Google Buzz: Forget Twitter, Microsoft's SharePoint is a bigger target

Google Buzz: Forget Twitter, Microsoft's SharePoint is a bigger target

Summary: Google launched its new social Gmail experiment dubbed Buzz and the "Twitter killer" comments will be a dime a dozen. But from an enterprise perspective, Google Buzz has a far larger target in mind: Microsoft's SharePoint.

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Google launched its new social Gmail experiment dubbed Buzz and the "Twitter killer" comments will be a dime a dozen. But from an enterprise perspective, Google Buzz has a far larger target in mind: Microsoft's SharePoint.

For sure, Google's first mission is to take out Twitter. Buzz makes Gmail social. You can follow your contacts. And broadcast things like photos, video and location updates. Simply put, Google Buzz has the potential to usurp Twitter---there's no 140 character limit---and all of the clients that go with Twitter.

Also: Meet Google Buzz: Google goes social [live blog] Google's blog on Buzz

After demos of Google's Maps integration and how Buzz hops between the home page and Android, Bradley Horowitz, VP of product management at the search giant, said:

"Our intention is to launch Buzz as an enterprise product as well. We've been testing Buzz in the context of Google and it changed the way we communicate."

In addition, Horowitz noted that Google has an "embarrassment of opportunity" of tying up its services in a nice bow. According to Google's Enterprise blog, Buzz will roll out with Apps for businesses and schools in a few months.

Gallery: What the Google Buzz is all about

Now let's look at what Google is trying to tie together from the enterprise perspective:

First, there's the Google Apps and Docs story (all resources, Google Apps alerts via email). Google's main pitch: Gmail saves you money on Microsoft Exchange. And CIOs are receptive to the message because they just don't want to deal with email management if they don't have to.

Apps and Docs aren't quite ready for wide enterprise adoption, but you the story from Google is the same tale told by IBM and other companies launching free (or near free) office suites. The argument: Use Microsoft Office for the power users and then let the rest of the workers---the bulk of folks only do "commodity" word processing, presentations and number crunchers---use the cheaper stuff.

In a nutshell, Google is systematically targeting the Microsoft enterprise beachhead---Exchange, Outlook and Office.

But behind the scenes there's a big target: SharePoint (all resources). SharePoint in many respects is what keep the Office and Exchange combination relevant. It's all about the collaboration. We have heard through the grapevine that Google was going to cook up an answer to SharePoint, but the likely candidates were either Google Wave or Sites. Now the roadmap is coming into focus.

The Google Buzz playbook will resemble the current Apps and Docs strategy. Aim Buzz at the smaller companies first since they are the low-hanging fruit. Large enterprises will stick with SharePoint for now until Google makes the ROI case over time like the company currently does with Exchange.

If Google Buzz becomes Google corporate Buzz it could be disruptive. Enterprises could potentially use it to save on Sharepoint licenses. It's all about the collaboration.

Now it's premature to call Google Buzz any kind of SharePoint killer, but the search giant's enterprise strategy and tactics appear to be coming into focus.

Related: Google: Enterprise business profitable; Says email migration 'proof points' building

Topics: Collaboration, Cloud, Enterprise Software, Google, Microsoft, Software, Social Enterprise

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98 comments
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  • Good Riddance $hitPoint, err Sharepoint

    $hitPoint, you truly are a POS and I welcome the day you are cancelled.
    itguy08
    • itguy08, you truly are

      a $hithead and I welcome the day you are canceled :)
      John Zern
      • He was a little harsh, and too vulgar, but, his point is well taken

        NT
        DonnieBoy
        • And what point was that?

          ..it certainly wasn't to make any argument why Sharepoint is "$hit" or why Google Buzz is going to be any better.

          If the point was to look like an a$$, sure, his point is well taken.
          daftkey
          • Ok, his comments about $hit were not appropriate, he should use words like

            bloated, complicated, expensive.
            DonnieBoy
          • Not without the "why" or a real comparison...

            "bloated, complicated, expensive. "

            Compared to what? Sure, it's complicated, so are most major ERP and CRM packages - however they are vital to the companies that implement them, and they are complicated because they HAVE to be..

            Expensive? Sure, if there are cheaper alternatives that provide the same benefit to an organization, it's expensive.. If there is some functionality the business requires and it saves that business more than it costs to implement, then it's hardly expensive..

            Bloated - well, that's a fun word a lot of Open Source and IT advocates like to throw around without really knowing the meaning.. Sure, it's big - it does a lot, QUITE a lot that you probably don't even know about or have considered the business implications of.. But again, if it's valuable, then it's not really bloated anymore than a Cat 797F is a "bloated" dump truck.
            daftkey
          • Because it's from Microsoft -

            It sucks.

            http://blogs.computerworld.com/sharepoint_too_much_of_a_good_thing

            http://www.contentmanagementnews.com/contentmanagementnews-82-20080102SharepointanECMVirus.html

            http://www.theregister.co.uk/2009/09/15/us_bank_switches_to_ibm_lotus/

            Here's the kicker - Folks who only know MS technology flock to this stuff. When it gets big, it falls apart.

            Sharepoint is known as Snare Point, Silo Maker, etc. Not endearing terms for a collaboration suite.

            Don't be a softie - Generally, any tech from Microsoft will be of low quality and high complexity. It has to be that way for the point and click administrators to use. From my experience, the MS-centric administrators never heard of DMS until sharepoint came along!
            SpikeyMike
          • @SpikeyMike.. do you read the articles you quote?

            They don't give you much support.

            Firstly, the computerworld article in your first link just regurgitates the CMS Watch article in your second link, so it's completely useless (you might as well have posted the link to the CMS article twice, numbskull),

            Secondly the CMS Watch article doesn't point out any major weakness in Sharepoint itself.. rather it criticizes Sharepoint for "running rampant" because IT is leaving the installation and management of Sharepoint implementations to end users, and then complaining that they have no control.. This is a failure of IT and the business as a whole to properly plan, implement, and manage their systems, not a failure of Sharepoint to deliver what it is designed to deliver.

            As for the bank "switching" to Lotus, if you read further, they were already using Domino, so it's hardly a switch, and again, it hardly says anything negative about Sharepoint, other than they found a problem with the way it was being used at their business, and found a better solution.

            News article - I work for a largely Microsoft shop, we use Sharepoint for collaboration and workflow.. We also use Lotus Notes and Domino extensively for our internal knowledgebase, and client details, documentation of billings, etc.. Does that mean Sharepoint sucks? No. It means Domino and Notes offer something valuable that Sharepoint doesn't.
            daftkey
        • You're just as bad

          you may not use vulgar language, You do call people "greasy, stupid, idiots, ect; [i]not vulgar[/i] I'll give you that, but uncalled for all the same.

          Seriouslly, who are you to pass judgement on anyone, DonnieBoy, that you would call people that because they disagree with you views on you OS of choice?
          John Zern
          • Ok, sure poor Balmer, people calling him greasy, you are making me cry.

            But, back to Sharepoint, it is bloated, complicated
            and expensive.
            DonnieBoy
          • No, you were calling us greasy. Here's the link

            http://talkback.zdnet.com/5208-10532-0.html?forumID=1&threadID=71894&messageID=1391075&tag=content;col1

            I don't see Steve Ballmer's name anywhere in that post.

            Or this one?

            http://talkback.zdnet.com/5208-10532-0.html?forumID=1&threadID=71894&messageID=1389995&tag=content;col1

            So, JZ missed one: You call people Stooges.
            AllKnowingAllSeeing
          • No, you are kidding, I called a Windows stooge GREASY???

            Well, excuse me all to hell. Wouldn't want to tell
            it like it is at all!!!!!!!!!!!!
            DonnieBoy
          • Good catch. I forgot that one. (nt)

            :)
            John Zern
    • $$$

      Microsoft makes a killing in their expensive licenses. Especially since the United States Federal Government falls all over themselves to get the latest Microsoft products in their system.
      DonRupertBitByte
    • Glad to see I got you Riled Up

      Sharepoint is bloated, expensive, and a waste of time.

      We've tried 3 deployments that have FAILED every time. Millions wasted.

      We've got the Sharepoint Abyss. Docs go in never to get found again.

      Sharepoint is junk, plain and simple. It is the quintessential solution in search of a problem.

      And if you need the functionality of SP there are many, easier alternatives out there.
      itguy08
      • Okay.. so you're incompetant...

        ..That's not Sharepoint's fault.. The fact that you're still employed after spending millions of dollars and failing to get a simple portal working after three attempts says a lot about the management at your company, though.
        daftkey
        • Or maybe he's able to quantify what you cannot?

          Seems to me that the opinion that Sharepoint creates unmanageable 'silos' of data is widely shared by those who have used it.

          http://www.contentmanagementnews.com/contentmanagementnews-82-20080102SharepointanECMVirus.html

          http://blogs.computerworld.com/sharepoint_too_much_of_a_good_thing

          If you don't have this issue in your organization, then I suggest you have a very small implementation or you just don't know what is *really* going on.
          SpikeyMike
          • Go Ahead...

            ..Cut and paste the same three articles a few more times.. let's see if they suddenly become relevant to your argument.

            <sigh>
            daftkey
          • Hmmm...

            Let me guess - You too knew nothing of DMS until Microsoft offered up Sharepoint?

            Thought so.

            Softie.
            SpikeyMike
          • When you assume...

            ..you know the rest..

            So other than questioning my knowledge of DMS, what else do you have to offer up on your side of the argument that Sharepoint "sucks" because it's "made by Microsoft" (and a bunch of links that don't really support you?)

            And just to bring you up to speed, since comprehension isn't your strong suit, I'd mentioned NUMEROUS times where Sharepoint shines outside of the realm of document management.. And I'm not the only one.
            daftkey