The social enterprise has been growing as more and more companies look to incorporate Facebook-like communications among workers. Jive (which just debuted on the Nasdaq), Yammer, and Salesforce are all betting on the social as an integral part of productivity and business processes in the future. And it looks like Google will be entering the space soon. Google’s Vice President of Enterprise Amit Singh tells us that Google will soon bring a more in-depth Google+ social experience to businesses and institutions using Google Apps.
In October, Google announced that Google Apps users could sign up for Google+, allowing businesses and educational institutions to share posts directly to other users within their workgroups and/or universities.
But Google has further ambitions for Google+ in the enterprise, says Singh, and that involves creating a collaborative environment for businesses. Internally at Google, Singh says that the company is already using Google+ as a collaboration platform and it’s going well. “This can become a new social platform for collaboration across Docs, Gmail, video and other apps,” he explains.
Singh explains that there’s a shift towards moving from individual productivity based applications to more social applications, and this is only going to accelerate. Part of 2012 will entail bringing the Google+ social experience to businesses.
“Google+ is the next big thing for the enterprise,” he says.” “We are going to do the same thing with Google+ that we’ve done with Gmail, and other consumer-facing apps so that Google+ can be adopted in more of enterprise setting.”
While Singh says the specifics of how this is going work for businesses with Google Apps is still being developed, he says that in 2012 Google will offer “some good choices for businesses to take advantage of both internal and external communication capabilities.”
Google entering the social enterprise market isn’t particularly surprising considering the search giant’s ambitions when it comes to social. In terms of usage, Google Apps is a major product for the company (Apps now has 40 million users, and 5,000 firms are joining per day, as per Eric Schmidt). What should be interesting is how Google’s communications and collaboration platform for Apps will affect the current leaders in the market such as Jive and Yammer. Stay tuned.