The "Google-ization" of the Enterprise

BOSTON—Fifty-eight percent of the world's Fortune 500 companies now rely on Google for paid business services, including cloud storage, Google Docs, Gmail, and other applications.

"We see very large companies shifting course and building on top of our platforms," said Amit Singh, president of Google Enterprise, during a keynote presentation at E2 conference here today. After spending 20 years at Oracle, Singh said the most interesting phenomenon he's witnessed has been the "move to mobile platforms as a primary means of computing."

This shift in business behaviors has implications across the board. One company, Netsmart Technologies, a developer of health and human services software and services, uses Moxie Software's enterprise social software to reduce high volumes of email and to encourage ideation and content creation throughout its enterprise. Out of nearly 800 users, about 50 percent are mobile-first users of Moxie's application.

Today, Moxie launched a native app for customers using Collaboration Spaces on their iPhone or Android devices. From Moxie's perspective, the mobile app will be used primarily to "consume" content or to leave short messages or pull up business profile information, according to Nikhil Govindaraj, vice president of products for Moxie Software. The goal of the application was to say, "How can you make it easy and simple and fit with the consumer mindset?" he comments to CRM. As such, users can upload videos using their mobile devices and then to company Collaboration Spaces, or share documents with team members on the fly.

A recurring theme at E2 today is the advent of enterprise social networking from a business frame of reference. "We've gone from the discussion of 'Let's bring Facebook to our companies' to 'How do we map social into our work flows?" observed Matt Tucker, cofounder and chief technology officer for Jive Software.

The general consensus was that enterprise technology companies cannot simply slap "likes" or "activity streams" on top of transactional systems of record, or else run the risk of developing more "Mickey Mouse software solutions," as Sameer Patel, global vice president of Enterprise Social and Collaborative Software for SAP, puts it.

For enterprise social media to work and benefit an organization, communications and content must be turned into data and knowledge for further insight. According to Singh, its Google+ social networking platform with features like Hangouts, Circles, and Events, has amassed 190 million active users, with 100 brands counting more than 100 million followers using the platform for community and collaboration purposes.

There has been "a lot of investment" by companies using Google+ on the enterprise side, Singh said. Google+ has debuted automated hash tags and other knowledge-ramping components for businesses that use the platform to connect employees, customers, and partners.

Google's strategy, Singh said, has always been and will continue to be to introduce useful, simple, and beautiful features and functionality for consumers, get them to scale, and "once they're in place and ready, bring them to enterprise...that's what we've done with Google+."

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