Networking

04:37 PM
Connect Directly
LinkedIn
Google+
Twitter
RSS
E-Mail
50%
50%

Google+ Latest Service To Snub Google Apps Users

For more than a year, Google has been promising to fix a compatibility problem with Google Apps accounts "soon."

Top 15 Google Apps For Business
Slideshow: Top 15 Google Apps ForBusiness
(click image for larger view and for full slideshow)
Maybe the reason Google has struggled to succeed in social media is that it keeps snubbing some of its most loyal fans.

The introduction of Google+ has revived interest in Google's ability to become a player in social media, with granular control over different circles of contacts that might even make it useful for business collaboration--if only the company's product planners would stop working at cross purposes. Google+ is only the latest service to snub the users of Google Apps, the online service for businesses that allows them to use their business domain with Gmail, Google Calendar, Google Docs, and other Web applications. Google Apps is the company's core cloud computing offering to small businesses, large enterprises, and universities, many of which use it to support student email accounts.

Even before Google stopped issuing new invitations for Google+, Google Apps users who tried to sign up were confronted with an error message ("Oops!") informing them that Google+ requires a Google Profile. Google Apps users, some of them paying customers, get the same brush off if they try to use the +1 button Google introduced earlier this year.

Google Profiles are a prerequisite for any of these social features, but they have yet to be enabled for Google Apps accounts. Google Buzz, last year's supposed Facebook-killer, had the same issue. When Buzz was announced in February 2010, Google promised to have it working with Google Apps accounts "within a few months".

Buzz turned out to be a misfire, but a similar promise followed in a March 30, 2011 post on the Official Google Enterprise Blog: "Coming soon to Google Apps: +1 button and Google Profiles."

By now, Google Apps users can be forgiven for wondering what "soon" means in Google's book. Some of the chronology presented here comes from the blog of Brad Wells, an electrical engineering student at Florida State University, who has chronicled the string of broken promises and recent hints that soon might really be coming soon.

"I do think it's weird that their most loyal users getting locked out of all their best applications," said longtime tech blogger Kent Newsome, who also has been ranting about the snub to the users who have made the greatest commitment to Google's cloud apps. In an interview, Newsome said he understands why Google has to be more careful with the features it offers to business users, but he still finds the delay frustrating.

"I think the reason Google is being so careful about this is they've been promoting Google Apps to the enterprise, which means they have to be super, super careful with access and security and not roll anything out before they can secure it," Newsome said. "It just makes me mad because I love Google, love Google Apps, and want to use Plus."

Previous
1 of 2
Next
Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Comments
Oldest First  |  Newest First  |  Threaded View
brons2
50%
50%
brons2,
User Rank: Apprentice
7/7/2011 | 7:27:59 PM
re: Google+ Latest Service To Snub Google Apps Users
Maybe a little early to complain about it, it's not even in wide release yet. I can't even get them to give me an account even though I do have a Google profile.
David F. Carr
50%
50%
David F. Carr,
User Rank: Apprentice
7/8/2011 | 6:13:21 PM
re: Google+ Latest Service To Snub Google Apps Users
True, it's early for Google+. But this issue has been kicking around for a year and a half or so and also helped undermine the Google Buzz effort. I see it as a symptom of Google not being particularly agile or responsive, and leaving a core constituency feeling neglected. Paying Google Apps customers in particular are grumbling about paying more for a lower level of service in some ways.

Probably fair to say the grumbling comes more from SMBs, techies, and consultants who are Google Apps customers than from major enterprises (who may actually appreciate the more careful and conservative introduction of new features).

On the other hand, it doesn't seem like it should be this hard to add a checkbox to the Google Apps admin panel saying "enable user profiles" (the way many consumer and Google Labs features are offered today).
Cartoon
Slideshows
Audio Interviews
Archived Audio Interviews
Jeremy Schulman, founder of Schprockits, a network automation startup operating in stealth mode, joins us to explore whether networking professionals all need to learn programming in order to remain employed.
White Papers
Register for Network Computing Newsletters
Current Issue
2014 Private Cloud Survey
2014 Private Cloud Survey
Respondents are on a roll: 53% brought their private clouds from concept to production in less than one year, and 60% ­extend their clouds across multiple datacenters. But expertise is scarce, with 51% saying acquiring skilled employees is a roadblock.
Video
Twitter Feed