What Does Google Acquiring Motorola Mobility Really Mean?
As Google learns how to navigate the mobile world I believe they will release devices that will start to segue into the enterprise.
Last month, I wrote a blog about Microsoft's purchase of Skype and Skype's subsequent Facebook announcement. Last week presented our industry with another interesting tie-up as Google acquired Motorola Mobility. There have been plenty of Op-Eds and blogs discussing how this is a great strategy, but also asking questions like "Will this work?" "What were they thinking?" and "What will Samsung and HTC do?" While these are all very interesting topics, my thoughts immediately went to the enterprise space, i.e., what can Google now do with unified communications for the enterprise?
Years ago Google bought Grand Central and, as mentioned in this recent No Jitter article by Dave Michels, they haven't done much with it. Will the recent move by Google change that? It's clear to me that Google purchased Motorola for their patent portfolio as well as a handset that they could bring to the consumer market. The consumer advertising business is where they make their money today and that is why this purchase makes the most sense. For these reasons, I do not believe Google sees this purchase primarily as a way to make further inroads into the enterprise unified communications space.
However, there seems to be a general trend of enterprises that are moving to cloud applications, mobile applications and the consumerization of IT. These trends all play into Google's newly acquired and home-grown strengths--cloud applications, mobile applications and a consumer focus. As Google learns how to navigate the mobile world I believe they will release devices that will start to segue into the enterprise.
These devices will most likely be tightly integrated into the "Google stack" of applications and cloud-based resources. In fact, it will be very tempting for enterprises to start using Google Talk and Google Chat as well as the $5 per month cloud-based productivity applications that Google currently offers. Additionally, Google has been unsuccessful at breaking into the service provider business. They may use Motorola Mobility's assets and relationships to try bringing cloud services to the service provider data centers (similar to Microsoft's approach with Lync).
So what does this mean for enterprise customers and current vendors? As enterprises work on solving their employee and customer communications problems and evolve their networks, they should start looking to newcomers like Microsoft (and Google in the future) for solutions. They also need to start thinking about their current networks in the light of this future paradigm.
* Do they have the session management capabilities to manage multiple devices?
* How will they interact with cloud-based communications and deliver them to their mobile devices?
* Do they need to plan for a second-generation SBC now to ensure that their network can handle the new feature sets?
In the not-too-distant future we may not be talking about Avaya or Cisco anymore. Instead there may be a Lync call server, Skype SIP trunks, and Google softphones running on Motorola hardware. The network problems of the future will, however, evolve gradually from the challenges being faced today, so enterprises need to think a few steps ahead to make sure they are ready.