Arkus Blog

The official Arkus blog provides your weekly dose for all thing Salesforce. Stay on top of the latest, most relevant Salesforce features, applications, and best practices.

Google Shows No Vision by Killing The Wave

With the recent announcement that Google is stopping development and eventually shutting down Google Wave, Google might be doing more harm than good.

We have been posting, tweeting and talking about our love of the Google Wave product since they included it as an opt-in feature in Google Apps. While hard to describe, Google Wave has gone from being a quick curiosity to a daily productivity tool. Google has publicly said that they embrace their failures and learn from them but I think they are hurting the overall cloud computing movement by shutting down Wave, with little vision of foresight into the decision.

The Labs Excuse

The first thing that people point out is that Google Wave was a Labs experiment and that any company that took it too seriously or rolled it out to many users didn't do so wisely. I take issue with the term of "Labs" where most things are done in private and there is a big difference between adding a few features to Gmail and making them opt-in and making a huge splash with a new product and including it with Google Apps. If Google wants to do things in the labs, they should keep them in the labs and not announce them to the world in press releases and on stage for the world to evaluate. That is not what most scientist do with thier lab experiments.

Enterprise Pushback

Having worked in some large companies hand-in-hand with technology groups, I know what it is to have fought them about the difference between traditional IT and cloud computing. I argued about features, scalability, and ROI. They countered with conservative control and data security. Google has now given those old school IT arguments a bit more fuel to add to the fire. This is where large enterprise IT managers will point to a company that doesn't care about the effect on the end user. A company that will turn on and off features as it wants, when it wants, without any true roadmap or visibility. Those managers will point to Google shutting down the Wave and say, "See, I told you so. If we had started to roll that out to any significant amount of users, we would have to spend more time and money now replacing it and with no tools to recover the data."

They would be right.

Don't Be Evil

It is short-sighted for Google to shut down a product without providing a roadmap, without visibility into the numbers it sought to gain, or even try to monetize it using tools like Adsense.

In the end it shines a harsh light on the cloud computing industry and points out a very old addage, "You get what you pay for". Google likes to give a lot away for free, which is great, but it is a hard day when they come and take some of it back.

I would argue that goes against their self impossed motto of "Don't be evil".

To share your thoughts with me on twitter.com/JasonMAtwood

Cloudy Questions, Easy Answers - Episode #5 of CloudFocus Weekly

A blog post on comparing Google Wave, Salesforce.com Chatter and 3D TVs, 5 popular questions on cloud computing and how non-profits are utilizing the cloud. Two great CloudFocus App Picks of the Week to end the show.
Cloudy Questions, Easy Answers - Episode #5 of CloudFocus Weekly

Cloudy Questions, Easy Answers - Episode #5

An early podcast this week as schedules collide.

 

CloudFocus App Pick of the Week

 

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Waving Goodbye - Episode #4 of CloudFocus Weekly

Discussion of Cloud 2, unicorns and Private Clouds and Google's decision to end development of Google Wave. CloudFocus app picks of the week.
Waving Goodbye - Episode #4 of CloudFocus Weekly

Waving Goodbye - Episode #4

Say hello to number four and goodbye to Google Wave.

 

CloudFocus App Pick of the Week

 

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From Pull to Push, Cloud 2 Changes Everything

Cloud 2 changes everything about the way people interact with the web and companies on the web. It even changes the way we work - we go from pulling information to having information pushed in context in real-time.
From Pull to Push, Cloud 2 Changes Everything

From Pull to Push, Cloud 2 Changes Everything

Some companies haven't even adopted the Cloud as part of their technology stack, so why move so fast to Cloud 2? The answer is actually simple, because the way we use the Web has changed dramatically over the last few years. What was once very much about "pulling" information is now all about "pushing" information in context.

Cloud Sourcing

For example - if you were to be in the market for a new bluetooth headset 5 years ago you would likely "Google it" by typing "bluetooth headset reviews" into the search box. You would comb through links and stories about bluetooth headsets and eventually get to the information you need to make a choice - you would essentially be "pulling" information from the vast internet. Fast-forward to today and you are more likely to Tweet the question of "which bluetooth headset is best for my phone?". Not only will your friends supply answers but if there are savvy bluetooth headset manufacturers and marketers out there they would be able to send you an answer via Twitter too - they would be "pushing" information at you for your consumption in context of what you were looking for. This is the power of Cloud 2 - the ability to interact with people in far different ways - including the public internet as a marketing and communication channel. The ability for users of the internet and marketers at companies to be on the web together and know what each other really want - not just guesses based on search terms blindly typed into a box.

 

Now examine the push vs pull scenario within a company's firewall. Wouldn't it be nice to have the same situation as described above with bluetooth headsets be true at your company? Wouldn't it be nice to just throw a question out into the ether about the best research document to use when talking to a certain type of client? Or what pitch deck should I use when pitching a specific product? Or even something as mundane as what is the best restaurant to go to in Omaha, NE? This is the type of push and feeding of information that today's and tomorrow's knowledge worker is going to expect when sitting at their desk, or better yet, staring at their mobile phone.

 

Cloud 2 is all about getting to information that is, to use a cliche, "stuck in silos" within a company. Open up the communication channels by allowing employees to communicate with each other, and their data, the way that they do in their "real lives" and the results could be magical. In the end, that's what it's all about - employee interactions with people and data that they already are familiar with because they do it every day on Facebook and Twitter.

 

Our Cloud 2

 

At Arkus we use Cloud 2 in the following ways:

  • Instead of a blast email to the entire company we post something in our Salesforce Chatter feeds

  • We use Google Wave as opposed to Email and Chat for collaboration

  • We don't do press releases, rather we Tweet, Podcast, and write Blog Posts

  • Twitter and Craigslist are often sources for Leads as opposed to purchasing lists

  • We interact with our customers on LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter to enrich our relationships

 

Cloud 2 goes along with the notion of a more collaborative and interactive web. If your company isn't adopting this new wave of computing then you are missing out because this is where your customers are.

Ready or Not - Episode #3 of CloudFocus Weekly

Using Google Wave for productivity, the Arkus photo shoot, ZDNet blogs companies aren't ready for the cloud, DreamForce discounts and our CloudFocus App Picks of the Week.
Ready or Not - Episode #3 of CloudFocus Weekly

Ready or Not - Episode #3

Our third episode in three weeks.

 

CloudFocus App Pick of the Week

 

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Using Google Wave for GTD, Scrums and Project Management

Our team takes on using Google Wave for productivity, events, agendas and generally getting things done (GTD).
Using Google Wave for GTD, Scrums and Project Management

Using Google Wave for GTD, Scrums and Project Management

I was very skeptical when Google Wave was announced over a year ago. I signed up for the beta, started a few waves then went on to ignore it for the next year. When Google announced it was to be bundled into Google Apps with single sign on, I decided to give it another try and invited some co-workers into the water with me.

We have not worked the same since.

The email traffic at Arkus has gone down tremendously as we move from sending emails to "just throwing it in a wave." While we are constantly coming up with new ways to use Google Wave, here are some that have taken hold so far.

Scrums

We are an agile methodology shop, but not geographically close, so stand up meetings in the morning don't work that well. Instead we have a weekly scrum wave that we put our "big rock" tasks. Each task gets a time value and crossed out when complete. We start off each Monday with a new weekly wave, add to it in a bulleted list every day commenting and updating as the real work gets done.

Agenda & Meeting Notes

If meetings are the plague of corporate productivity, agendas are part of the cure. A good clear cut agenda, sent out before the meeting and stuck to during the meeting can keep things on track, on time and with clear roles. During the meeting we add followups and action items to the wave. Again, a simple bulleted list does most of the work. During meetings and conference calls we use a wave to capture all notes and the real-time nature of Google Wave shines as we track what notes others are writing. I can gently remind a co-worker of something to cover on the call by just adding it to the wave, like instant messenger they see it and can react.

Goals

While corporate goals can form the start of a dictatorship we use them as a way to drive forward on what we want to accomplish. Yearly goals are looked at monthly to come up with monthly goals which we break down into categories of opportunities, projects, marketing and business. Before starting off a weekly scrum wave we go over the monthly goals and see what next action we can take to push those bigger projects along. We don't always get there, but setting our sights on the end helps us focus from day to day. There is nothing better than crossing off a big goal during the month and letting everyone else in the wave know it is done.

Projects

A new wave is started for every client project. Notes, agendas, screenshots and comments all go into the wave as the project continues. Links to other project tracking tools as well as action items get recorded in the wave and checked off when complete. When we have action items in one wave for a project, we link to that wave from our weekly scrum wave to keep everything in context as we work through tasks.

Google Wave has really changed a lot of the way we work, coordinate and collaborate on a day to day basis. This blog post was first started on a wave, sent out for invitation and commented on all before being posted to the website.

To learn more about Google Wave check out the main page wave.google.com or ask us on Twitter or Facebook.

We also cover this type of stuff on our new weekly podcast entitled CloudFocus.

When Clouds Collide - Episode #2 of CloudFocus Weekly

Netsuite taking over SAP in 10 years, Rackspace releases open source cloud computing software and Facebook selects Salesforce.com to be its CRM partner. CloudFocus App Picks of the Week.
When Clouds Collide - Episode #2 of CloudFocus Weekly

When Clouds Collide - Episode #2

Our second episode is out the door in the clouds for you to enjoy.

 

CloudFocus App Pick of the Week

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Cloud Launch - Episode #1 of CloudFocus Weekly

We discuss the US Government cloud computing agenda, Salesforce.com Summer 10 features and Chatter. We finish with our Cloud App Pick of the Week (CAPW).
Cloud Launch - Episode #1 of CloudFocus Weekly

oud Launch - Episode #1

Our first episode and launch of the CloudFocus weekly podcast.

 

CloudFocus App Pick of the Week

Whats Up with Facebook and WhatsApp?

With the recent announcement of the purchase of WhatsApp by Facebook I figured I’d give a run down of what WhatsApp is and how I’ve been using it for the last few years. I’ll add in a few things I hope Facebook does with it and a few that I hope they don’t do.
Whats Up with Facebook and WhatsApp?

Whats Up with Facebook and WhatsApp?

My Introduction to WhatsApp

For the last three years a group of five friends of mine have been using WhatsApp to communicate with each other in group chats. Years prior we all had been using BBM to chat in groups over data networks but now we were splintered on iOS, Blackberry, and Android (in the last year everyone has moved off of Blackberry). When looking for a way to keep our group chats going we found the useful app WhatsApp. At it’s core it is a cross platform messaging application that allows for individual or group chats that go out over data networks and not utilize the all valuable “text messages”. I personally love that the messages go out over the data network as I’m sometimes in places where there is no cellular service (seriously, I know) yet I do have wifi therefore I can still “text” with friends.

WhatsApp vs. iMessage

To this day we continue to use WhatsApp even though almost everyone in the group is on iOS and could use iMessage. The main reason we continue to use WhatsApp is because of the one Android holdout but even still, if everyone was on iOS, I believe we would continue to use WhatsApp. WhatsApp has a much better user experience for group chatting then iMessage does. The interface for group chats displays more like an inbox with a “name” for the group chat which is really helpful in identifying which chat you are in at any given time as opposed to the way iMessage does it with just displaying people’s names separated by a comma. If there are more than two people in the conversation then you aren’t exactly sure which group you are in; this is why I prefer WhatsApp to iMessage for group messaging.

Facebook Messenger Fail?

Facebook tried a few years back to revamp their messaging platform and even released a standalone messaging application that seamlessly integrated with the core service. In my opinion it has fallen flat and obviously hasn’t taken off the way that Facebook would have wanted. Why else would Facebook spend a reported $19 billion on a messaging platform? So what can Facebook bring to the table to make WhatsApp better? I actually hope that they do nothing to the application itself aside from bring more users onto the messaging service. The other thing they could do is make the application work on the iPad, hopefully Facebook can use it’s sheer size to get Apple to allow the application to be installed on the iPad. Aside from that, I’d like for Facebook to leave well enough alone. Don’t integrate it into Facebook, don’t require a Facebook login to use the app, and don’t mix my contacts up inside of WhatsApp with my Facebook friends unless I explicitly allow it.

Why WhatsApp?

To me Facebook just spent a whole lot of money on a feature that they already had built years ago. Clearly they are covering gaps with user adoption with this purchase. Messaging is a huge play on the mobile device and Facebook messenger wasn’t even an option for me. I have been using SMS, iMessage, and WhatsApp for years and don’t even think of Facebook messenger. WIth this purchase, I can still not think about Facebook messenger but I will be using a Facebook product for messaging and I think that’s the way Facebook wants it.

Please feel free to comment below, on our facebook page, or directly at me on Twitter @JustEdelstein.

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