Google apps tries to nix the network adm with its new workgroups option

Google today announced a collaboration version of its Google Apps suite. The option is called the Google Apps Team Edition, and Google is claiming with this software, companies no longer need IT support, Reuters reports.

"We basically removed the notion of an administrator," said Matthew Glotzbach, product management director for Google Enterprise, the company's business software unit. Everybody is on an equal footing. Any user can share a document with all the users," Glotzbach said.

By killing the admin function, Google is trying to change the culture of software usage - the power structure, if you will. Taken to extremes, such a structure means that no longer will IT be the law enforcement officers of policy.

Funny that Google has moved in this direction. In the 1980's, with the rise of the personal computer, peer-to-peer workgroups were the rage. The administrative task arose in part because the communist model of IT management doesn't work well. People don't have equal knowledge or skill when it comes to operating technology. There is, always, one guy/gal who knows how to troubleshoot problems and how to set stuff up so that problems are minimized. After a while, this person would like to protect the others from themselves. Google should know this bit of history. Its CEO is the ex-head-honcho of Novell.

So for the enterprise, Google Apps Team Edition can't be considered a serious contender to the sophisticated Office Server family (complete with administration functions). As a collaboration system for high school/college kids, or those working in the SOHO environment, Google Apps could be appealing.

Here's a screen shot of the option that turns an ordinary Google Apps doc into a collaborative one.

Network World recently interviewed Matthew Glotzbach as part of the Voices of IT Roadmap series. (IT Roadmap is a series of conferences from Network World held in cities throughout the U.S.). Glotzbach explains the whole focus and plan for Google Apps -- especially collaboration. He admits that Google Apps doesn't do everything that competitive products offer, but he contends that collaboration is its best feature.

Go to Microsoft Subnet for more news, blogs, opinion.

All Micronet blog posts

Sign up for the bi-weekly Microsoft newsletter. (Click on News/Microsoft News Alert.)
Join the Network World communities on Facebook and LinkedIn to comment on topics that are top of mind.
Now read: Getting grounded in IoT