Monday, October 24, 2011

Big Changes Coming to Google Plus

Vic Gundotra says integration imminent but analysts say a lot of work to be done

Computerworld – Google looks close to unleashing Google+ on the enterprise.

Earlier this month, CEO Larry Page said he wants Google+ to “transform” the company, while another Google exec said this week that part of that transformation is imminent.

Speaking at the Web 2.0 Summit this week in San Francisco, Vic Gundotra, a Google engineering senior vice president, noted that Google+, the company’s new social network, soon will be integrated with Google Apps, the company’s cloud-based office suite. The company on Thursday accidentally leaked information on the update to Gmail, which is a key feature of Google Apps.

All signs point to big changes coming not only for Google+ but for Google Apps. A Google spokeswoman on Friday would only say that the company is “working fast and furiously” to bring features in Google+ to Google Apps. She declined to say when the integration would take place.

“If I were a betting man, I’d bet that the enterprise is their target,” said Dan Olds, an analyst with The Gabriel Consulting Group. “I think that they’ve positioned Google+ as more enterprisey than Facebook. With Google+’s ability to be more selective about setting up different circles, corporate users could set up circles for different customers, colleagues or business associates.”

He added that while Google is focused on social networking, the company also has set its sights squarely on the enterprise. By combining Google+ and Google Apps, the company could pull its two focuses together.

“Google sees socialization and collaboration as the obvious way to gain even more market share and mind share in their lines of business,” Olds said. “It’s all interrelated with them, I think. Their apps will all tie in together with the collaboration people can do with Google+, and it all ties to search.”                             More