Google marks an enterprising first decade

17 Oct 2007
00:00

Google is expected to offer software that is mature and updated to the demands of the enterprise sector.

Google turned 10-years-old last month. September 15, 1997 was the day Larry Page and Sergey Brin, two 24-year-old Stanford University students, registered the "google.com" domain name. A year later they incorporated the company, but given that it's an Internet company I guess it's fair to mark the anniversary on the day the domain name was registered.

In the technology industry, 10 years is a long time.

Yet I suspect most people still view Google as the fresh newcomer that reminded the old-timers, most notably Microsoft, that every company reaches its peak and that it's downhill from there. Let's face it, nobody likes the sudden realization that they're approaching middle age (trust me), yet that's precisely where Microsoft and its peers (yes, Oracle and SAP, that includes you) are today.

Now that it's 10, Google also needs to deal with its new maturity. Perhaps one of the reasons why it's still viewed as and compared with some of the more prominent startups, such as Facebook, is that nothing seems to ever get out of "beta". Take Gmail - I've been relying on it for a couple of years now yet it's still a beta project. So is the Google Calendar and others in the growing list of hosted applications that I (and I suspect many others) have now incorporated into business life.

Keeping something like Gmail in perpetual beta is a mistake. Why‾ Because these days Google is seriously courting the enterprise space and many enterprises are not going to adopt a beta product. They want something that's been tested, then tested some more and that comes with a water-tight guarantee that it works. A system that proudly advertises that it's still in beta is not what the compliance manager wants to see.

At around the time Google was turning 10 it also reached another milestone of sorts: it officially announced that consultancy firm Capgemini would start offering Google's online software to its business customers.

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