PLM and Google Enterprise

Let’s talk about Google today. I’ve been writing about Google technologies and Google enterprise efforts quite frequently. One of the questions, readers were asking me – when Google develops PLM? The interest was obvious. Many people believe Google technologies can be quite powerful to work for enterprise.

Read the following article – Google and the Enterprise: The Point? Money. Steve Arnold is analyzing Google trajectories in enterprise software. The main conclusion – working with enterprise organization is significantly different from working within consumer internet. Here is my favorite passage:

In one memorable, yet still confidential interaction, Google allegedly informed a procurement manager that Google disagreed with a requirement. Now, if that were true, that is something one hears about a kindergarten teacher scolding a recalcitrant five year old. Well, that may have been a fantasy, but there were enough rumblings about a lack of customer support, a “fluid” approach to partners, and a belief that whatever Google professionals did was the “one true path.” I never confused Google and Buddha, but for some pundits, Google was going to revolutionize the enterprise. Search was just the pointy end of the spear. The problem, of course, is that organizations are not Googley. In fact, Googley-type actions make some top dogs uncomfortable.

Another interesting article related to Google Enterprise on GigaOM. Notice an excellent explanation about what influence Google made on Microsoft. In particular, we can think how Google forced Microsoft to come with MS Office 365in order to compete with a growing competition with Google Apps.

For all Google’s effort, the incumbent powers Microsoft Office and Exchange Server still lead the corporate applications and email market. Last fall, market researcher Gartner estimated that Google Apps for Businessrepresented less than 1 percent of Google’s overall revenue and there is some doubt as to whether the enterprise apps business remains a priority for the company… Still, market share and revenue may never have been Google’s goal. By offering a lower-cost option to the Office/Exchange tandem, Google forced the market leader to respond, and that may have been the point all along.

I share Steve’s assumption about how much focus Google can put behind the enterprise deals. Absence of key execs reporting to Larry Page confirms Google is not planning to make Enterprise PLM Googley in a near future.

What is my conclusion? Good news for PLM companies. If somebody thoughts Google come tomorrow with PLM product, no worry. This is probably won’t happen. No Google PLM 2012. When I think, Google technologies are fascinating, the absence of focus and experience with enterprise companies, makes Google teeth-less in front of large enterprise software dogs. Just my thoughts…

Best, Oleg

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5 Responses to PLM and Google Enterprise

  1. tomcroll says:

    I’ve found Google Apps and tools for SMEs to be fairly underwhelming and quite frankly can’t disagree with your conclusion.

    The mantra of “Google will prevail” doesn’t seem to ring true in conventional, established markets.

    I once held out hope for estate agents to be put out of business by Google’s foray into property searches on Google maps, however they seemed to lack the conviction to react to serious competition and sabotage.

    I think if Google decide it’s a priority, you need to watch closely, but their innovation and “Labs” approach means they spray their ideas liberally and follow up on what sticks.

    Usually this means creating new markets, not competing in existing ones.

  2. Software says:

    …and I really can’t see a niche market like PLM software being a priority for big G

  3. @tomcroll thanks for your insight! There is a balance between general tech and specialized applications. The last requires focus and knowledge. It is hard to companies like G to make it happen. However, G platform is superior in many things that can be used to build a specialized solution. With appropriate focus, G can compete with Force.com. Just my opinion.

  4. @Software, what is your definition of “niche market”?

  5. tomcroll says:

    Niche in size compared to search, and niche meaning that there are specialised competitors.

    I realise that PLM could grow into a larger market and Google has the resources to dominate anyone in that market should they really turn their guns on them. However search is still their core business (over 90% market share in most of the world). They’re working hard at monetising and evolving in this market.

    Anything else that happens to work without too much commitment or competition seems to be Google’s style right now. Or creating products to deliberately weaken the opposition (Microsoft).

    Who knows how they might diversify in future but I’ll be surprised if we see them take their eye off search any time soon.

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