Google Office wins? Declares enterprise hierarchies 'dead'

Summary:Google Office Wins? Declares Enterprise Hierarchies “Dead”

What a difference six months makes? Apparently in the Google Enterprise (sales) world!

In Google Enterprise strategy: ‘Death to the hierarchy’" last November, I reported Michael Lock, Director of North American Sales for Google Enterprise, exhortation at the NYC Googleplex,

“Death to the (Microsoft) hierarchy”:

Given the “explosion” of unstructured data in the enterprise, “old methods of information management don’t work,” Lock asserted. He also offered a remedy: “Death to the hierarchy!”

Lock put forth personal anecdotes to proclaim “you don’t put email in folders” and declared GMail the victor over Outlook.

Lock spoke of the old (pre-GMail) Outlook days when he would “look forward” to his transcontinental commutes for six hours of time to “categorize email.”

Lock entertainingly, but pointedly, emphasized that Google solutions do not demand what he portrayed as labor intensive and inadequate user categorization via hierarchical folder structures. Lock then used his own GMail account to illustrate what he believes is the superiority of implicit organization via a single, intuitive search box, a Googley one. Lock proudly concluded that he has left behind hundreds of Outlook folders.

At the time, I asked Lock for a projection of when Google will succeed in bringing “Death to the hierarchy.” Lock offered that forward thinking enterprises are moving away from hierarchical data organization, but no specific date for an absolute demise of the "hierarchy" was provided.

Nonetheless in his return visit to the NYC Googleplex this morning, Lock said in the affirmative: “Hierarchies are dead.”

“Data has changed and it doesn’t come in columns and rows,” Lock underscored.

Lock provided the diverse audience of NYC professionals at the “Google @ Work” enterprise sales pitch with three key takeaways, “lessons that enterprise IT can learn from Google:

1) Fast is better than slow, 2) Simple is better than complex, 3) Assume chaos and deal with it.

Lock asserted the now familiar Google Enterprise rallying cry: Enterprise IT is in a sad state of affairs, but consumer friendly Google is to the enterprise rescue.

Lock on the antiquated enterprise way of doing IT business:

Define all requirements, Buy vs. build, Issue RFP, Select vendor, Do bakeoff, Define implementation plan, Customize application, Build end-user training plan, Deploy application.

The world has sped up, but how IT deploys has not, Lock deplored.

Why so enterprise conservative? Lock suggested. After all, Google is not so worried about getting things just right. Lock: “We put the product on the Internet before it is ready.” Why? “Fail quickly and learn from it,” Lock proclaimed.

Current delivery models have “insane” complexity, Lock warned. Take email, as a case study in bad enterprise business. Lock lampooned what current enterprise email operations entail:

Operating system, Email servers, security servers, Backup storage servers, Spam filer, Content repositories, Tape back-up, Mobile delivery server, Database to support content repositories.

The Lock ace in the hole: “Then there is that ‘Patch Tuesday‘ by some big vendor.”

What is the enterprise solution? It couldn’t be more simple, five letters is all it takes; GMail.

Lock nevertheless acknowledged there is still some enterprise reticence against “letting my email on someone else’s servers.”

How silly, though, Lock indicated. After all, he said, you are not afraid to put money in a bank are you?

To make his point Googley clear Lock showed a picture of a mattress, and then one of an ATM.

ALSO: Do Google Apps really trump Nintendo Wii and Apple TV? Is Google Enterprise Search a joke?  Google to big business: Google love belongs in the Enterprise!

Topics: Google, Collaboration

About

A former ZDNet blogger, Donna Bogatin is the founder of online directional media properties VIPOffers.com and UrbanSavings.com. In addition to her own ventures, Donna has been advising companies on Web-based business development since 1997, when she created and led an "Internet For Entrepreneurs" workshop for the Small Business Administra... Full Bio

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