Will Google Apps Premier be the next Salesforce.com?
Salesforce.com, pioneer in delivering enterprise applications via a simple Web site, is on Google Apps Premier board, according to the New York Times.
Marc Benioff, CEO Salesforce.com:
Six years ago, at the 2001 DEMO conference, Salesforce.com previewed the “first CRM online service” and pronounced:
We are in the process of phasing out Microsoft Office and Exchange from our company.
The Internet has "democratized" enterprise software and companies no longer have to tolerate expensive, risky, difficult-to-use software that takes months and years to install and offers little or no return on investment. The company provides powerful CRM as a subscription service online and charges $50 per user per month with the first five users as a free trial for 12 months.
Sound familiar? Google seeks to make the Internet enterprise “democracy” even more affordable, as I put forth earlier today in “Google undercuts Microsoft Office.”
Way back in 2001, Salesforce.com had already succeeded in obtaining high-profile enterprise "converts”:
Companies from many industries and of all sizes have become customers of salesforce.com. Because the service was built from the ground up for the Internet, salesforce.com scales so that it can provide powerful applications for companies with several users to companies with several thousand users. Customers include Jones Lang LaSalle, the largest commercial real estate company in the United States, Berlitz, the localization and translation company, Siemen's Power T&D, a division of one of the largest manufacturing and utilities companies in the world, Putnam Lovell, the global investment banking firm and Broadvision, the leading supplier of personalized e-business applications.
Google knows that any future enterprise success will take more than simply removing ads from its existing suite of Web-based basic productivity applications.
In launching Google Apps Premier, Google is underscoring new enterprise level customization and integration capabilities, as well as the development of a Google Apps Premier ecosystem (illustrated above):
To provide more options and value to customers of Google Apps Premier Edition, Google Enterprise Professional partners like Avaya and Postini are developing a variety of solutions based on our APIs, including email gateways, enhanced security, Google Calendar synchronization, third-party integration with Google Talk, as well as offering deployment, migration, and additional support services.
Will Google succeed with its enterprise ambitions? STAY TUNED!