Thursday, May 18, 2006
Google and the Enterprise
I attended this mornings keynote at AIIM which was given by Dave Giraourd of Google Enterprise. Though I learned little new about Google I was left with lots to think about.
The Enterprise (large businesses) is a very different concept through Google's eyes than mine. And I don't want to be so presumtuous as to say that I am right and they are wrong, but I suspect I am right and they are wrong :-)
One of the key statements of the keynote that was emphasised many times is that enterprise software is not designed for users and it should be. Well I don't think it is that simple. Should it be usable and efficient? Yes, but business applications are designed for businesses by businesses
to meet specific business needs.
Then the speaker posited a couple of others things that made me scratch my bald pate. He said that search is not useful enough for end users - and then later said that if a search takes longer than 1 second people just don't bother with it and abandon the search very quickly...If this is the case, then how come search is such a mission critical tool?
He also went on to say that it is not realistic to standarize methods organizing content in a large organization. Yet this is precisely what forward thinking companies are doing, and with great effect..
Then.."Employees and Consumers are the same people" - well not really I am a husband, a consultant, a father, a writer and a rotten golfer. I have quite differing demands and needs to satisfy in each of those roles.
I realize that Google has a good search engine - and it may well have one that is good for enterprises also, but based on todays speech and gathering feedback from others who listened, the enterprises that Google are pitching too are few and far between. Google for consumers is a very different proposition, there they have targeted perfectly the masses. But in an enterprise things are filed and there is a perfectly logical (if funky at times) order, most people know where things are and simply go there (no wonder they give up bothering if a search tool takes more than 1 sec to retrieve an answer). In short Enterprise Search and Consumer Search are very different beasts indeed.