Wave Goodby

Well, Google killed Google Wave.  I think the key reason was that there was a mismatch between the targeted marker (consumers) and the market that could have benefited most (enterprise). Another reason was that it was essentially an infrastructure play – it defined a protocol that could be used as platform for building interesting collaboration paradigms. It was complex infrastructure too – not just a simple services call.  Complex infrastructure adoption (especially in the enterprise market), doesn’t just magically happen in a single year (mainstream enterprise adoption of Wiki in the enterprise is just starting to happen now – 15 years after Wikis were invented).  Finally it wasn’t integrated into email (or gmail) but was a standalone product – requiring people buy into the paradigm completely and leave email, or manage two separate systems. Keith Swenson has a good post on the subject: http://kswenson.wordpress.com/2010/08/05/google-wave-no-effect-on-bpm-acm/.

I think that if Google would have built Wave into an enterprise extension of Gmail, and provided the features needed by the enterprise – they would have had a winning combination. I have written about this in the past in my blog (http://blog.actionbase.com/does-google-wave-docverse-adaptive-case-management-by-google, http://blog.actionbase.com/can-google-wave-become-a-disruptive-good-enough-bpms) and in articles http://www.information-management.com/newsletters/enterprise_collaboration_tool_technology_email-10016792-1.html. Of course they would have also needed to move away from an advertising based model, to a more standard fee based enterprise software pricing model. So all those taken together (especially the enterprise business model part) is my guess why Wave was pulled from the market.

As the Adaptive Case Management (ACM) discussion is maturing, and the community is starting to define what is needed by an ACM system – I still think that Google Wave, Google Docs and Docverse could have been pulled together in such a way that it would have made a real impact on the business process management (BPM) market.  Those Google tools, integrated into Gmail – along with a robust reporting and analytics would have been a real game changer in the ACM market – especially for mid-size enterprises. Google had all the pieces, they just needed to pull them together – and the will to really enter the enterprise market.

I am sorry to see Google Wave depart, especially since they didn’t even try to enter the enterprise market.  It could have turned the business process management market on its head.

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One Response to “Wave Goodby”

  1. Tweets that mention Wave Goodby | ActionBase Blog - Thoughts on Collaboration Process Management Unstructured Compliance and Audit -- Topsy.com Says:

    […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by ActionBase, ActionBase. ActionBase said: Wave Goodby – It could have turned the business process management market on its head. http://bit.ly/cHuzpg […]

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