Google Apps Marketplace – iPhone effect for enterprise software
Google Apps is a threat to much more than Microsoft Office/Exchange. As Apple’s App Store swept the iPhone into markets as diverse as gaming, satnav and epos, so the new Google Apps Marketplace will drive a wildfire through the corporate software landscape.
If you’re a Google Apps user, go to the Marketplace and choose an App – say Manymoon, a web-based project management application. Click ‘Add it now’, go through a couple of confirmation steps, and it’s available in your Google Apps account, integrated with your email, contacts, calendar, documents, etc. The ‘Standard’ edition of Manymoon is free, so I’ve spent five minutes and £0 to get to the same point of trying it for real with live data.
If you’re using Exchange, prepare to spend months finding and testing a project management system, negotiating the licensing, contracting with a systems integrator to integrate it with your Microsoft Exchange servers, doing the integration, testing and debugging. At the end of this huge time and expense, you start using it with live data – and see how it works.
What’s radical about Google Apps isn’t its existence – e.g. Force.com has been around for a while – it’s the point and click ease. Click, try, buy or chuck – in minutes.
Just like the wildly successful Apps on the iPhone.