We did a webinar this morning on enterprise social software, mostly presenting some high-level results of a survey we did with ChangeWave Research and analysis of the survey data and the market for our new special report on social software.
We had some Q&A at the end of the session using the web meeting software. I didn’t get to answer all the questions on the call as we ran out of time but have been going through the questions that queued up. There were several on Google and specifically on whether or not Google’s current enterprise offerings (Google Apps mostly) are “social.”
I don’t think it’s particularly useful to spend time debating whether or not Google Docs is social software. It’s a useful tool – I use it fairly regularly to collaboratively author documents and to share them with folks inside and outside of the company. That’s certainly a collaborative app and in some ways it’s definitely more collaborative than Microsoft Office (though I find the revision tracking with Google much more difficult).
But what strikes me about all these Google questions is the mindshare Google already has in the market, whether or not it has the tools. That’s part of what we found in our survey and what I discussed this morning on the webinar. In our survey, 18% of those currently using or planning to use social software (defined in this report as social networking, blogs, wikis and social bookmarking) in their organizations use or plan to use Google. I’m not sure what products / services exactly as Google doesn’t even really have enterprise offerings in these specific categories. But there you have it. And then a good chunk of the questions I had on the content were on Google. It’s definitely a ripe market for Google, if and when it decides to pick it.