Note: Welcome to Friday Fudge #2 of hopefully many to come.
You’ve heard of going Google.
Well, I’ve gone Google. Yes. Color Nicholas gone.
In fact, I’ve been using Google Apps since late 2006.
Granted, I’m not representative of a multinational corporation with tens of thousands of seats. One of the criticisms of hosted applications is how they are just not suited to larger shops that require high levels of uptime. Often you hear these are high touch IT environments.
Okay, fair enough.
I invested in Google Apps Premier Edition and have spoken on the phone with the Google Apps support team a total of three times during that period. Yes, during brief outages. You can do the math on how many nines of uptime that is pretty quickly.
Here’s one such example: The Phone Support Experience.
In this instance, an outage was isolated only the web (Gmail) that was having an issue. I was using IMAP with no issues. As a matter of practice, I sync my Google Apps via IMAP as well. This gives me the most flexibility and I have a backup stored that I can replicate to other storage media elsewhere for backup and archival. The same goes for Calendars, Contacts, etc… it’s all good for the most part.
As for the other two issues, those were related to importing MS Word and Powerpoint files in the Documents area – each issue was resolved quickly. Frustrating at the time? Yes.
That said, when I’ve been assured of solid Internet connectivity at conferences, I’ve presented from Google Docs for slide decks to prove my points on cloud concepts. Yes, I keep a thumb drive copy in my pocket.
Coming from a telecom/ISP/hosting background, my standards are very high. Yet for the price of the seat they offer and the expanding features added over time, it’s a solid choice. For now.
[is another solution where I expect to see expanded use over time for maximum hybrid functionality and another truncheon in the bewildering array of options for the silo averse IT world.
In short, I’m sold.
Here’s the thing though… I’ve also also hosted my website/email/etc… at various web hosting shops, my own server in company colocation (eat your own dog food / drink your own champagne), hosted at home using a DynDNS approach, as well as taking it all down, redirecting it to lifestreaming services, and most recently… the cloud. Just not a Google cloud for everything. Yet.
These migrations were also back and forth, mix and match, and not an either or proposition. That’s the problem you run into sometimes with new technology. Many folks assume different solutions cannot operate in tandem or as a hybrid.
[to mix and match what makes sense. The next big thing is taking this all to the cloud.
Okay, enough about the box that sat next to the desktop…
Let’s get back to the desktop
[Again – there is room for more than one approach. The market is massive for this approach. In the same way that web hosting became regarded as something you rarely do “in house” so too will other applications come to be regarded. Partly, this will be due to the notion of who is expected to interact and what level of desktop support and connectivity is standard.
If Microsoft came out with an amazing way to avoid dealing with a silo of data that was fragile or easily lost – I’d move that way. In reality, the company behind the solution is not nearly as important as the promise of the solution. Only when you consider the longevity of the data you care about is the reputation or company. This is why I think the private cloud and federated concepts like Google Wave will be much like the early days of NCSA HTTPd server.
[So, while everyone has a short memory window of right now when it comes to the cloud, I remember being at Internet World Fall 1997 in NYC. I remember how the network computer was going to rule the world. I remember Sun and Oracle as two different companies saying their view was the way it shall be. IBM begged to differ.
How far we’ve come?
Marketing will always be ahead of the delivery capabilities of the markets envisioned. Technology is merely the response to the perceived need. Still, the step function of market desire and market reality gets more shallow with each passing year.