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110 Things Google Needs to Appeal to Enterprise Customers

1. Better Google Docs Google Docs is arguably the single product that could put Google on the enterprise map. The software, which is designed to be the online alternative to Microsoft Office, is currently quite useful. But it pales in comparison to Microsoft Office when it comes to enterprise use. The biggest issue for most corporate customers is that Google’s spreadsheet application can’t perform the same functions as Excel. It might do enough for novice users, but for the vast majority of enterprise users that require pivot tablets and other advanced functions, Google Docs just doesn’t cut it. If Google wants to be an enterprise player, it must address that.

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2. More Business Apps In Android Market The Android Market is a key to Google’s success in the mobile space. But until more business apps start making their way to the store, there’s really no reason for enterprise customers to adopt Android-based devices in their operations. For many customers, having the ability to extend the functionality of a device is extremely important. Enterprise customers want to be able to do that now, as well. But a quick comparison between the business apps available in Apple’s App Store or RIM’s BlackBerry App World and the Android Market reveals that Google is still far behind. And if it wants to be a success in the enterprise, that’s a problem.

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3. A More Enterprise-Friendly Android Following that, it’s important for Google to start making its mobile operating system more enterprise friendly. A key component in that is delivering better Exchange support. The company should also consider offering a BlackBerry Enterprise Server-like service. Yes, it will be expensive, and there is speculation that RIM’s BlackBerry Enterprise Server won’t be so useful several years from now, but that doesn’t matter. For now, BlackBerry Enterprise Server is one of the main reasons why RIM is such a corporate success. It’s up to Google to stop that.

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4. Real, Enterprise Cloud-Based Storage Although users can upload documents to Google Docs, it’s not an ideal cloud-based storage solution for enterprise customers. Google should consider creating a cloud-based storage service designed for enterprise customers that want the kind of functionality they’re simply not finding from Google right now. They can upload content, have ample storage space, and be able to manage and download it from the Web. It would also be nice if the solution could be easily affordable for small businesses.

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5. Improved Google Apps for Business Google’s current slate of Google Apps for Business is adequate. But if the company wants to be a major enterprise player, it needs to do a better job of bolstering those services. Not only does it need to improve Google Docs, but it should work on making Postini far more useful than it is. It might also be a good idea to add other enterprise-friendly services, like a database solutions or a CRM solution. If Google wants to truly make a splash in the corporate world, it needs to venture beyond a productivity suite.

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6. Better Promotion of Google Apps Marketplace The Google Apps Marketplace is arguably one of Google’s best assets for enterprise customers. Not only does it offer several important tools, including the aforementioned CRM solution the company needs, but it also offers a slew of simple tools that are designed specifically to bolster a company’s efficiency. And yet, too few companies are using the Apps Marketplace in their operations. If Google can promote the store better and make it clearer that it wants to be a major player in enterprise solutions, it could go a long way in improving its relationship with companies.

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7. A Vastly Improved Chrome OS When Google launches Chrome OS later this year, one thing will be certain: it won’t appeal to enterprise customers in any way. The main problem with Chrome OS is that it’s designed for netbooks. And although netbooks are being used widely in the corporate world, few companies want to invest in products that require a different operating system to use. If Google wants to attract enterprise users with Chrome OS, it needs to make it a far more useful product. That means it needs to make it an alternative to Windows. It won’t be easy, but it’s necessary.

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8. Better Partnerships With Major Enterprise Players Google hasn’t done enough to partner with major enterprise companies, like HP, IBM, or Cisco. That’s a problem. Although the company wants to be the simple, more affordable alternative to enterprise solutions, it can’t do much without partnering with the major players in that market. Even Microsoft, another major stakeholder in the enterprise, was forced to partner with third-parties to improve its chances of dominating the enterprise. The strategy has worked. Now it’s Google’s turn to more effectively partner with other enterprise companies. At this point, it has no choice.

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9. A Focus On Productivity Productivity means everything to companies. The more productive their employees are, the greater their chances of turning a profit. Realizing that, Google should double down on its productivity efforts. Google Docs is a good start, but it needs to go beyond that. The company should look for places where organizations are being less efficient and exploit that by using the Internet as its partner. It worked with Search. Why wouldn’t it work with the enterprise? The premise is the same. And Google must remember that.

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10. An Improved Gmail There is little more that enterprise customers really want from Google than a better e-mail application. Although Gmail is just fine for consumers, the e-mail solution isn’t so viable for enterprise customers. Not only does it fail to deliver an Outlook-like experience, it doesn’t adequately offer all the features that more advanced enterprise customers are looking for. Plus, Outlook’s functionality is being extended by so many different solutions that some folks are too invested in third-party apps to even consider switching to Gmail. If Google wants to be an enterprise success, it must do a better job with Gmail.