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All posts tagged Google Apps

Google+ Is A Testament To Collective Mindlessness …

…the collective mindlessness that if everyone else is “doing” a social network then we should too.

Google+ - Don't be sith

Add this to Google’s Sith-like ability to force the coupling with YouTube comments and a case study in giving the finger once again to Windows Phone users by having no Google+ app and ceding this demographic to their competition and you end up with what?

Google+ - tumbleweed

Google+ Is Deintegrating From Other Google Services

This is the post from Bradley Horowitz, VP of Streams, Photos, and Sharing explaining the conscious uncoupling of Google+ from other services such as YouTube comments, Photo App and more.

Google+ - conscious decoupling announcement

Don’t get me wrong there is a lot to like about Google+ in terms of UX and features but a social network built atop a draconian attitude is a recipe for disaster.

Does Google need their own Social Network? Google indexes content. Bringing content sharing and commenting into a Google platform? Headslappingly obvious.

Can it be fixed by these steps of deintegration? Doubtful, perhaps Google+ will be reinvented the way Google Wave and other services were.

The thing is between Google+ and the hibernating Google Glass, Google needs a win. Especially whilst Microsoft are doing everything to dominate the productivity app sphere with Office 365 evolving into Office Everywhere.

The Warptest POV

It’s harsh and not entirely accurate to call Google+ a ghost town but equally it can’t seem to compete with Twitter or Facebook. Can it be saved or fixed? The best hope for Google+ is to look at the features it has and what it should be integrated with; were Google to pivot from a Social Network and integrate with Google Apps transforming Google+ into a Social / Work Productivity Dashboard where users could collaborate on documents in Apps and on their Google Drive in using Google+ comments, allowing Hangouts to see a document in review and allow real-time group collaboration then Google+ might evolve into something valuable.. a shared workspace. Frankly, I’m befuddled why Google+ wasn’t part of Google Apps for Business this way from the get go.

Microsoft are already ahead of the game with Delve (formerly Project OSLO) built on their social graph. Can Google+ catch up if they make this change?

I’m not sure, but I’ll be posting this to my Google+ page. Will you respond there?

Microsoft Office Continues…

It’s Plan For Global Domination. Well at least on Smartphones and Tablets with the addition of a version of One Note for iOS and Android. (there will be two versions for iOS: one for iPhone and one for iPad). At this time Google Play Store has 1 million+ downloads but installation is region blocked in Israel (and presumably other countries too.. what’s that about Google / Microsoft?)

Microsoft Office One Note Android

It seems that the boffins at Microsoft Office are going for a gradual and surreptitious takeover along the lines of the prediction at Warptest a while back.

Yes Redmond Aren’t the Only Show In Town

Microsoft Office One Note

If it’s only a productivity Notes App then look no further than Evernote for competition but for the whole kit and caboodle if you want to compete with Microsoft Office then for now it’s only really Google Apps. Apple I’m afraid you got some catching up to do

The Warptest POV

IMHO the organic argument holds some water here i.e. Google Apps on an Android phone or tablet, Microsoft Office on a Windows Phone (or tablet) until you remember (as I’ve mentioned in the past) that for the business user it is all about the backend. So pay attention, if your workplace has Windows servers or uses Azure then expect to be encouraged by your CIO to make the jump over to Microsoft Office.

Microsoft Office OneNote Meme

If this is an issue for you then get in touch and I’ll help ease your transition.

Google Plus World Domination After Wave or Buzz?

Google Plus is this just their third strike at Social? I’m going to be generous here and say.. after the experiments that were Google Buzz and Wave.. it seems that Google has gotten things mostly right with Google+

google plus - ui

The experts, professionals and pundits are already arguing if Google Plus is going to become the leading platform.  I decided to deconstruct its functionality and see what occurred to me.

google plus - functionality

In a Nutshell…

Google Plus incorporates sharing content, grouping your friends/ followers in Circles and much  more however, as much as I find it to be a killer app I find myself dissatisfied with the User Experience.

A friend told me they felt Google+ would not “take off big time” as it was a techie oriented platform compared to the ubiquity of Facebook or the professional niche of LinkedIn.

Google Plus right now is the child who brings home the “Little Timmy could be doing so much more..” report card. Sharing content on Google+ definitely drives traffic to you and generates followers who you would not get via Twitter or Facebook but there is more..

What’s Missing / WISHLIST?

Google Plus definitely is a rock star make no mistake but I suspect we are going to see a few more features added in the next year or so. These are my predictions: –

  • Goo.gl – Google’s own URL shortening service with some great tracking features built in. Microsoft Fuse Research Lab released their experimental platform So.cl not long ago and had the foresight to include a built in URL shortener; come on guys this is a no-brainer!
  • Google Analytics – yes, I want to know everything about everything I share on Google Plus and if someone +1’s I want to see the who, how and more.
  • 3rd Party Integration – I get it, I do.. Google Plus is the New York of platforms.. the center of the universe and nothing exists outside it.. give me a break. I want to be able to post from Google Plus directly to Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook etc.
  • Save Hangouts as YouTube videos to my channel .. instant video-blogging showing all the members of your conversation .. for the business users who want full Google App integration (I believe this is already working) this adds a powerful tool for co-located team meetings.
  • Save Chats and or Comments as a Google Document via Apps or Gmail it to all participants – again think co-located team meetings and think minutes of a meeting including action items.
  • Event planning and invitations – Google Calendar integration nuff said.

I had one or two more but it seems that Google and I think alike so these are considered Hangout Extras (optional):

google plus - hangouts

My favorite here is Screensharing: for group support or training sessions this could be a killer feature.

Simply put Google Plus is good but to make it great (and by great I mean World Domination class) let’s see some of these features implemented.

Office365 Is Something Special

I applied early on for a Beta invite of Microsoft Office365. Microsoft’s business offering for Office in the Cloud.

mos_33054_office365_white

About a month ago I finally received my invite and logged in. I was fascinated to see how Microsoft was going to compete with Google Apps and other Productivity Web Apps. It took me approximately 10 minutes to realize what a world-class winner Office365 was.

Those of you with a Windows Live account (the free version) have access to all the Live services including mail via Hotmail, storage in Skydrive and collaborative documentation/ productivity using Office Live. Office365 takes it up several notches for businesses of any scale.

What’s in the box?

Well, there’s no box but if there was it would be: –

Office365b_Home

Outlook / Exchange – with full functionality: Mail, Contacts, Calendar, Tasks …

Lync (download required from Office365 dashboard) – Pro MS Communicator.

Sharepoint – Site, Site Template, Tools and Central shared Document Storage.

Word, Excel, Powerpoint, One Note

Outlook Mobile Support (at present supported by US carriers only)

The Office365 Beta allows you to define 25 users/ licenses and to configure what permission level and applications they have access to use. Default login is https so security is predefined for the free domain domain.onmicrosoft.com or you can opt to use your existing domain. Should you opt for the first option this comes with 25Gb of storage.

All administration is done through the Admin Web Page and it couldn’t be easier or more intuitive to use than this.

In addition the Beta is free for 6 months, enough time for your business to decide you can’t live without Professional Office in the Cloud.

Office 365 is going to be a game-changer on several levels but I’m watching to see how this is going to affect IT staffing. Installing new versions, service packs, patches or simply adding additional applications for a user is going to be scripted allowing a much leaner IT support staff.

Absent Friends

Noticeably absent from the Beta is Microsoft Access. Does this mean no Access anymore or is this going to remain a pure Client application? If not then are users going to have to upscale to Microsoft SQL Azure?

Access_Denied_365b

Competitive or Not?

A final word, right now I don’t have pricing for this but money issues aside if I had to choose between Office 365 and Google Apps for my organization; having used prior versions of Office and Google Apps I would definitely be sticking with Office for many reasons.