Google recently reorganized itself under a self-created parent company called Alphabet. The announcement left many of us scratching our heads. Google is a well-known brand — what do they have to gain by creating Alphabet? Focus. Google will make investors happy by growing its traditional search business. At the same time, Alphabet will be able to keep shooting for the moon with new ideas.
Alphabet gives Google additional freedom to be creative. They'll be able to explore areas in greater depth, which wouldn't have been possible unless they built Alphabet as a creative umbrella. Now that the company isn't completely tied to growing the search business, Google Hangouts and other collaboration solutions can shift into separate businesses under Alphabet. This move will undoubtedly have a profound effect on the enterprise.
Google has historically focused on the consumer when it comes to communications. Google Voice allows smartphone users to have a single number that rings across multiple devices (including the few remaining landline phones that are still out there). Google+ is an approach to compete with Facebook. Google Hangouts is an attempt to directly compete with Skype. All of these ideas now have the chance to grow, improve, and permeate enterprise.
How will Alphabet establish themselves in the enterprise community? They would probably lose the battle with an attempt to compete on feature parity. Instead, they'll likely compete on price first, followed by increasing the value of their offering. We've seen Google Mail, Google Apps, and Google Drive do around 90 percent of what people need in the enterprise. If Google can challenge Microsoft with a significantly lower cost, it wouldn't hurt for businesses to give them a try.
Similar to what Microsoft has done with Skype and Skype for Business, Alphabet has a chance to win the hearts and minds of enterprise users. Google Voice will embed itself into small parts of the enterprise and grow from there. Brands like Google Hangouts will also become more recognizable.
Google is taking an interesting approach to communications technology. Look at Google Fi, which is Google's MVNO solution to provide all-in-one wireless access. Ultimately, this kind of approach will open the door for Google to compete head-to-head against the likes of Microsoft Skype for Business, Avaya, and Cisco.
Google began by completely changing how we understand search. More recently, they've used their resources to improve the implementation of already-existing ideas. Alphabet will meld existing technologies like Hangouts, Google Voice, and potentially Google Fi to become a one-stop shop. There's an opportunity to build new and creative ways to change enterprise communications.
It was interesting to witness Google's approach firsthand at the Enterprise Connect keynote. Microsoft had a very structured method of stating exactly what they planned to do in the future. Google, by contrast, took a much broader stance. They showed all the individual puzzle pieces that they had, but they didn't necessarily know how to fit those pieces together.
If Google gets their way, Alphabet will be the solution.