Posts Tagged ‘Skype’

Product Review: Google+, Consumerization of IT, and Crossing The Chasm For Enterprise Social Business

Timing of Google+ Bodes Well For Enterprise Users And Google

Lately, one could say Google’s been a bit absent from the social business party.  The premature launch of Google Wave exposed a canvas looking for a masterpiece painting.  Failing fast and learning from the Google Wave lesson, Google’s latest offering, Google+ shows promise in bringing similar disruptive technology concepts to market, yet packaged in easier to adopt metaphors such as activity streams, walls, hangouts, and circles (see Figure 1).

As part of Google’s aspirations to deliver enterprise offerings, it’s flagship Google Apps continues to gain traction in enterprises despite a market position that places the product between a very strong pro-sumer play and an almost enterprise app.  The good news – a constant stream of incremental changes shows an evolution to an enterprise class offering built from a strong consumer bent.  As of this posting, Google Apps isn’t integrated with G+, but Google’s enterprise ambitions have been strengthened with the new offering.

Figure 1.  Logging Into Google+

Convergence And Shift To A P2P World Enables GooglePlus To Go After Both Consumers And Enterprises

Google+ launch comes at an exciting time of convergence among the mega trends for the decade: social business, mobile enterprise, cloud computing, and unified communications.  The five pillars of Consumerization of IT (CoIT) fall in Google’s favor as consumer users rapidly seek to bring these innovations into their enterprises.  Subsequently, Google+ already takes advantage of Google’s assets to:

  • Unify the communications channels. Enterprises spend millions trying to get their fragmented communications systems to work, let alone integrate.  Google+ takes chats, emails, tweets, voice, mobile, and video and rolls it all up neatly into one offering.  More importantly, it works off of one login and its integrated.  Key video features such as Hangouts allow for impromptu video con calls without the hassle of most other video conferencing systems.
  • Provide an initial alternative to Facebook for the enterprise offerings. Procurement managers and line of business buyers face Cloud/SaaS best of breed hell as a flurry of purpose built solutions attack the enterprise IT landscape.  Should Google stream line convergent offerings for the enterprise, it will be poised to dethrone many incumbents.  Google can only succeed if they can match functional parity over the next 12 to 18 months.  Keep in mind, the long-term goal goes beyond Facebook for the enterprise.
  • Aggregate the user’s social sphere. Facing near term social networking overload, enterprise users can’t possibly fathom another social networking service.  Aggregation by a major player makes sense from a market position and user convenience. Google’s initial list allows users to notate key services in their profiles through connected accounts from Facebook, Yahoo!, Flickr, LinkedIn, Quaora, Twitter, Yelp, Hotmail, and Plaxo (see Figure 2). A quick look into the codes shows that these connection services potentially can support a Microsoft Outlook email, an SAP feed, or Salesforce.com Chatter stream and may potentially support direct integrations in future road maps.

Figure 2.  Google+ Delivers Social Sphere Aggregation With Ease

Adding Connections on GooglePlus

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Research Report: How The Five Pillars Of Consumer Tech Influence Enterprise Innovation

Most Enterprise Software Vendors Fail To Deliver Innovation

Despite hundreds of billions wasted on failed research and development projects, most market influencers would agree that enterprise software vendors have produced a dearth of innovation over the past decade.  Vendors often cite UI re-skins, major functionality additions, integration of acquisitions, technology re-platforms, and weak attempts at faking cloud computing as innovations.  In fact, let’s call it what it is.  Only a handful of enterprise software vendors have truly innovated.   Many enterprise software vendors are fast followers.  Most are innovation laggards living off fat maintenance revenue streams.  Ask any product strategist where they gain their inspiration and they will all cite advancements in consumer technology; and not peer enterprise competitors.

Innovative Enterprises Push Forward Mostly On Their Own

During this year’s Information Week 500 event, conversations with over 50 leading business technology leaders highlighted the growing gap in innovation.  These next gen leaders demonstrated how they were turning to consumer tech advancements to influence their custom development efforts; and/or seeking emerging vendors with innovative offerings.

For example, Bill Martin, the CIO of Royal Caribbean showed how design thinking coupled with real-time analytics and on-board mobility could improve the cruise experience on the largest ship ever built.  Shawn Kleim, Director of Development at WetSeal, provided proof points on mobility and social convergence in driving retail sales and eCommerce in the highly competitive teen apparel market.  Dave Bent, Senior VP of eBusiness services and CIO of United Stationers, proved how a company could deliver cloud services to partners and create competitive advantage across a value chain.

A number of CIO’s showcased how they were taking advantage of the cloud with SaaS apps and private clouds. Others discussed their efforts to optimize costs using third party maintenance to pay for innovation.  The common lessons learned – most did not expect to gain market advantage from their existing and legacy vendors.  Innovations came from the consumer tech side and next generation solution providers.  Consumer tech advancements influenced business driven technology advancements.

Software And Tech Vendors Rush To Incorporate The Five Pillars Of Consumer Tech

Ten elements drive key design points for next generation apps.  These design points showcase how advancements in consumer tech now permeate the enterprise.  Design thinking concepts drive dynamic user experiences, business process focus, and community connectedness.  Based on existing research, deep dives into major vendor road maps, and validation with clients, five pillars of consumer tech have emerged as the foundation for future inspiration in the enterprise (see Figure 1):

Figure 1.  Five Pillars Of Consumer Tech Will Influence Enterprise Software Throughout The Next Decade

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