Tech Vendors Look To Cash In On Google's New App Offering

Tech Vendors Look To Cash In On Google's New App Offering

Several companies are jumping on the Google Apps bandwagon because they see an opportunity to offer add-on products to the search king's office software products.

A number of companies are jumping on the Google Apps bandwagon in an effort to take advantage of the search king's move to place office software products online.
"You'll see all kinds of Web 2.0 outfits in different shapes and forms taking advantage of this," said Google watcher Stephen Arnold in an interview Friday, the day after Google formally unveiled its brace of office products. "Companies now have an alternative to running their own servers and desktops. It reduces operational costs."

Google Apps brings together a brace of Google tools including Docs & Spreadsheets, Gmail, Google Calendar, and Google Talk. One firm that joined the Google Apps bandwagon with an immediately available Web 2.0 platform is Microcost, which joined the Google Enterprise Professional program. "By aggregating Google Enterprise components with those of our carefully selected technology partners including Citrix Systems and SalesForce.com (on) our standards-based Microsoft Fusion platform, we are able to provide secure access anywhere, anytime to all corporate information via the new personalized Google Start Page user experience," said Sam Johnston, Microcost CTO, in a statement.

"Best of all," Microcost said, "it's all hosted by Google, so here's no hardware or software to download, install or maintain."

In another example, Avaya said it would merge Google Apps Premier with its communications technology; the integration will enable users to use the office software with local and hosted communications technologies.

A firm that Google was once rumored to want to acquire -- ThinkFree -- is another example of a company likely to benefit from the Google announcement. For several years, ThinkFree has offered a Microsoft Office online clone. ThinkFree has considered the time now to be ripe for it to make major inroads into Microsoft's office software, because users are already faced with a move to upgrade to the software colossus' Office 2007.

Many firms see an opportunity to offer add-ons to Google Apps because its flagship office software -- Docs & Spreadsheets -- isn't considered to be a robust product yet.

"Docs & Spreadsheets probably sucks," said Arnold. "But it doesn't matter. It doesn't have to be very good because it opens up the enterprise. Google Apps is a clear demonstration of Google's confidence that it can deliver (these applications) online and no one else can say that."

Google's head of enteprise partnerships Kevin Smith endorsed Microcost's role as a consulting partner in the Google Enterprise Professional program, hailing Microcost's ability to provide consulting, training, and implementation expertise to customers.

"This is all part of Google's strategy to become the Microsoft of tomorrow," said Arnold, who has written a book on Google and is writing another. "This is the start of Google's takeover of the enterprise."

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Anonymous said...

I have been using Google Apps since August now รข€¦ and I think its very cool. But the best thing is the Google API. For example we are developing an FREE open source "business application platform" (think salesforce.com). Our first application is working tightly integrated with GOOGLE APPS. http://www.applicationexchange.com

Paul Nicola said...

In the short term, lets be honest this is not going to have a profound impact upon the sales of ms office any time soon. i think 'docs and spreadsheet' is great but a huge mind shift.

there is however a huge potential for users who want to set-up or move away from the ms exchange culture - there are massive benefits to be had quickly. people have been using webmail for over 10 years now - so no big deal.

what I really want to see next is a 'blackberry' style add-on for java phones for gmail/apps - with the introduction of push email on windows mobile 6/hotmail it can't come too soon.