There were a couple important new technology releases this week but the most significant for the small business owner is Google Wave. Why? This platform provides a powerful communication and collaboration tool you can use with internal and external stakeholders for FREE.

Google Wave brings together email, chat, photo/document sharing, and many collaborative features that would be very useful to a business on a shoestring budget. It opens the door to business channels that major companies are paying millions of dollars to achieve with expensive enterprise software solutions.
Here’s how it works: In Google Wave you create a wave and add people to it. Everyone on your wave can use richly formatted text, photos, gadgets, and even feeds from other sources on the web. They can insert a reply or edit the wave directly. It’s concurrent rich-text editing, where you see on your screen nearly instantly what your fellow collaborators are typing in your wave.
That means Google Wave is just as well suited for quick messages as for persistent content — it allows for both collaboration and communication. You can also use “playback” to rewind the wave and see how it evolved.
This technology could be so far-reaching and important I’ll turn to the commentary of an industry expert. This commentary comes from industry analyst Jeremiah Owyang and his blog Internet Strategist:
  • Google Wave is about bringing together the Web 2.0 lifestyle to become a workstyle.
    Google’s apporach is significant because it will enter the workforce without having to go through IT management. This undercuts players like Microsoft, IBM, Oracle, and SAP as it grows from the groundup –another groundswell like google docs and yammer.
  • This also impacts Cisco, Webex and Webex connect who is also trying to try new delivery models to the enterprise.
  • Existing smaller collaboration vendors and community platform vendors with enterprise focus will be part of the developer ecosystem and can extend their features to the Wave platform.
  • Google is pushing real time collaboration, and traditional email is asynchronous, yet don’t expect everyone to be interacting in real time, all the time.
  • This is a missed opportunity for LinkedIn who launched their platform but has not exploited as they’ve only hand selected a few partners.
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