Where is the Google+ integration with Google Apps?
Not to be a stickler (OK, when a journalist says that, a stickler is exactly what he is being) but one week ago today Google Senior Vice President Vic Gundotra told the Web 2.0 Summit crowd that he and his team would enable Google+ to work for Google Apps users within days.
UPDATED: *Now it’s been a week. The better question is perhaps: Why isn’t it already here? As Gundotra noted, Google didn’t expect Google+ to get so popular so soon, and the company is now going off of a prioritization schedule.
Count business brand pages and Google Apps integration among those to be delayed. What’s the difference between enabling access to Google+ for Google Apps domains and the general user population? Security and provisioning, I imagine.
Google has to ensure domain administrators have not only the ability to control what users are doing via Google+, but also the ability to turn it off or deny access to some users.
It’s a control issue. The big onus won’t be on Google after launch, but the CIO and IT admin who must conjure some kind of corporate IT policy around fair Google+ user.
Perhaps they already have one regarding Facebook, but my guess is not because Google Apps businesses likely have fewer than 100 seats — little or no policy needed.
But enough about the blandishments around user policy.
Far more interesting to me is how Google+ has the potential to be disruptive. Consider that the Circles construct enables users to pick and choose with whom they share.
In a business context, project teams within a company can “Circle” each other, while human resources can have one big Circle for all a business’s employees. It would behoove Google to emphasize the ability to make Circles private and provide even more granular sharing.
Google+ Hangouts would enable video collaboration, and the “extras” would allow users to share Google Docs.
Eventually, I imagine spreadsheets and presentations will be added to the mix, allowing teams of 10 to huddle around their PCs and share all forms of documents with each other and even work on them in real time. Google Sites users will enjoy this, too.
More than a compelling business proposition, Google+ in the Google Apps context would be a threat to Yammer, VMware’s Socialcast, Salesforce.com’s Chatter and other enterprise social networking tools from Jive Software, etc.
The big question is whether or not Google charges for it like the other companies do, or include it in the existing Google Apps for Business package, which costs $50 per user, per year.
That would be the smart way to go, boosting adoption of Google Apps worldwide.
*Vic Gundotra kindly dropped by my blog to note that the integration was coming soon. And here it is. Well played, sir.