Q&A: Google Apps Senior Product Manager Rajen Sheth discusses competition in cloud computing and messaging and collaboration in an interview with eWEEK. Fixing synchronization issues between Google Apps and Microsoft Outlook is a priority. Sheth also says Google has no plans to dabble in Salesforce.com-like business applications such as CRM.
has key programmers concentrating on hatching products like
Google Wave and Google Voice, Google Apps has been a regular Steady Eddie of
sorts, with enhancements rolling out one after another. The last one, however,
threw Microsoft Outlook users for a loop.
Google June 9 released Google Apps Sync for Microsoft Outlook,
a synchronization tool that lets Outlook users access their Google Apps e-mail,
contacts and calendar through Outlook. Within a week, Microsoft found flaws in the Google Apps Sync tool,
the breakdown of Windows Desktop Search when users install the plug-in. Google
has been working on fixes since then.
eWEEK caught up via phone June 23 with Google Apps Senior Product Manager
Rajen Sheth, who was in Boston to
speak on a cloud computing panel at the Enterprise
Sheth discussed the Outlook sync problem and the cloud, which for Google consists
of hosting software on the Internet and delivering applications to users as an
alternative to on-premises applications customers host internally. Sheth also
answered the question of whether or not Google will get into enterprise
What was top of mind for you at the Enterprise
2.0 show regarding cloud computing?
I've been at shows like this the last couple of years. It feels a lot more
real now than in the past. Two years ago, people were thinking of the cloud
concept. Last year, people were kicking around products that are out there. Now
people are very serious about it and are considering moving major parts of
their infrastructure into the cloud. It was also interesting to see the mix of
vendors versus customers, that there were more and more customers actually here
that are looking into how to adopt this for their corporation.
It has to do with the maturity of the products out there, and the maturity of
the concept. People are taking it more as something that has real solid value
instead of something for the future. Though I still think people are struggling
to get their head around what the cloud is because there is everything from
putting infrastructure into the cloud, to application platforms, to full-on
That's what I tried to cover in my pitch: How do you distinguish the various
parts of the cloud and how do you think of them? There is this false notion
with some corporations that the cloud is about just infrastructure and
virtualizing what you have right now and putting it up in someone's
infrastructure. There are advantages to that, but they're not as great as when
you go further up in the stack, when you start to develop code and deploy it
into something like Google App Engine, where you don't have to worry about
deploying and clustering a database.