Should CIOs Take Google Seriously: Part 2

Capgemini takes Google seriously as a business software provider; maybe more CIOs should, too

John Soat, Contributor

September 11, 2007

2 Min Read

Capgemini takes Google seriously as a business software provider; maybe more CIOs should, tooA few weeks ago I wrote a blog about a report by The Burton Group that questioned the readiness of Google's software-as-a-service suite of tools for enterprise use. That report, entitled "Google Apps in the Enterprise: A Promotion-Enhancing or Career-Limiting Move for Enterprise Architects?", pointed out that there are limitations to Google's software that CIOs might find, well, limiting.

The blog I wrote questioned CIOs' readiness to embrace Google as a strategic enterprise partner. I mentioned that I had talked with very few CIOs who seemed eager to cast their companies' fates with the search giant, as appealing as Google's low-cost software service might be.

Since that time, Google has tapped Capgemini as an enterprise partner for its high-end suite, Google Apps Premier Edition. Capgemini will offer the Google online software suite, which includes word processing, spreadsheets, customizable home pages, e-mail, chat, and calendar apps, to its desktop outsourcing customers. Capgemini says it's not looking to transition its outsourcing customers from Microsoft Office to Google Apps, and the two may be complementary, according to a story by my colleague Mary Hayes Weier. Google has some big names using its suite, such as General Electric, L'Oreal, and Procter & Gamble.

Is that enough to push CIOs over the top in taking Google seriously as an enterprise player? Maybe. Google suffers from some of the same concerns CIOs had with Microsoft when it made its first thrusts into the enterprise arena fifteen years ago or so: Are its products functional enough for corporate use? Is it serious about enterprise support? And is its corporate culture compatible with conservative American business?

This latest move is a big step in the right direction. The more enterprise partners Google enlists, like Capgemini, the more serious enterprise CIOs will take their online service offerings.

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