At the Angelbeat Birmingham Spring 2012 seminar, Google spoke about BBVA Compass (second largest bank in Alabama, fourth largest in Texas, assets more than one trillion dollars) standardizing on Google Apps. After hearing this presentation, I have been closely monitoring Google’s enterprise/product offerings. Recently they have made several announcements that are individually significant, and collectively really important to IT professionals. Let me summarize below.
First, Google Drive is a great cloud-based file storage option, providing an alternative to Dropbox, Microsoft’s SkyDrive and Apple’s iCloud offerings. It works fine by itself, for any type of digital storage, with an obvious and seamless fit with Google Apps. With newly available offline functionality with Apps, Google now has a complete suite of web-based business applications and storage options that will give Microsoft’s Office365/SkyDrive a run for its money.
Second, Google’s Nexus line of smartphones and tablets, offering the latest in Android functionality, are getting very favorable reviews. These are likely to be big hits for back-to-school and the Christmas season. Google’s biggest challenge here probably won’t come from customer/end user acceptance. Instead it will be managing the emerging channel conflict between Google-owned brands (Nexus and Motorola) competing with Google Android partners (HTC, Samsung and others).
Third, Google’s chrome browser is now the market share leader, surpassing IE. While browsing and search are related but distinct user decisions/options, this is obviously a big strategic accomplishment. Winning the browser war undoubtedly helps Google preserve its dominance in search.
Forth, Google’s Chromebooks are now well-positioned for enterprise acceptance, given the complementary growth of Google Apps and Chrome Browser in the workplace. Combined with attractive monthly pricing, Chromebooks are a viable thin client platform for organizations who increasingly rely upon Google products and/or cloud computing.