Gmail in the Enterprise

I’ve been disconnected all week in PeopleSoft training, but during lunch today I caught Steve Gillmor’s eWeek column from last week about Gmail where he cites a potential example of the “Google Platform” in the enterprise.

“By the time the Gmail beta period ends in three to six months, Brin and his team have promised to enable forwarding and POP3 access. However, more is required of a corporate mail service. Those capabilities must be extended to allow Gmail to provide disconnected operation and IDE for packaged applications.”

Thanks to a Gmail invite via friend Jason Fischel of CNET (who needs a blog!), I can honestly say that there’s merit in what Steve is suggesting. Gmail would certainly be practical in the enterprise. Google already has market penetration in the enterprise with their Search Appliance. However Gmail enterprise customers wouldn’t necessarily be the same as. So the fit isn’t seamless.

I’ll spare you the obligatory review/rant and simply say that I’m impressed with Gmail — mostly with the UE subtleties (e.g. archiving versus deleting and the seamless conversation threading).

However, in the meantime, I’d be content merely with RSS feeds from any Gmail thread, filter or label.

How long before we start seeing the O’Reilly Gmail Hacks books? ;-)