April 14, 2008
Robert Scoble has an interesting perspective on Google’s moves into enterprise over here. His comments come after seeing a demo of a Cemaphore product called MailShadow for Google Apps, which synchronizes email and calendar items between Microsoft Outlook and Exchange and Gmail/Google Calendar.
Now there are already products that do that but they tend to be a little clunky and not up to enterprise level use. Scoble sees this product (and bear in mind it’s a third party product) as being proof enough that Google will end up in enterprise eventually.
As Scoble points out;
…the early adopters have already moved. When I ask audiences what they are using now, I see more and more Google customers.
I can’t think of a situation where the enterprise didn’t eventually follow the early adopter crowd. It might have taken years, but they do follow eventually.
My take is a little different – Enterprise will move to cloud based apps given time (their benefits are obvious and eventually CIOs will work it out too), but Google won’t necessarily be the victor in this battle. While the big vendors (Oracle, SAP, MS et al) have significant amount to lose by changing to a cloud based provision in a hurry – they can begin to move people – in the way Cemaphore wants to slowly wean users off MS and into Google, so to could the big players shift the paradigm. The question is whether they have the balls to risk their legacy earn to do so.