SaaS: What If Google Does It?
Who’s afraid of Google? It sounds like the answer might be “everybody in the IT world.” Take, for example, What If Google Does It?, a site designed to provide an answer for VCs who ask the question when you’re in mid-pitch. Here’s a quick look at the markets Google’s made waves in — and at least one where it failed to make a splash.
Google’s most major battle at the moment is with Microsoft — a battle for supremacy in the cloud productivity market. The Google Apps SaaS suite has been making notable headway with SMBs, but Microsoft BPOS seems to attract the larger enterprises. This has led to a PR war between the two companies.
There are other players in the SaaS productivity game, like Hyperoffice and Zoho. But they’ve made names for themselves by scratching a more specific itch or broadening their offering beyond what the other two are providing cloud customers — not by going toe-to-toe with Google or Microsoft in any obvious way.
And if you want to get more specific than just productivity, look at messaging: Microsoft Exchange is the de facto leader in the e-mail space, whether it’s on-premise or hosted elsewhere. But Google’s found itself a major SaaS player in the battle to take away some of Microsoft’s marketshare.
But on a more somber note for Google, Buzz failed to attract any. Google Buzz was supposed to be the search giant’s big entrance into social networking, but instead it wound up falling flat, not least due to privacy concerns.
And those are just the enterprise applications. In the consumer space, Google has the market cornered on everything from maps to video. When Google’s testing self-driving cars, it’s a fair question: who’s afraid of Google?