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Google exec talks innovation: Can you find the Apps pitch?

Google Matthew Glotzbach, Product Management Director Google Enterprise, gave a keynote on innovation at the Interop 2007 and the talk was so dry I was forced to innovate.After 45 minutes of innovation cliches--fail wisely, move fast, etc.

Google Matthew Glotzbach, Product Management Director Google Enterprise, gave a keynote on innovation at the Interop 2007 and the talk was so dry I was forced to innovate.

After 45 minutes of innovation cliches--fail wisely, move fast, etc.--I was hit by the following questions.

  • Are these folks as bored as I am?
  • Why is Interop--a shadow of its former self--still held at in the huge Javits Center?
  • Why can't I get a signal for my Verizon Wireless card? Oh that's right, Javits wants to force you to pay for Wi-Fi access.
  • What's the subtext here?

I'll focus on that last question. Since Glotzbach had a Google Enterprise pitch here somewhere--amid a bunch of stats about innovation and quotes. Here's a look at Glotzbach's points that build up to the "Try Google Apps Crescendo."

  • The idea of a sustainable competitive advantage doesn't exist anymore. "You have a series of short bursts and you have to keep that engine running," says Glotzbach. Subtext: Google isn't evil no matter how big it is.
  • IT organizations are barriers to innovation. IT has become a gatekeeper that keeps new technologies out of the enterprise. "If we just listened to employees we'd see what they want to do. Fulfilling needs should be the focus. IT users need bigger inboxes and to search inboxes," says Glotzbach. Subtext: Use Gmail, which by the way got IMAP support today.
  • Innovate on what's important. Glotzbach used Arizona State University as an innovative IT department because they focused on software as a service. Subtext: Everyone wins at ASU. You should try Google Apps too.
  • Consumer innovation is outpacing enterprise.  No one will argue with that point. Subtext: Try Google Apps.
  • Innovate in increments. Glotzbach's example was Gmail IMAP support. Software as a service meets mobility. "Next week we'd have something new to say," says Glotzbach. "That's the beauty of this model." Subtext: Don't try this innovation thing at home. Let Google do it.

Glotzbach says there's a happy balance with allowing Web apps into the enterprise without allowing a free for all where employees spend all their time on Facebook (or YouTube). The technology department should be pointing out new Web technologies and show employees how to use them. "You have to trust your employees," says Glotzbach. Subtext: Your employees will choose Google.