Jul 5, 2011

7 Reasons Why Google+ won't be an enterprise social business

Image representing Google as depicted in Crunc...Image via CrunchBaseIt's been about 5 days that I've been on Google+ and one of the recurring posts and comments both there, as well as on blogs and twitter is whether Google+ when it launches for Google Apps will be a valid competition for enterprise social vendors like Yammer, Salesforce's Chatter, Socialtext, VMWare's Socialcast and Qontext.

Ray Wang had an article about it on Forbes.com

Here's why I think Google+ won't be any serious threat for such services:

  1.  Google's revenues are driven by advertising. Hence it understands the dynamics of building consumer facing applications and selling advertising space. And while it has an enterprise business, it has never been its main focus.
  2. Google Apps users are mostly small to medium businesses - and while they may experiment with Google+ when it launches, they would find it difficult to adopt it without external help.
  3. Even if Google+ offers integration with Google Docs and Calendering soon, the vast majority of small and medium business still are stuck in Win-tel (Windows+Intel) paradigm to really leverage it.
  4. Stand alone enterprise social networking is passe. More and more suites are offering integration with other business applications like HRIS systems, CRM systems, Supply Chain apps. Don't see this on the horizon for Google+, unless they make a radically different product for the enterprise (which they won't - see point 1)
  5. The concept of circles is already confusing even the early adopters (see this presentation by Ross Mayfield) - one can only guess the confusion it will cause in the enterprise, and the amount of training and education it will be required to make people understand it properly.
  6. No private workspaces. This is a big one. Enterprises need groups which are private and secret to discuss confidential issues. Though, I guess this could be added.
  7. No hosted version. Without a dedicated hosting plan Google+ will face resistance to be adopted by large enterprises. Even a private cloud option would be helpful. I am not sure if Google+ team is interested in any such move
What do you think?

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