Google Campfire One: Enterprise apps get “Googled”

March 9, 2010 Appirio

Enterprise apps get “Googled” with the Google Apps Marketplace and Gmail Contextual Gadgets
Ryan Nichols

Tonight, we were flattered to present on stage at Google Campfire, where Google announced the launch of the Google Apps Marketplace and a set of new integration points that transform Google Apps from a simple Exchange/Sharepoint replacement into a legitimate front-end for enterprise applications.

This is a natural evolution that we’ve been excited about for a while (see prediction #5 in our 2010 predictions). Knowledge workers spend the majority of their day in email. Why not bring enterprise functionality to that environment, rather than continue a 30 year quest by enterprise application vendors to alter the way people work?

This is one of those things that’s “just different” when you run your entire business in the cloud– the on-premise guys have tried (and failed) to solve this problem for years. Seeing Google turn Apps into an extensible platform to bring together dozens of different cloud applications finally makes it possible to bring together solutions for business and solutions for business people. It’s not just about saving clicks– bringing these 2 worlds together helps people make better decisions as they work.

Take PS Connect, our new extension to Appirio’s Force.com-based services management application, Professional Service Enterprise. Tonight at Campfire, we showed how this extension will change the way we work here at Appirio, and why we’re so excited to bring this innovation to to customers like Universal Mind, who are participating in our beta program.

We’re using PS Connect for our own business first. Appirio runs our entire business on cloud-based applications, including Salesforce CRM and PS Enterprise. We use these applications to manage the core pillars of our business– our people, our projects, and of course our customers and financials. We have many employees who spend all day in these core business applications, including our operational staff. These applications are powerful, and easy to use…contrast the new Salesforce UI with the 4 digit transaction codes still used by most SAP customers!

But most employees aren’t in these applications very often, despite the fact that there is information in these systems that is critical to their ability to do their day-to-day jobs. These employees spend the majority of their day in email. After all, we’re in a people business, and most collaboration still happens in email.

That’s why PS Connect is so powerful– it brings these 2 worlds together. When I get an email in my Gmail inbox, PS Connect is triggered. Based on who an email is from and who it is to, PS Connect brings together the relevant business information required to respond, right at the bottom of the message. If I get an email from a prospect, PS Connect shows me the status of all the related opportunities so that I can do my part to push a deal forward. If I get an email from a customer, PS Connect shows me the ongoing projects, the current status, notes from the project manager…. even information about the remaining project budget to help me make the right decisions about the project.

Will this be more convenient? Sure. But more importantly, this will improve the way people work. Are enterprise apps about to get “Googled”? We certainly hope so. Learn more about PS Connect here, or click here to learn more about our beta program.

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