Google: Five Initiatives to Watch in 2010
Google had a heck of a 2009, kicking off with the launch of their authorized reseller program and wrapping up with the announcement that the City of Los Angeles was going to Google Apps. Last year also marked the launch of several new technologies under the Google banner, including Voice, Chrome — the browser and the OS — and Wave. Later today, I’m speaking with Jeff Ragusa, the Google Apps channel manager to get some perspective on what these technologies meant for resellers in 2009, and what VARs can expect in the year ahead. Here’s some of what I want to know more about.
Google Voice – When I reviewed Google Voice back in December, I noted that while its call-forwarding, voicemail transcription functionality is all there, it couldn’t stand up to a real enterprise VoIP solution. Google’s acquisition of Gizmo5 could change that, since it may very well transition Google Voice to a full VoIP service with potential application in the SMB workspace.
Google Wave – This hybrid instant message/e-mail service was easily the most talked about and least understood Google offering of late 2009. The collaborative aspect holds a lot of appeal, but it’s still in closed beta. It remains to be seen how, if at all, resellers will be able to leverage Wave.
Google Gears – When Offline Gmail first came to the reseller program late last year, facilitated by the Google Gears Firefox and IE extension, there was a chorus of “about time!” in my inbox. I have to wonder if Google has any more plans to integrate Gears with other applications.
Google Chrome OS – Right now, Google has no plans to release their cloud-facilitated operating system on anything but netbooks, but it’s easy to see how an ultra-lightweight, network-connected desktop might be appealing to an enterprise. Besides,
Google Docs – Formerly the golden child of cloud applications, the Google Docs word processing and spreadsheet suite is going to face a lot of competition from all sides in 2010. Microsoft’s Office Web is going to bring its considerable name recognition and desktop integration to bear, while Zoho and HyperOffice can’t seem to stop upgrading or adding features for a second. Does Google have a game plan? Where do resellers fit in?
And yes, I know about Google Nexus One.
More thoughts potentially later this week — after I speak with Google’s Ragusa. In the meantime I wonder: Which Google technologies will gain the channel truly embrace? Hmmm…