Revealed: A Look At Google's Corporate Intranet - InformationWeek

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12/3/2007
04:17 PM
Stephen Wellman
Stephen Wellman
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Revealed: A Look At Google's Corporate Intranet

Ever wonder what Google's corporate intranet looks like? Well, wait no more. Two bloggers have released screen shots of the search giant's dog food.

Ever wonder what Google's corporate intranet looks like? Well, wait no more. Two bloggers have released screen shots of the search giant's dog food.Here is the inside scoop from Philipp Lenssen and Tony Ruscoe at Google Blogoscoped:

On the top of the Google intranet homepage, you'll find the logo reading "Moma -- Inside Google." Next to it is a search box allowing you to find information from Moma in general, information on specific Google employees, information on availability of meeting rooms, building maps, and more. You can choose to include secure content or not via a checkbox. Another checkbox offers you to use "Moma NEXT" for a more experimental variant of search results.

To the top right, there's an option to switch to iMoma, an iGoogle-style tool prepared by the company which allows further customization of the intranet start page. This way, employees may be able to select their own news and service widgets of interest to be displayed when they log-in.

Moma looks a lot like, you guessed it, Google. Here is a picture of Moma's home page.

And here is a picture what the bloggers claim is an employee search on Moma. Go here for a photo of the Moma search screen:

On the image, you will see a "universal search" style result including employee information, bookmark results, documents hosted on Google's intranet, and a list of related queries. Users get to choose between ordering by date or by relevance. One also can limit the results to different segments like "Tech," "Official," or "Community." Google in its blog said it uses the Google Search Appliance to power this service.

Ex-employee Doug Edwards mentioned how he came to take for granted everything was available on the intranet, "from the status of products in development to the number of employees at any point in the company's history." He adds that the transparency also was a motivator, as "Your failures are also visible to everyone in the company, which provides an even greater motivator to continuously improve performance in the areas for which you are responsible." These days, however, as Doug writes, Google "clamped down on who had access the complete state of the business."

There is plenty in these quotes and images that CIOs and IT managers need to take note of. While lots of companies talk about transparency at work, Google has actually incorporated full performance transparency into its intranet. Think about that -- engineers responsible for making products better are exposed to their colleagues through the main work screen everyone sees every day.

Another thing to note: Moma is basically just Google's products reserved up for internal use. But, thanks to an internal IT system that appears to actually make collaboration work, employees see their colleagues' performance and they have a way to make their internal tools better, right in front of their managers' and co-workers' eyes.

Lots of companies talk about eating their own dog food, but Moma looks like the real deal: a software dog food buffet.

Since these products seem like direct extensions of Google's own applications, there appears to be continuity between making Google's external products better and making Google's internal operations more efficient.

Imagine that, company systems designed to make products work better so that everyone wins. If you are still looking for reasons why Google continues to grow as quickly as it does, look no further.

What do you think? Have any of you out there actually used Moma? If so, what do you think?

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