Will Google lose in the enterprise (and PLM)?

by Oleg on October 19, 2012 · 0 comments

It was long time since I talked about Google and PLM. Probably, it was too long. Yesterday night, I got a tweet message Simon Floyd of Microsoft (@floydinnovation) suggesting me the following next blog title (Google gives up on PLM). Well, I didn’t know Google even considered to be in PLM game. My Google/PLM attitude was always somewhat more passionate about Google products rather than Google ability to run enterprise business. Earlier this year, I posted - PLM and Google Enterprise. Simple conclusion – Google is not coming to PLM tomorrow.

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.

Even if Google is not coming tomorrow to solve your PLM problem, the data approach of Google is something that PLM vendors can adopt. Adam O’Hern wrote a nice piece about PLM and Google approach.

Navigate to this link to read – PLM Should be like Google. Really. Here is another interesting passage:

Google doesn’t insist on hosting the entire internet on its own servers the way most PLM systems do. Wherever your files happen to be, Google will find them. Furthermore, Google doesn’t discriminate about data types. If a bunch of hyperlinks vouch for the validity of a file—no matter the type—Google serves it up. Of course it helps to use SEO-friendly content, but that’s up to you, the user, not some rigid system imposed from the top down.

However, the topic of Google and Enterprise is interesting and requires some additional analyzes, in my view. I’ve been reading Information Week blog last week-  Google Enterprise, I’m not impressed. Take some time, read the article and make your own opinion. John McGreavy is discussing the ability of Google to handle enterprise customers. Google’s honestly believes that consumer product quality is enough for enterprise and “millions of users cannot go wrong”. I’m share this opinion partially. However, the enterprise game is not only about products. It is a lot about what we call “enterprise attitude”. I found the following passage explains well the situation:

It’s all in the numbers for Google. Hundreds of millions of users can’t be wrong. It signs up people for its software tools, and then it figures out how to make money. Enterprises can take it or leave it, and Google knows we will take it, the execs all but suggested. I’m not so sure. While we’re integrating consumer technology into our business, we also deliver many purpose-built systems to provide a competitive business edge. We depend on reliable, focused vendor support. We need to understand future product direction. We need partners that don’t chase shiny new things for a living and understand the discipline of delivering shareholder value through risk-managed innovation and execution. (SAP, listen up.)

Don’t miss comments to the article. Navigate here to read them. Lots of them are addressing Microsoft vs. Google debates. I found most of the comments consistently pointing to the following weak points in Google Enterprise business – pricing, support, administration scale for large enterprises.

What is my conclusion? Enterprise is a complex space that requires a balance of product quality, sales strategy and support processes. This is something big elephants like IBM, Microsoft and SAP can do better than Google. Does it mean Google’s products cannot be used for enterprise? Clearly no. Will Google invest into future enterprise product offering and PLM? I’m not sure it will happen in a near future. Will Google products works well and will continue to inspire enterprise software developers? My answer is yes. Just my thoughts and opinion.

Best, Oleg

Picture credit to SolidSmack blog.

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