The closest that I ever came, as a CIO, to entrusting my large company’s e-mail and office apps to a third-party vendor, it was Google that I considered. Unfortunately, a merger got in the way of making good on that idea. But, looking back, the most incredible thing is that I was willing to get serious about doing something that drastic almost 4 years ago!
In this age, 4 years is like a thousand eternities. Since then, Google has only gotten better — way better.
They have an impressive record of producing not only the user-facing eye-candy, cool widgets and very useful, quality applications, but they are world class in mundane-but-important functions like data centers, networks, accounting, project management and support.
And now comes Google Wave. Hyped — Yes. But as famous character actor Walter Brennan said in his signature line in the 1967 movie “The Guns of Will Sonnett”: “no brag, just fact”. Currently in its “alpha” release, it already has working functionality built-in and it is only going to get better. Consider this quote from Ben Parr from his Mashable review post:
It really seems to focus on contacts – on people – which we feel is the direction communication is taking. Email applications currently focus less on people and more on the content of the message. We think tools like Facebook and Twitter better balance the need to know the person behind a message and the message itself. Google Wave moves in that direction…… Overall assessment: It’s already got certain aspects, like navigation, absolutely right. With some great 3rd party apps and greater customization, Google Wave could actually match its hype.
So, Google Wave will be launched soon and will unify web communications in such a way that it will be the container for everything else. It is being built on open source technologies which will create huge developer interest and many add-ins and extensions.
I don’t own Google stock or am associated in any way with the company. But I have to say that I truly believed 4 years ago, and feel much stronger about it now, that they could make certain large software, hardware and services companies irrelevant in just a few more years. And, when that day comes, I would hope that the company stays true to its values. And, when they say that they are the best, all they will have to do is immediately follow with that famous line, “.. no brag, just fact.”