In the interest of letting its enterprise users draw more information from their user bases, Google's Enterprise team today, Nov. 3, said it has ported its Google Analytics application to help Google Apps administrators see how users are using Google Docs and Google Sites.
The move comes a couple weeks after the search engine company ratcheted up enterprise capabilities in Google Analytics, which was created to let advertising and content development professionals track usage information for content by hour, day, week, month, user location, browser type and other factors.
Google Apps Engineer Nick Cooper noted in a blog post Nov. 3 that for Google Apps Premier Edition and Education Edition admins can see such things as how many employees checked out their company's new travel policy or whether the European sales team is taking advantage of the same resources as its U.S. counterpart.
One presumes there are myriad other comparable business intelligence activities businesses can leverage from this marriage of Analytics with Google Apps. These uses should help business customers gain better insight into their business processes.
Integration is a snap, according to Google. Google Apps Premier and Education Edition admins can link their Google Analytics accounts to Google Apps through the Google Apps admin control panel with a few clicks to start corralling usage data.
What seems like a minor use of one Google application with another is really part of an overarching trend at Google to create the most intelligent applications possible. Google won't admit to having a master plan for its Apps, but it's becoming increasingly clear that the applications won't just matriculate as part of some on-premises-like Version 1.x scheme.
Instead, the company is throwing applications against other applications and seeing if they stick. Gmail is a classic example of this. When the company launched Gmail in 2004, it didn't intend to integrate gadgets from other applications.
But because Google used iterative-friendly AJAX and other Web technologies, it has been easier for the company to add features and functionality as time goes on, even integrating disparate applications through gadgets such as Google Calendar and Docs in Gmail.
Today's Analytics and Docs and Sites integration is just another example of this. Expect more in the future. In time, Google Apps will be every bit as smart and functional as anything Microsoft, IBM or any other productivity and collaboration software provider has ever produced.