A guest post from the unreasonablemen.net

There’s a growing opinion that the answer to that is no. Om Malik got stuck into Gmail last week.

How is one supposed to run a business on such an unreliable platform? The integration of Google’s services remains a distant dream, reminding us of the limitation of its competence beyond search and advertising.

Today Phil Wainewright posted about Sergey Solyanik, [a?] development manager at Google who has gone back to Microsoft because “he values reliability far, far more than coolness”.

Sergey’s point according to Phil is that Google’s emphasis

[is] on building Web properties that are popular, but which primarily help people waste time online

It’s interesting how we pidgin hole companies. Google is a technology company for sure, but they are a technology company that does online advertising really well. Is it reasonable for us to expect them to be able to deliver on-demand business grade services?

I rather suspect that for Google to deliver other (any?) applications is a stretch because of the same barriers that all entrenched, incumbents face. Culture, resources, big revenue levers getting attention etc., etc.

The evidence seems to be growing that Google is lacking something when it comes to building business grade, on demand services.

  • GMail seems to be working quite well for them (and me, you and many others).
    As for Google Reader, number 1.
    Postini was “enterprise” before Google bought it.
    Salesforce.com + Google seems to be doing OK.
    I have consulted with a number SME’s (they have the word “enterprise” in their label 🙂 and most are now using Google Apps/Docs to run their business.

    And is what Google (or Zoho) offer “enterprise” – dunno, but it works for anyone* in the world which by definition must be larger than any one “enterprise”.

    What is it that you’re thinking is “different” when working within an “enterprise” – large ones I think you’re probably referring to.
    Is it perhaps that they approach it differently – with a consumer attitude/view point. I would say that they definitely have a cultural hurdle to cross with “enterprises” which is more used to the M$, IBM, SAP way of working with IT. Apple probably suffered from that early on and just gave up on it – now of course Apple has waited for the “enterprise” to catch up with them.

    I don’t think Google has that long to wait.

    * connected to the web, with a browser, powered by electricity, with a good connection – yada yada yada

  • Nice semantic discussion.

    I guess i’ve done a bad job of saying that there is *some* evidence and a growing pool of opinion to suggest that Google aren’t up to building products that are able to support the needs and uptime of a business IF that business demands are for near 100% uptime. If that business doesn’t see ICT as business critical, then knock yourself out.

    I’ve not had a gmail outage myself. But I have had outages with analytics and feedburner. I also think that some of the docs products lack some basic functionality.
    I don’t pay for these products and neither do i expect them to be supported and give me 100% uptime… that demand goes to products I pay for. THAT is the crux here, culturally google builds the former and i’m questioning if they can move to the later

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