Archive for the ‘Google’ Category

Outsourcing email?

June 19, 2007
 
12.1%  

Sort of, we want to/are outsource(ing) support of our internal application

12.1%  

No way, the costs don’t match our business needs

  3.0%

Yes, but just the archiving/backup

54.5%  

Yes, all email functions should be hosted

  9.1%

No way, we’ve got easy to use appliances

  3.0%

Yes, but just the mobile connectivity

  6.1%

Yes, but just the inbound messaging

From my earlier poll, it looks like the votes are supporting a move for completely outsourcing all email! That is kind of surprising….. There are all the normal questions that people have of outsourced email (virus/spam management, archiving, mobility, compliance, etc)….

But what about some of the more business critical components of the email system….you know the ones that make email the most important application in the enterprise?

How would an outsourcer…..

  • Integrate with workflow applications that rely on email?
  • Deal with encryption from the client to the host without reducing client functionality?
    • um, I can’t live without half the new features in outlook 2007 already!
  • Handle federated disaster restart?
    • Yes if my database says the customer was sent an email….they darn well better be regardless of the Nor’easter that just took out my servers!

Perhaps there is another explanation? Perhaps a local company that reads my blog inflated the poll….wait a minute….that’s not the only company with local offices pushing outsourcing. EMC is pushing outsourced storage, Google has their outsourced gmail, Azaleos lives down the road from MS, Amazon has “The Cloud“….so how will companies who have their email in one datacenter, their databases in another, and their web applications in “The Cloud” maintain their infrastructure as one cohesive entity? I guess that’s a bigger question and a much larger discussion….

We’ll get to that…in the meantime Go vote for what you think of outsourcing…

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Google Enterprise applications

May 24, 2007

I was on EMC’s campus last week and found a link that was sent to me by a trusted friend. I hit the link to see what the deal was and was kindly presented with a screen that had the following text….

Your IP address: 168.159.133.60
The URL is:http://docs.google.com/
The category of this URL is:Online Storage

Now, I admit it, I like the idea of Google spreadsheets, docs, diagrams, & presentations…..especially for kids!! Even though MS has a cheap version of MS office for students (w/o outlook)….it’s still a bit spendy (even if you get the employee discount). Spendy you ask? That’s right it is EXPENSIVE! Every kid in my family needs a copy….both of my sons, my nephews, my not related children, my friends children, my younger cousins….the list really goes on and on and on……why not just send them to the online apps that are free? Yes, any money over $0 is more expensive in a student based use of an office product.

So what about enterprises? Well I had some concerns early on….and apparently my company has some concerns about it’s employees using it as well. I know there has been lots of banter back and forth about this…..but Google is saying this is Not a Microsoft Office competitor either. I guess my company tends to agree that it’s not a useful tool….and more of a threat then anything else.

Instant Messaging Conversation Search

April 30, 2007

Earlier I made a comment about Microsoft better integrating search capabilities into MS Office…..then I tried to search within a conversation I was having using Microsoft Office Communicator…..and guess what…you can’t!!! There are no search options built into the client!! At least not in the version that Microsoft uses for their internal installation.

So I thought about this for a minute and tried the same thing in a conversation I was having using MSN Messenger….and no luck there either! This was kind of a suprise to me (hence the blog entry)…..why in the world would there not be basic search of the text of a conversation…..from within the application where it occured?

Well there it is, the first place search could easily be added to the productivity/collaboration suite of products to make an impact. Now, I know Google doesn’t have it in their gmail integrated client.

But this may be one of those times to stop following Google and make a better user experience….a user should think…..”Ah, exactly what I wanted to do“………instead of…..”hmm, I don’t understand why the computer doesn’t just do what I want it to do“.

After more thought, I read Betsy Aoki‘s post on this exact topic (getting computer search to do what we want). I’m not sure I understand the logic, and perhaps thinking computers can’t “just do what the user wants it to” is why everyone in the Microsoft Search business is leaving with almost daily announcements? Betsy includes in her post….

“That’s why community features and approaches are so important. A search engine isn’t going to collate information from several web sites into a “how-to” because it’s never made bath fizzies/bombs before. A search engine hasn’t lived through the experience of where to put aging parents who can still get around but might fall down with no one to help. And even if the math is perfect, only so many answers fit on that first page, and there are many more types of people in the world who may disagree with the results.

That’s all true….but to start, I want to search the digital world where and how I want, I want the computer to return only the absolutely most relevant results (not just some of the relevant results)….Then I want to interact with my community with those results….

STOP focusing so much on minor improvements…..and focus on the customer (like Dorai’s list of Missing Search Functionality)…..not the competition!!

Besides if I am instant messaging my peers (through a community feature) and I can’t search the conversation….what good is the community feature in the first place!

Anyone know of a Messenger plugin that makes this happen (specifically in Office Communicator or MSN Messenger)?

Google Office 2007: Now compatible with Vista

February 21, 2007

In case your company spent too much on Vista licensing this year, it looks like you can still save some costs on your productivity suite!!

I know MS is just trying to get into the hosted space for email, but Google is already offering all the important productivity tools with 99.9% uptime….email, calendaring, spreadsheets, & word processing….even blackberry if you want it! For $50 per user!!

This is a neat idea and certainly fills a void for a lot of cases. The case of schools is a huge one in my opinion students can cross the boundaries of home and campus and maintain a familiar application at little to no cost. That is fantastic! Small businesses and un-tech savvy users is another great example, if they can get easy access to this stuff…they have a viable option to reduce the costs of their business….

Of course I would need to know a few things before I started moving my business onto the latest fad software:

  1. What about email retention & discovery (all companies need to worry about this now)?
  2. Where is the diagramming software?
  3. Where is the project application?
  4. Where is the presentation software (an online app would be great for this…never get up to speak without your presentation online)?
  5. Why is this better then starOffice (ok hosted email is cool, but starOffice is cheap and fairly solid now)?
  6. Am I going to get advertisements in my apps for this price (ok, probably not, but does the licensing prevent them from doing this)?
  7. Why isn’t jotspot or blogger included in the deal (that would take care of number 3 and a lot more)?
  8. What is the plan when Office Live comes out with twice the feature set at the same price (isn’t that what they do, make everyone else’s ideas better)?
  9. Will Maps be included at any point (a la MS streets & trips)?
  10. Why isn’t the IM application included…or any conferencing suite (we need easy, trackable, auditable collaboration software!)?

Better than Google, Earn $1 per Search!!

January 26, 2007

That’s right you too can earn $1 for every search you perform on the internet! That is pretty cool…

I didn’t know about this until today and time is already almost up…. For the rest of the weekend go to launch http://teamseattle.live.com to perform internet Searches and you will earn $1 for the Seattle Children’s Hospital with every search.

Thanks for pointing this out Tony!!