The rise of Google's enterprise empire
We already know that Google's (NasdaqGS: GOOG) main mission is to capture all the information in the world and make it easily accessible. More recently it seems that their mission--at least in the short term--is to dominate the communication's landscape and take over the enterprise. Just in the last few months, Google has made some huge strides in the direction of this domination.
Nowhere is it more clear that Google is an enterprise communications player than with the launch of the Cisco Cius tablet which boasts Google's Android operating system. Sure the majority of the communications software being deployed on the device will be Cisco's Telepresence and Quad presence suites, but Cisco is doing the Internet company a service by bringing their Android product into the board rooms of major enterprise clients.
Google has been slowly amassing the necessary pieces to launch their own IP communications system. Google's Gmail has long been marketed to companies as a replacement for their old corporated email accounts. The system already has built in IM features, including a video chat feature between Gmail users. The system can also be tied into a type of presence system when combined with Google's Latitude which offers a GPS-tied location awareness for mobile phone users. If Gmail is Google's answer to Microsoft's Outlook, then its cloud based MS Office competitor is its Apps. Google provides word processing, spreadsheets and presentations all online with instant collaboration and sharing abilities with co-workers.
Beyond the email/IM/apps world, Google's long tested Google Voice has just been opened to the public. With its one number to rule them all, the capability is similar to a lot of other UC offerings where a user's one Google number can ring their desktop phone, their softphone client, their cellphone or even a cloud based voicemail that can be dumped into the user's email inbox.
Combine that Voice technology with Google's recent purchases of Gizmo5 and GIPS: both VoIP companies with capabilities to create a Skype SIP competitor that could be easily integrated into Google's Gmail and Voice offerings.
What we have with Google's shotgun approach to offering solutions is a number of Trojan Horses each with the ability to plant the Google seed in a company which might one day adopt the Google suite of enterprise offerings. Whether a company switches to Gmail for its email needs or launches a fleet of Android smartphones, companies are beginning to trust in Google's solutions. Back in February, Google's Enterprise President Dave Girouard explained in an interview with eWeek that Google has been building on its business app suite and will launch an enterprise version of Google Voice later this year. With all their bits of software already planting seeds in the minds of executives everywhere, perhaps this future play for enterprise users is already set up for success. Check out our Google news round up to see the timeline of the companies rise to dominance. -Mike