Google Wave and its’ significance to Enterprise 2.0
Last week was absolute mayhem on the work front for me and I missed out on the Google Wave news cycle. This past weekend, I dug into the video and some of the commentary that emerged. I’m in general agreement with those that believe that the applicability of Wave to the enterprise can be huge, but at some point in the future.
Overall two things struck me:
First, if Wave gets the traction it desires and in fact starts to look like a standard, its going to give birth to a huge services opportunity that will surround the wave platform and the litany of social software offerings for the enterprise (Blogs, Wikis, etc.). Already Appirio, a company that I’m quite impressed with, has taken a stab at illustrating how this might play out in the enterprise. Here are some basic use cases:
Imagine the following:
- Project Waves: Bridge the gap between your under-used project wiki page and the day-to-day email and IM traffic among the project team. Get new project team members up to speed quickly by having them “playback” the critical waves in the project workspace.
- Sales Waves: Collaborate on deals in an environment rich with context from your CRM system, embedded as gadgets within the wave. Turn everyone in your company into a member of a virtual account team that contributes ideas on how to do more business with your most important accounts.
- Support Waves: Stop endless loops of customer support email. Engage your customers in a wave that evolves as their needs change. Resolve their issue faster, and create reusable waves for customers with similar problems.
Second, every Enterprise 2.0 vendor is thinking about how this can potentially simplify and accelerate their product roadmaps and architectures. And whether some re-tooling is in order if Wave does deliver on its stated promise. This stuff screams real time and is a promising foundation to realize a Friendfeed inspired utility for the enterprise. At the risk of sounding cynical, I also wonder if this is yet another step towards commoditization of the social software stack. Add to that the closing in of Open Source from the other side, as described by Jevon MacDonald over on the FastForward Blog today.
If there’s one analysis on the subject that you can dig into, it should be this one from Dion Hinchcliffe. Dion opines:
Its egalitarian and federation-friendly design is intended to create an entire open ecosystem for communication and collaboration that Google is not-so-modestly touting as the reinvention of digital interaction circa 2009.
Wave is still very early as demonstrated by the glitches in its launch video, below. And it still relies on Google Gears in lieu of pending changes to the HTML standard. Its ridiculously promising though and can inject the concept of real time into core workflows and processes, far beyond micro blogging.
Here are some other very good perspectives on the subject that I liked and thought I’d share:
- Jeremiah Owyang: Google Wave to bring Web 2.0 lifestyle to work.
- Richard Waters: Google Wave: a secret weapon for the Enterprise?
- Elias Bizannes: Google Wave will take a generation.
- Hutch Carpenter: Google Wave and the Enterprise: Beautiful Potential, Faraway Dream
And here’s the official video: