They change and become better.
Being agile is a topic that has come up a lot over the last couple years. As public interests, access to information, and even the workforce itself changes, the success of many businesses rests on the ability to transform with these factors and more. Google is no different.
Last week, CRN came out with their Gone Google Gone post, featuring the top 10 discontinued Google products. Some more popular than others, you can find all of these products in some way, shape or form within the Google Apps suite. Just like you and I do everyday, Google made these decisions based on the environment and was confident in reshaping them to be easier for the end users.
Mitch Greenwald, founder and CEO of Cloudbakers states, “for all enterprise products that were discontinued, Google rolled them into the main platform in a more elegant fashion”. Perhaps the transitions themselves were a bit too abrupt for current users, however, being agile would allow these users to focus on the constantly improving Google platform and find their former tasks even easier to accomplish than before.
I’ve attempted to take what makes these products the most fascinating, and justify why I would rather simply use the current Google platform.
Bump And Run
What happens when you want to bump with someone who doesn’t have the app installed? It would take just as long to share information, whether it be files, photos, or contact information, as it would to simply save to Google contacts or share within Google Drive or Google+. With Google Apps, there are numerous options to share with those you want despite whether or not they have an application downloaded.
Ever since this social search service was created in 2007, we have come a long way in terms of retrieving information. Everyday more content is added to the web, making it easier for us to find what we’re looking for. With Google+ revving up, I think we can expect to see more and more thought leaders joining, not to mention we can ask questions publicly using hashtags (#) so that those thought leaders can search for topics in which they are knowledgeable.
With advancements in technology, there is no longer a huge need for downloadable software. Computers that once needed to have the space to download all of these applications, now just need to have a trustable browser and internet connection.
An application that couldn’t survive on its own needed a twist of fate. Instead of having to download certain widgets within a social network platform, Slide was transformed and the overall idea was used to innately place some of these features inside of a single social networking platform, Google+. Here, you can organize photos as they’re added and share them only with specific circles (or groups of people).
When the Writely team became part of Google, the application was still in beta. The two companies joining forces made it possible for Google Docs and Spreadsheets to become a reality. Now you can collaborate on your documents and spreadsheets with other team members in real time.
Marratech Web Videoconferencing
If you haven’t been on a Google Hangout lately, you ought to give it a chance. I’d be surprised if you didn’t fall in love, especially after its most recent update. Features from the late Marratech’s Web Videoconferencing, such as the interactive group whiteboard and the ability to have multiple parties join the video, can all be found within Google Hangouts. Collaborate on your Google Drive files right in the conference window, use the chat option (if needed) and invite up to 15 people! You can even add apps within your Google Hangout to personalize your experience further.
Dodgeball originally transformed into Google Latitude, and is now becoming a feature in Google+. This is evidence that Google is constantly trying new ways to make tasks, in this case location reporting, more efficient by not having to switch applications.
Google+ is Google Buzz taken to the next level. Where we see the most change is in the look and feel of the platform, plus additional features. Users still have the ability to share links, photos, videos, status messages and comments, publically or personally. The platform is integrated with Gmail and users receive their notifications right in their inbox.
After not seeing the user adoption that they had hoped for with Wave, Google switched paths to bring us a more beautiful and easier-to-use experience in Google Apps. We are in a time where a great user experience means everything, so Google gave us just that. By using some of Wave’s most popular features in Google Apps, more people can enjoy the good stuff.
As an email, web security and archiving service, it’s no wonder that Postini was integrated into Google Apps for Business and Google Vault. Google made sure to release numerous Postini features directly into the platform and now beyond the email capabilities, users also have integrated access to Google Drive, Docs, Hangouts and more. I’d say that’s a step in the right direction!
In looking at each of these discontinued apps individually, I don’t feel as if any feature is being taken away from me. Instead, I feel more empowered by the platform that these ideas have had an impact on, whether large or small. As satisfying as these applications seem to have been, it’s truly amazing that something even better is at our fingertips. I find value in having everything I need in one place. I find that in the Google Platform.Originally published on January 09, 2014