Google Wave for the Enterprise

May 29, 2009 Appirio

Iein Valdez

Very exciting news from Google I/O over the last couple of days– especially Wave, Google’s vision for reinventing communication on the web. A lot has been written about the basics of Wave– we like Mashable’s summary and TechCrunch’s analysis in particular — but less has been written about Wave’s implication for the enterprise. We thought we’d share some of our thoughts based on today’s early look and our experience helping some of the largest companies in the world do more with Google technology.

Let’s start with the obvious– email (and collaboration in general) is far more of a problem in an enterprise than it is in people’s personal lives. Filtering through hundreds of email messages every day has become an end in and of itself, instead of a means to getting real work done.
Gmail has been a much needed evolution in how we can do email at work– features like threading, archiving, labels, instant search, and highly flexible rules and filters have already helped millions of workers get their jobs done faster.
Wave is the revolution– changing the notion of what it means to communicate with colleagues and customers. By allowing a “wave” to morph from a traditional email to an IM to a wiki and back again as colleagues contribute to it, Wave will break down the silos of communication that define collaboration at work.
Perhaps most importantly, Wave is a platform. This is the most important part of yesterday’s announcement for the enterprise. This will allow partners (including Appirio!), to turn Wave into a role-specific tool to get work done.
Imagine the following:
  • Project Waves: Bridge the gap between your under-used project wiki page and the day-to-day email and IM traffic among the project team. Get new project team members up to speed quickly by having them “playback” the critical waves in the project workspace.

  • Sales Waves: Collaborate on deals in an environment rich with context from your CRM system, embedded as gadgets within the wave. Turn everyone in your company into a member of a virtual account team that contributes ideas on how to do more business with your most important accounts.
  • Support Waves: Stop endless loops of customer support email. Engage your customers in a wave that evolves as their needs change. Resolve their issue faster, and create reusable waves for customers with similar problems.

Exciting days ahead for changing how work gets done in the enterprise– especially when Wave is combined with a powerful back-end application platform like Force.com. We’re excited to start playing with this exciting technology, and will keep you updated as we learn more. Leave a comment if you’d like to start a conversation about how to use Wave in your enterprise!

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