Wow…there are many simple business development deals that happen in the world of technology. Google of late is on a fast pace to ensure it’s toolbar is available for download in as many areas as possible (Sun, Dell desktops and etc). In a nutshell it wants to ensure that as many people as possible go to its various properties so it has tons of traffic to sell to advertisers. It also wants to ensure that web sites sell Google Adwords on their web sites to increase further the inventory Google has to sell to advertisers.
The second stage of Google’s plan is to offer an array of applications (free and fee) such as search, mapping, coupons, databases, email hosting and so much more to consumers and small businesses.
Having said all of this…small business is where things get VERY interesting as last week Google and Intuit announced the start of a relationship.
In the next version of Quickbooks, version 2007 small businesses will have embedded Google’s desktop search and more important Google Adwords. Right from within Quickbooks they can buy advertising on Google’s massive network. This is MORE than advertising, it’s about using business applications from Google (not from Microsoft), uploading inventories into Googlebase and selling online and listing their businesses on Google maps and more.
Why is this so important? Small businesses trust the Intuit Quickbooks brand. To some degree they also trust the Google brand but it’s relatively new (beyond advertising) and the technology overall (“hosted” applications is still new for small businesses). By teaming up with Intuit, Google gets INSTANT validation in the small business community and Intuit gets a HUGE leg up to kick Microsoft in the shins.
Google has a very good array of tools for small businesses (email hosting, calendaring, database, online advertising, ecommerce and more). It’s doing well in getting these services/tools into the hands of small businesses (especially it’s cost per click advertising system) but it needs a lot of help in getting the other services into the hands of small businesses.
With this new relationship with Intuit, Google has orchestrated a major feature. It is partnering with one of the largest small business focused companies and a LEADING business management software developers. The hope is that at least 1 million Intuit customers will start to buy advertising via Google.
What does this mean for your business? If you are looking for low cost or free applications/services to host email and use online productivity tools to grow your business Google is clearly a choice you should consider. Especially since now you can use many of its services integrated with Quickbooks.
I spoke to Rajat Taneja, general manager of small business applications for Microsoft. He explained to me that Microsoft is NOT sitting still but through its Office Live is offering a holistic approach and CHOICE to small businesses. They can continue to use Microsoft’s leading Office Suite of applications. Or via Office Live they can use a series of hosted applications to manage their businesses. Microsoft is not only offering a Microsoft only solution but also partners, with Paypal for example to offer online payment solutions to small businesses.
The choice is NOT going to be easy. For small businesses with no stake in business productivity applications do they go with Microsoft, Google or some other provider? For those using Microsoft applications, going forward (not today but in the coming months as Google offers more products and more mature existing products) do they stay with Microsoft or go with Google/Intuit. There’s no “one size fits all solution” it really depends on YOUR needs.
TechNews world writes “Clearly, Google is running quickly ahead of Vista and trying to get itself established on the desktop before Vista gets launched,” says Christa Sober Quarles, an analyst at Thomas Weisel Partners Group. Earlier this year, Google struck deals with software marker Adobe Systems (Nasdaq: ADBE) Latest News about Adobe and PC maker Dell (Nasdaq: DELL) Latest News about Dell to distribute its search toolbar and desktop search software to users’ PCs.
As Google stakes its claim to the desktop, Microsoft is increasingly blending its desktop software and online services. “This notion of being able to have desktop products integrate with online services is something we support today and will continue to evolve,” says Satya Nadella, corporate vice president for business solutions at Microsoft.
Business Week writes Beyond desktop software, Google is also integrating its services into online business software. In August, Salesforce.com (CRM) and NetSuite said they will incorporate AdWords into online customer-management applications. But Schmidt was quick to distinguish those arrangements from the Intuit deal because the QuickBooks desktop software will give millions of small businesses who have not yet ventured onto the Internet the ability to do so¬?and in the process, he hopes, bring Google millions of new customers.