Comrades in Arms
Google and Salesforce.com "have a common enemy, which is the software model, and we want to show people that there is a better way to do things" with SAAS. Benioff said he believes Google will succeed with Google Apps for the same reason that Salesforce.coms CRM service is growing rapidly."I think customers want a new delivery model, lower-cost ease of use. Theyre tired of the upgrade and updates and the need to buy a new copy of Microsoft office every time Microsoft makes a change to their infrastructure," Benioff said.To get a glimpse of what the Google Apps look like, click here. Google Apps customers wont have to deal with upgrades and updates, which Google will make available to all customers simultaneously when Google updates its own service. Not unexpectedly, Benioff sees only benefits to moving Google apps and no barriers. He is unconcerned that Microsoft Office has far more features and functions than Google Apps. "Since most of our users only use about 20 percent of the Microsoft functionality, we think that Google is already there." He contends that Google probably has about 80 percent of the functionality the users need today. While its waiting for enterprises to make up their minds, Google will have plenty of opportunities to let Google Apps to nibble at the edges of large companies. Expect to see Google Apps creeping into corporate departments or remote offices that dont have ready access Microsoft Office. Organizations my start adopting Google Apps in the same way that business users started using PC databases, spreadsheets and word processors nearly 25 years ago. They adopted these products without the knowledge or approval of the IT department simply because they were effective and even fun to use. Google can build a good business winning over small and midsize companies that will likely be more than ready to pay $50 a year to gain access to basic but effective spreadsheets, word processing, e-mail and calendars. But in five or 10 years time, the story may change and SAAS will become so acceptable that even large enterprises are buying into the cost and management benefits of this software deployment model. John Pallatto is a veteran journalist in the field of enterprise software and Internet technology. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Check out eWEEK.coms for the latest news, reviews and analysis about productivity and business solutions.