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December 21, 2011
Google VP of Enterprise Amit Singh took the upcoming holiday as a good time to discuss in a blog entry where the search giant’s business arm has been in 2011 and explain a little bit about where it’s going in 2012. The upshot: Google will be redoubling its efforts in cloud, mobile and social technologies.
In 2011, Singh said, Google Apps added no fewer than 175 new features while still delivering 99.99 percent availability for Gmail. Similarly, Google App Engine now hosts more than 400,000 active applications, which Singh said is a 70 percent boost over this time last year.
Going forward, those milestones represent just the start of Google working to unify the entire Google Apps suite and improve performance and accessibility across the board. By the same token, Google is working on enhancing its other cloud offerings, including the aforementioned Google App Engine, to make it easier to build and scale web applications. The end game, Singh wrote, is to tap the SMB market, which represents a huge chunk of American businesses yet only has a 10 percent cloud-adoption rate.
As for mobile, Singh said 90 percent or so of Google Apps for Business users either use Android devices or plan on doing so soon. And part of that adoption is due to what Google is bringing to the enterprise game with Android 4.o Ice Cream Sandwich, including on-device encryption and VPN support.
In the future, Singh said, users can expect Google to enhance Android’s business value with more native Google apps (yes, lowercase apps) of the kind that we saw with Google Docs and Gmail in 2011. Singh also hinted at the business opportunity for developers to build their own mobile apps around the Google cloud ecosystem.
Finally, we come go social. Google+ was probably Google’s biggest product launch of the year, and now that it’s available to enterprises, Singh noted his team is hard at work at matching the continued fast pace of feature releases with the kind of control that businesses need for their social platform.
And that’s not to mention the rich conversations that came to Google Docs this year and other socially minded features in the Google Apps suite. The eventual goal is to use Google+ as the social glue holding the suite together.
Singh already provided some insight on how Google is going to work with partners in the new year, and Google Apps SMB Channel Lead Jeff Ragusa provided some SMB insights to boot. TalkinCloud will continue watching closely, so stay tuned.
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