Mobile // Mobile Applications
News
11/29/2011
10:42 AM
Connect Directly
LinkedIn
Google+
Twitter
RSS
E-Mail
50%
50%

Google+ Hangouts Ready For Business?

Google's powerful, free videochat service may be a business meeting alternative to GoToMeeting or Skype--under very controlled circumstances.

10 Great Android Collaboration Apps
10 Great Android Collaboration Apps
(click image for larger view and for slideshow)
In the long run, Jackson said, "the business possibilities are great--meetings, meetings, meetings. I'm thinking product demos. I'm thinking live one-on-ones with a client that is in jeopardy." The president of the company might not be able to visit with that shaky client in person, but he can do it by online video, Jackson said. "Business communications all work better the more facetime you have."

At the same time, Jackson is conscious of having proclaimed an imminent revolution in Internet video communications for business several times before. "Please hear me when say I think it is the future--but it is slightly in the future. I've always wanted to say it is now, now, now, and I've been burned every time I've said it," he said.

The bleeding-edge state of the technology was on display when Jackson participated in a Hangout hosted by "Good Morning America" immediately following a broadcast earlier this month that featured an interview with Vic Gundotra, the senior VP of engineering for Google+. An initial attempt to capture the videofeed and send it to the Times Square Jumbotron failed due to technical difficulties, so the online meeting didn't happen until the reporters retreated to their studio and started over.

[ Creating content is easy--making it good is not. Get 10 Tips For Creating Killer Social Content. ]

"They made a classic mistake--they went live before they were ready for it," Jackson said. The TV crew probably got a little too ambitious, piling complications on top of beta-quality technology. In his own tests, Hangouts is more likely to hang up when some of the participants are accessing the session from mobile devices, or when the Hangouts with Extras features are included.

So would Jackson do a business meeting on Hangouts? "Under carefully controlled conditions, yes," he said. "Most, if not all, of the participants would have to be on Ethernet--I would not trust any Wi-Fi connection--and I'd want to control the time of day that those meetings came about, trying to gauge the network traffic."

Ideally, those participating in the meeting would also be tech-savvy friends, willing to try something new in a spirit of experimentation--with an alternative such as a simple phone conference ready as a backup. For communications with a client whom you wouldn't want to be embarrassed in front of, he said, "I would still advise extreme caution, knowing that an unacceptable level of failure is possible. I say that with a heavy heart, but with great hope--I think we're nearly there."

Follow David F. Carr on Twitter @davidfcarr. The BrainYard is @thebyard

The Enterprise Connect conference program covers the full range of platforms, services, and applications that comprise modern communications and collaboration systems. It happens March 25-29 in Orlando, Fla. Find out more.

Previous
3 of 3
Next
Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Comments
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
David F. Carr
50%
50%
David F. Carr,
User Rank: Author
12/1/2011 | 11:23:06 PM
re: Google+ Hangouts Ready For Business?
Just today, Google added the ability to bring in additional participants by calling out to them by phone (part of the Hangouts with Extras incarnation of the service)

https://plus.google.com/104364...
Bprince
50%
50%
Bprince,
User Rank: Apprentice
11/30/2011 | 8:38:32 PM
re: Google+ Hangouts Ready For Business?
Some potential here. @ readers: how do you see Google+ affecting Facebook, and what should both sides be doing to win you over?
Brian Prince, InformationWeek/Dark Reading, Comment Moderator
Building A Mobile Business Mindset
Building A Mobile Business Mindset
Among 688 respondents, 46% have deployed mobile apps, with an additional 24% planning to in the next year. Soon all apps will look like mobile apps and it's past time for those with no plans to get cracking.
Register for InformationWeek Newsletters
White Papers
Current Issue
InformationWeek Tech Digest, Dec. 9, 2014
Apps will make or break the tablet as a work device, but don't shortchange critical factors related to hardware, security, peripherals, and integration.
Video
Slideshows
Twitter Feed
InformationWeek Radio
Archived InformationWeek Radio
Join us for a roundup of the top stories on InformationWeek.com for the week of December 14, 2014. Be here for the show and for the incredible Friday Afternoon Conversation that runs beside the program.
Sponsored Live Streaming Video
Everything You've Been Told About Mobility Is Wrong
Attend this video symposium with Sean Wisdom, Global Director of Mobility Solutions, and learn about how you can harness powerful new products to mobilize your business potential.