Google’s new Apps Team Edition is an interesting software package for Google, but I’d be lying if I said it’s what I expected so soon in this young 2008.
When I asked Apps customers last year what was on their wish list, team collaboration wasn’t one of the things, but I guess I polled the wrong customers. C’est la vie.
Apps Team Edition keeps track of your work e-mail address, and then lets you know who else from that domain is also enrolled, and then it lets you share based on your work domain.
Basically, you can find other people using Google Docs, Calendars or Talk and connect with them to share documents without requiring IT to come in and mess with the domain servers and IP addresses.
Google Senior Product Manager Rajen Seth told me this was home-rolled, which is great, but I was hoping to see some more functionality, say, wiki capabilities from Google’s JotSpot assets.
Google picked up that open source wiki specialist in October 2006, not 2007, which, given all that has transpired at Internet-driven companies, seems like the Middle Ages at this point.
After team collaboration, wiki capabilities would be a logical next step on the timeline, no? It’s not like Google hasn’t had a year and half to rationalize the assets.
Seth wouldn’t say, but IDC’s Melissa Webster told me we can expect wikis and blog capabilities. The analyst is also calling for “the notion of projects, as right now there’s just one “group” per domain, and if this gets some uptake, users will quickly feel frustrated that their only choice is to share their docs with everyone from their company (domain) or list e-mail addresses individually for document access [as in the consumer version].”
Fair enough. It just seems a bit odd to me that small acquisitions such as JotSpot, and even mobile social network service providers such as Zingku and Jaiku, take longer to surface within Google’s product portfolios than a whale like Postini.
It seems like every other month or so the company is rolling out new integrations with Google Apps or new packages, as the company did earlier this week.
I guess that’s why I’m playing the part of pundit and the engineers are doing the coding in the trenches.
If Microhoo goes through, though, you can bet upper management is going to mush its product managers to ramp not only the innovation schedule, but the acquisition rationalization timeline.