As we're all painfully aware, there's a big push right now to mash pretty much anything popular in the tech world into the enterprise. The question is, is it working? Recent examples from both Google and Apple suggest not.
Buzzing in the Enterprise
Recently, Google announced that it will be plugging Buzz into enterprise-level Gmail accounts over the next few months. Reactions have been mixed. While on one hand Buzz is all kinds of convenient, the fact still remains that a lot of people don't trust it. Not after all that drama.
Moreover, because Buzz is supposed to be available to businesses and schools using Google Apps, there are a lot of criticisms about consumer products that often don’t work with Google Apps Premier Edition.
Buzz's architecture may make all the difference, but whether that will be enough to overcome the bad reputation remains to be seen.
The iPad Doesn't Suit Business
Everyone loves the iPad. With a statement like that you might feel compelled to tell me all about why you actually LOATHE the iPad, but come on. 300,000 units were sold opening day (that's more than the iPhone!). Either everyone loves the iPad, or hundreds of thousands of people are convincing themselves they love it, lest they threw US$ 500.00 down the drain.
Of course, they're also wondering how it will fit into business. There are already quite a few applications for it (easily altered from their iPhone versions to be iPad-compatible), but this week one of our own discussed the downfalls with this first edition. Issues include:
- The device lacks a camera (how ever will we video conference?)
- No multi-tasking abilities
- No Flash playback
- The lack of an actual keyboard kinda sucks
- It lacks security
- Remotely managing them seems like it would be difficult
Additionally, last month a company called Appcelerator reported that 80% of its developers are interested in developing for the iPad. That sounds like a lot, but in January it was 90%. Will we continue to see a downhill trend, or will the actual release succeed in re-inspiring creation?
On the other side of things, this morning Salesforce.com's Marc Benioff took the stage like a CEO hopped up on more than just caffeine and the thought of expanding his company. He excitedly discussed the new features of Chatter, a tool baked into the CRM platform that allows users and applications to socialize with each other.
"i know more about strangers on Facebook than I do about my own employees," Benioff claimed.
That's...not good. But the point was made--we have been irrevocably changed by social media, and some kind of middle ground between it and the enterprise is going to have to be found or it's going to get ugly. Whether it will be something as gung-ho as Chatter or Salesforce.com's Cloud 2 concept (yes, Cloud 2), or something more mild and baby step-ish, who knows. In any case, it seems, sadly, that we're not even close.
Play, Play, Play
The enterprise needs people like you to weigh in, and most of the time it's better to do so in person:
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