Google Buzz Lacks Enterprise Potential


Some solution providers question Buzz's enterprise potential since the product is limited to Gmail users. Google's e-mail service has grown and earned some high profile business, including the city government of Los Angeles, but the company still has a long way to go before it can challenge the corporate market share of Microsoft.

As a result, tying Buzz to Gmail limits the service's reach for both enteprise users as well as fans of current social networking phenomenon.

"If this is Google going after Facebook and Twitter for social messaging then they missed the boat," said Tyler Dikman, president and CEO of CoolTronics, a Tampa, Fla. solution provider. "Buzz has no social networking buzz because it is limited to Gmail users. That's about one percent of the email market. Google has cut themselves out of 99 percent of the social networking market. That's a big mistake."

Dikman said that Buzz is really more of an enhancement to Gmail rather than a new social networking platform that competes against Facebook or Twitter.

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A critical question is whether Google will make Buzz available as an enhancement to other email platforms like Microsoft Exchange or Microsoft Hotmail, said Dikman. "Google might be using Buzz as a test platform to create an offering that might be accessible to anyone with any kind of an email account," he said.

Google is indeed positioning Buzz as a Gmail offering. It's Buzz website exhorts users to "Try Buzz in Gmail."

Buzz, which was officially launched on Tuesday , is aimed at allowing Gmail users to share "updates, photos, videos and more. Start conversations about things you find interesting."

Luigi Giovanetti, co-owner CPU, a Woburn, Mass. solution provider, said he does not see any enterprise or business benefits from Buzz. "Tell me how Facebook is making money?" he asks. "How is Twitter making money? It is great from a social standpoint but we have to stick to business."

Giovanetti said he uses Twitter to check what is going on in his local town. "If people had to pay a monthly fee would they still use it?" he asked.

Buzz is not Google's first social networking offensive. The search engine giant's much publicized Google Wave product appears to be a bust, said Dikman. Indeed many pundits are asking what is the difference between Buzz and Wave which was positioned by Google as a new way of communicating and sharing.

The lack of buzz around Google Wave is no small matter since it was developed by the two Danish brothers, Lars and Jens Rasmussen, who changed the world with their Google Maps product.

"My question is what happened to Google Wave?" asked Dikman. "I tried Google Wave and I just didn't know what it wanted me to do."