Watch for YouTube for Your Google Apps
I wrote not long ago about Google's move to layer YouTube on top of Google Earth, focusing on the broader potential for Google to marry as many of its technologies as possible where it makes sense.
So it was fun to have this notion validated during a Q&A session with Matt Glotzbach, product management director for Google Enterprise, last week. I sat down with Glotzbach after his keynote on innovation at Interop last Thursday.
I asked Glotzbach what other tools Google was looking to add to its enterprise assets, which to this point have largely been glorified versions of the Apps platform created for consumers.
He didn't outright commit to anything, but he did tell me what customers tell Google they want to see. It's been my experience that if enough customers ask for something, Google tends to provide it.
"We get told all of the time, 'It would be really cool if I could get YouTube in our Google Apps, where I could do a little private video-sharing within my company,'" Glotzbach said. "'It would be really cool if [we] could have Blogger inside Google Apps to encourage blogging inside the company as well as outside the company.'"
I asked if these features were coming out next week.
"Not necessarily next week, but..." and then he explained that there was no master schedule for new features.
I like the notion of YouTube videos in Google Apps. I would like to think that for business purposes, these video shares wouldn't include friends' games of Guitar Hero, or other silly stuff. Rather, users might share corporate learning videos, or record and post meetings for colleagues who couldn't attend in real time. Useful things like that.
That's a fine example of unified communications. Microsoft, IBM and Cisco, eat your hearts out. With Google's penchant for rapid product cycling, I don't see why it couldn't whip something up like that in a jiffy.
It's the same with adding Blogger utilities to Google Apps. You could create little work spaces for people to post comments about certain Docs or other tasks users are working on together.
Personally, I think JotSpot integration with Google Apps would be more valuable (this was expected two months ago, what happened?) But I like Google's philosophy of integrating as many utilities as possible where it makes sense.
In the end, adding YouTube and Blogger tools to Google Apps could only improve the company's position within the enterprise, where it has to overcome the perception of being a slap-dash poster of technology betas.
Glotzbach also provided perspective about the scheduling on the enterprise side of things.
"There's not some top-down master schedule that everyone has to conform to. Each of the teams gets to work fairly autonomously within a semistructured formula," Glotzbach said. "The Spreadsheets team released some cool new features last week with autofill and conditional formatting; the Gmail team today released IMAP ... and I'm sure the Docs team will release something soon. It's ongoing."