Google Enterprise: The Enterprise Cloud

image Dave Girouard is giving the overview of the Google press briefing for their business. The enterprise group has officially been formed since 2004 now with over 500k businesses deployed with their solutions.

As Google celebrates its’ 10th birthday the trend for enterprise outsourcing is gaining serious ground. Congrats to Dave Girouard who is doing a great job at Google Enterprise. Genentech and other customers are here at the roundtable and will be addressing questions from the press.

I’ve been live-tweeting the event from the floor here (incidentally next to Mike Arrington), and have been tweeting observations, questions and reactions from others to the announcement.

The Announcement
Google Apps Sync for Microsoft Outlook. Chris Vaner Mey, Senior Product Manager of Google Enterprise.

– Fast mail sync with Google native protocol

– Full calendar sync, including recurrence patters, attendees

– Contacts sync for all Outlook fields

– Global address list for autocomplete and contacts lookup

– Lookup of free/busy information

Reactions from the Twittersphere

Alextwit_normal@alexlewis: Google Apps will be useless in the enterprise until they begin to address issues of reliability and security.

Ken-color-portrait_normal@GadgetVirtuoso: Google Apps’ biggest enterprise problem is the need to allow so many outside domains.

Why are companies adopting Google Enterprise?

Alextwit_normal@alexlewis: Simply put, they’re not. I’d bet less than .1%, yes <.001, rely on Google Apps, or Microsoft Business Productivity Suite, or any other such system, for their primary platform. Google apps barely made 3 nines reliability last year. That’s horrible for an enterprise platform.

Other Notes from the Event

image – The Google Model: fast innovation model (as opposed to the incumbent “slow innovation” model). A little dig at Microsoft, perhaps?

– Google Apps in the enterprise space seems to me to be at least as secure (if not more so) and reliable as a traditional office suite.

– The focus of Google’s rapid maturation of enterprise platform has been on Apps, interoperability, extensibility and admin tools.

– What makes for happy end users?  Reliability and transparency.  @davegirouard says that Google is more reliable.

– Users are OK with giving up control in enterprise for reliability and uptime.

– Google launched a status dashboard to check uptime of the system as a whole. It can be found at

– Reasons for enterprise adoption of Google Apps: superior offering (search, labels, gigabytes of storage, video, etc) AND lower cost.

– Google is expecting a big uptake on the value-added reseller side, with “100s signups per week.”

– Twenty minutes into the Q&A, and we get the first Wave question. He isn’t talking Wave at all.

Our Angle

I think the big story here is Google’s security. All their enterprise customers are obviously drinking the kool-aid.  One customer moved his entire Exchange environment in 3 weeks.  I’m intrigued by what Google is doing in the security area.

Bob Rudy,one CIO attendee just said: “Security is a NON-ISSUE with Google. Our people and our board have vetted the security.”

Chris O’Connor from Genentech goes on to say about security issues: “We have no issues with security. They are only doing IT. We won’t be outsourcing manufacturing anytime in the next 20 years.”

That fascinates me since their IP is so confidential yet will give up possible outages and security breaches with a cloud model.

Real-Time Angle: I love this demo; it has clean integration into Outlook, they wrote their own protocol and it has native support for contacts as well. The calendar is sync’d as well.

Finally, Google has a calendar that is cross platform.  The unfortunate side: it’s only available on Windows, not Mac mail clients.

Bottom Line on Outlook Integration: Exchanging with Exchange Server is very nice.  CIO of big enterprise singing the praises of Gmail and Outlook integration.

I just asked the question to Dave Girouard about their roadmap for VARs.  He recognized and acknowledged that they are ramping up in that regard (implying that they need to do more).  Google started taking applications in January for VARs and started signing up VARs in April.  Dave says “it’s ramping up now..and we need to do more to get that moving faster..”