Sunday, November 16, 2008

Apples from Google to taste better

At the recently concluded Web 2.0 Summit in San Francisco there was an interesting panel discssion on "Cloud: The Apps". The panel consisted of Marc Benioff ( CEO) and Dave Girouard (President of Google's Enterprise Unit). The context to the discussion was that major ERP players such as Oracle and SAP were not going to survive in the SaaS based model of the future. The discussion revolved around the fact that the entrenched ERP players were late to the Web2.0 game, and would lose market share with the adoption of SaaS based application models.

Marc Benioff, as expected, slammed Oracle CEO Larry Ellison about his dismissive comments on Web 2.0. He proclaimed Larry's comments to be a sign of weakness, by invoking the chinese military strategist Sun Tzu in stating "When weak, feign strength". 

Dave Girourd explained the disconnect between traditional applications that focused on the business process while giving little attention to the end-user interaction. He saw the new Web2.0 applications essenitially providing a new paraidigm to productivity by focusing primarily on the presentation and interaction layers. He pointed out Microsoft's recent announcement of its Azure Web application development platform and the web-hosted version of MS Office as good starting points. However comparing the Google Apps collaboration suite with hosted MS Office, he said it was like comparing "apples to oranges". He stated then when the hosted version of MS office becomes available it will be possible to compare it to Google Apps, and went on to say that it would be clear that "Google's apples will taste better".

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