Google Buzz applies as much to the enterprise as it does to the consumer market. The real-time application creates an extension for communication that adds a threaded context to a conversation, a critical component for an enterprise application.
But Google Buzz in the enterprise will have some inherent weaknesses.
Tony Bradley of PC World makes the point that most consumer products do not work with Google Apps Premier Edition. To access Picasa, a Google Apps Premier account holder must log out and log back in to a consumer account.
Security concerns drive the reasons why the service has this partition. But an application like Google Buzz relies on information rolling in from different sources. It is that richness that makes Google Buzz a potentially useful consumer tool. But you won't have that richness with Google Buzz under the current limitations that come with Google Apps Premier Edition.
Google Buzz does have an open architecture, which should make it possible to integrate external data. We'll see how this affects Google Buzz. It looks like a step in the right direction.
It was revealed that Google Voice and Google Wave will also be part of the Google Enterprise productivity suite. We do not know yet how these applications will integrate - but by adding different layers, it creates the foundation for a social CRM environment.
"The best thing about all of this for me is that Google has recognized and capitalized on the fact that email is the ultimate social network and they are agregating- which is what they do best," said Sameer Patel, a founding partner with the Sovos Group that consults about integrating social Web applications and collaborative technologies into the enterprise.
The integrated service shows how aggressive Google is getting versus Microsoft and other on-premise giants like IBM. Microsoft responded to the Buzz news this way:
"Mary-Jo Foley posted her views that Microsoft also has been working to integrate social networks from third parties not just into its Web-mail product, but also into its Outlook mail client, via the Outlook Social Connector that the company unveiled at the Professional Developers Conference in 2009. Microsoft is integrating the Social Connector into the Office 2010 product which is due out in the first half of this year. Microsoft's Social Connector does a lot of what Buzz does, except with more of a business-centric focus. Microsoft's Social Connector also provides regularly updated "activity feeds" for those in a user's social connector via a connection with SharePoint 2010."
Google Apps has it own faults to work out, before Google Buzz can even be considered a viable service for the enterprise. The Google Buzz open architecture may be the difference though, creating real opportunities for customers to pull external data into its real-time environment.