they’ll need to A.) Make it fully functional to meet the needs of business users. B.)Ensure the ‘cloud’ security is addressed and alleviated from any IT directors heads as a “threat” and “point of failure dependent on a company they can’t control”.

  23. Bottom line? Google will capture a small percentage% of the low-end of the market (small businesses) in the short-term.

    However, Google Apps is ‘basic’ software at best right now. In order to be ready for enterprise, they’ll need to A.) Make it fully functional to meet the needs of business users. B.)Ensure the ‘cloud’ security is addressed and alleviated from any IT directors heads as a “threat” and “point of failure dependent on a company they can’t control”.

  24. Bottom line? Google will capture a small percentage% of the low-end of the market (small businesses) in the short-term.

    However, Google Apps is ‘basic’ software at best right now. In order to be ready for enterprise, they’ll need to A.) Make it fully functional to meet the needs of business users. B.)Ensure the ‘cloud’ security is addressed and alleviated from any IT directors heads as a “threat” and “point of failure dependent on a company they can’t control”.

  25. Robert – I see Google’s forays into the enterprise as basic risk management. I don’t see them offering anything other than *possibly* me-too type of technology. In the entrenched enterprise world, even showing obvious value-add often isn’t enough to unseat incumbent technologies.

    Doing a full-on assault to capture that market would likely take a very long time, with the outcome certainly not guaranteed. The chances of succeeding are rather suspect, and the downside of the failure story would be significant hit against their image.

    So, I see Google’s approach as hedging their bets. They want to penetrate the enterprise, but they want to make it seem as if they’ve been “pulled in” by others, like SalesForce.com. If it works, great. If it doesn’t, well then it wasn’t their fault because they weren’t the driving impetus behind it.

  26. Robert – I see Google’s forays into the enterprise as basic risk management. I don’t see them offering anything other than *possibly* me-too type of technology. In the entrenched enterprise world, even showing obvious value-add often isn’t enough to unseat incumbent technologies.

    Doing a full-on assault to capture that market would likely take a very long time, with the outcome certainly not guaranteed. The chances of succeeding are rather suspect, and the downside of the failure story would be significant hit against their image.

    So, I see Google’s approach as hedging their bets. They want to penetrate the enterprise, but they want to make it seem as if they’ve been “pulled in” by others, like SalesForce.com. If it works, great. If it doesn’t, well then it wasn’t their fault because they weren’t the driving impetus behind it.

  27. Robert – I see Google’s forays into the enterprise as basic risk management. I don’t see them offering anything other than *possibly* me-too type of technology. In the entrenched enterprise world, even showing obvious value-add often isn’t enough to unseat incumbent technologies.

    Doing a full-on assault to capture that market would likely take a very long time, with the outcome certainly not guaranteed. The chances of succeeding are rather suspect, and the downside of the failure story would be significant hit against their image.

    So, I see Google’s approach as hedging their bets. They want to penetrate the enterprise, but they want to make it seem as if they’ve been “pulled in” by others, like SalesForce.com. If it works, great. If it doesn’t, well then it wasn’t their fault because they weren’t the driving impetus behind it.

  28. I’m not engineer, but isn’t Google borrowing from Microsoft by shipping Gmail to the enterprise before it is stable…I’ve heard lots of stories from firms in the valley saying they are adopting but its difficult and not all that stable…sounds familiar….

  29. I’m not engineer, but isn’t Google borrowing from Microsoft by shipping Gmail to the enterprise before it is stable…I’ve heard lots of stories from firms in the valley saying they are adopting but its difficult and not all that stable…sounds familiar….

  30. I’m not engineer, but isn’t Google borrowing from Microsoft by shipping Gmail to the enterprise before it is stable…I’ve heard lots of stories from firms in the valley saying they are adopting but its difficult and not all that stable…sounds familiar….

  31. Robert, Robert, Robert… You’ve clearly been gone from Microsoft long enough to have forgotten a lot of what you must have learned there. First, getting into the enterprise will require a lot more of Google than “partnerships.” They’ll also need some of that new fangled stuff called software. Google clearly has some good software running their datacenters…including some vauable custom code for management of those datacenters. But beyond that they have, essentially, diddly. Postini is interesting (not that Google actually created Postini…it was acquired) but that’s a niche. They don’t have any of the important pieces of an enterprise software story. For that matter, they don’t have any experience in building or selling enterprise software. What they do have is gobs of cash but even with that cash it will take tham a VERY VERY long time to crack the enterprise. In the meantime Microsoft and Oracle and IBM and others will be moving forward.

    Then there’s Google’s software DNA. They want everything to be hosted on Google’s platform in their datacenters. Guess what? Businesses want more control over their data. When I hear people say that in the “long term” busineses and individuals will get over that barrier I think they’re fooling themselves, espeically businesses.

    I hate to say it but I think that Microsoft constant harping on “software + services” shows they get it. Microsoft and the others that have enterprise software offer something that Google can’t or won’t: the choice of running software on-premises, hosted by someone else or a combination. I think almost almost all will go for a combination approach. Do I want to run my own spam filtering service? Nah…I’ll use Google Postini or Microsoft Forefront for that. Do I want to run my own data warehouse with my most valuable corporate data? You bet! Do I need a server OS and a database and BI software for that? Yes. Does Google offer any of that? No.

    I think that you’ll see some of the same issues come up among consumers. Today the ease of doing almost everything on the Web outweights the benefits of good old PC software in a lot of scenarios. But is that going to be the case forever? Probably not. Microsoft and Apple and others will fine clever ways to offer the best of both worlds…have your data replicated wherever you need it on different PC’s or phones or even set-top boxes. Use more poweful “device-side” software when you have a device that’s capable of running it and use less capable Web-based software when you need to. Even your applications will be able to roam with you. These are not impossible problems to solve.

    Then Google will be the company saying…we offer you one choice: hosted by us…and maybe a little offline capability for those apps that aren’t always connected to the mother-teat of the Internet. I think we can a lot better.

  32. Robert, Robert, Robert… You’ve clearly been gone from Microsoft long enough to have forgotten a lot of what you must have learned there. First, getting into the enterprise will require a lot more of Google than “partnerships.” They’ll also need some of that new fangled stuff called software. Google clearly has some good software running their datacenters…including some vauable custom code for management of those datacenters. But beyond that they have, essentially, diddly. Postini is interesting (not that Google actually created Postini…it was acquired) but that’s a niche. They don’t have any of the important pieces of an enterprise software story. For that matter, they don’t have any experience in building or selling enterprise software. What they do have is gobs of cash but even with that cash it will take tham a VERY VERY long time to crack the enterprise. In the meantime Microsoft and Oracle and IBM and others will be moving forward.

    Then there’s Google’s software DNA. They want everything to be hosted on Google’s platform in their datacenters. Guess what? Businesses want more control over their data. When I hear people say that in the “long term” busineses and individuals will get over that barrier I think they’re fooling themselves, espeically businesses.

    I hate to say it but I think that Microsoft constant harping on “software + services” shows they get it. Microsoft and the others that have enterprise software offer something that Google can’t or won’t: the choice of running software on-premises, hosted by someone else or a combination. I think almost almost all will go for a combination approach. Do I want to run my own spam filtering service? Nah…I’ll use Google Postini or Microsoft Forefront for that. Do I want to run my own data warehouse with my most valuable corporate data? You bet! Do I need a server OS and a database and BI software for that? Yes. Does Google offer any of that? No.

    I think that you’ll see some of the same issues come up among consumers. Today the ease of doing almost everything on the Web outweights the benefits of good old PC software in a lot of scenarios. But is that going to be the case forever? Probably not. Microsoft and Apple and others will fine clever ways to offer the best of both worlds…have your data replicated wherever you need it on different PC’s or phones or even set-top boxes. Use more poweful “device-side” software when you have a device that’s capable of running it and use less capable Web-based software when you need to. Even your applications will be able to roam with you. These are not impossible problems to solve.

    Then Google will be the company saying…we offer you one choice: hosted by us…and maybe a little offline capability for those apps that aren’t always connected to the mother-teat of the Internet. I think we can a lot better.

  33. Robert, Robert, Robert… You’ve clearly been gone from Microsoft long enough to have forgotten a lot of what you must have learned there. First, getting into the enterprise will require a lot more of Google than “partnerships.” They’ll also need some of that new fangled stuff called software. Google clearly has some good software running their datacenters…including some vauable custom code for management of those datacenters. But beyond that they have, essentially, diddly. Postini is interesting (not that Google actually created Postini…it was acquired) but that’s a niche. They don’t have any of the important pieces of an enterprise software story. For that matter, they don’t have any experience in building or selling enterprise software. What they do have is gobs of cash but even with that cash it will take tham a VERY VERY long time to crack the enterprise. In the meantime Microsoft and Oracle and IBM and others will be moving forward.

    Then there’s Google’s software DNA. They want everything to be hosted on Google’s platform in their datacenters. Guess what? Businesses want more control over their data. When I hear people say that in the “long term” busineses and individuals will get over that barrier I think they’re fooling themselves, espeically businesses.

    I hate to say it but I think that Microsoft constant harping on “software + services” shows they get it. Microsoft and the others that have enterprise software offer something that Google can’t or won’t: the choice of running software on-premises, hosted by someone else or a combination. I think almost almost all will go for a combination approach. Do I want to run my own spam filtering service? Nah…I’ll use Google Postini or Microsoft Forefront for that. Do I want to run my own data warehouse with my most valuable corporate data? You bet! Do I need a server OS and a database and BI software for that? Yes. Does Google offer any of that? No.

    I think that you’ll see some of the same issues come up among consumers. Today the ease of doing almost everything on the Web outweights the benefits of good old PC software in a lot of scenarios. But is that going to be the case forever? Probably not. Microsoft and Apple and others will fine clever ways to offer the best of both worlds…have your data replicated wherever you need it on different PC’s or phones or even set-top boxes. Use more poweful “device-side” software when you have a device that’s capable of running it and use less capable Web-based software when you need to. Even your applications will be able to roam with you. These are not impossible problems to solve.

    Then Google will be the company saying…we offer you one choice: hosted by us…and maybe a little offline capability for those apps that aren’t always connected to the mother-teat of the Internet. I think we can a lot better.

  34. Google is not being clever by setting up a wide range of Enterprise Partnerships, they are simply acting like a conservative stockbroker whom hedges his bets across a varied portfolio.

    Google is only testing these Enterprise waters to see if it can be a future cash cow for the company.
    Currently they have enough funds to buy Salesforce.com and completely control this whole arrangement. But in using a conservative ‘wait and see’ approach, they can afford to bind their time and eventually buy up Salesforce.com if the numbers and reach are successful.

    Eventually if both Google and Salesforce.com fail to make a big impression in this new ‘Cloud Enterprise’, which other Companies will succeed.
    Perhaps in the long run a ‘Microsoft/Zoho Cloud’ will have a silver lining.

  35. Google is not being clever by setting up a wide range of Enterprise Partnerships, they are simply acting like a conservative stockbroker whom hedges his bets across a varied portfolio.

    Google is only testing these Enterprise waters to see if it can be a future cash cow for the company.
    Currently they have enough funds to buy Salesforce.com and completely control this whole arrangement. But in using a conservative ‘wait and see’ approach, they can afford to bind their time and eventually buy up Salesforce.com if the numbers and reach are successful.

    Eventually if both Google and Salesforce.com fail to make a big impression in this new ‘Cloud Enterprise’, which other Companies will succeed.
    Perhaps in the long run a ‘Microsoft/Zoho Cloud’ will have a silver lining.

  36. Google is not being clever by setting up a wide range of Enterprise Partnerships, they are simply acting like a conservative stockbroker whom hedges his bets across a varied portfolio.

    Google is only testing these Enterprise waters to see if it can be a future cash cow for the company.
    Currently they have enough funds to buy Salesforce.com and completely control this whole arrangement. But in using a conservative ‘wait and see’ approach, they can afford to bind their time and eventually buy up Salesforce.com if the numbers and reach are successful.

    Eventually if both Google and Salesforce.com fail to make a big impression in this new ‘Cloud Enterprise’, which other Companies will succeed.
    Perhaps in the long run a ‘Microsoft/Zoho Cloud’ will have a silver lining.

  37. Honestly it isn’t very exciting to me. As a SEM I’d rather see them improve their search products, get better CSRs, etc.

    All this extra stuff they are trying to get into just pulls them further and further from what their brand ought to be about – search.

  38. Honestly it isn’t very exciting to me. As a SEM I’d rather see them improve their search products, get better CSRs, etc.

    All this extra stuff they are trying to get into just pulls them further and further from what their brand ought to be about – search.

  39. Honestly it isn’t very exciting to me. As a SEM I’d rather see them improve their search products, get better CSRs, etc.

    All this extra stuff they are trying to get into just pulls them further and further from what their brand ought to be about – search.

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