Google Wave is generating a bit more chatter this month. At first, I thought this was because those Wave (can I call it G-Wave yet?) invitations are slowly working their way out from the core to less critical, but curious people, like me.
I know some of you are rolling your eyes at this idea that Google Wave could be significant, and I completely see your point. Ann All recently wrote about the likes and dislikes of Wave, and, let's face it, Google has birthed several innovative projects that have failed to capture business' interest in any substantial, money-making way.
On the other hand, Google products do have a way of weaseling their way into people's lives. I'm thinking particularly of Gmail, Google Maps and the ever-cool Google Earth.
But there's another, somewhat unexpected reason you shouldn't dismiss Google Wave: It seems large companies, including SAP and Novell, have found ways to integrate with Google Wave that demonstrate they're taking it seriously.
The group blog site, Cloud Ave, seems to be following this trend most closely. Recently, Cloud Ave blogger and entrepreneur Ben Kepes discussed three Google Wave integrations designed for the enterprise:
It should be noted that Pulse integrates with Google Wave, but is a product in and of itself, recently unveiled by Novell. Forrester analyst Rob Koplowitz wrote about Pulse, if you're interested. However, the Wave integration seems to be overshadowing the release of this content- generation and collaboration tool.
As we developed Pulse, Google announced their Wave project. We were stimulated by the possibilities. In the emerging real-time collaboration market there is a need for multiple providers and they need to federate. Google announced their Wave Federation Protocol (WFP) as an open approach to addressing this need. We asked-why not federate? Open is key to Novell's value proposition! So we approached the Google team and they agreed! From this began a rapid embrace and technology collaboration to show two companies interoperating with different but related visions.
He wraps up the post by saying, "Google got it right by developing an open federation protocol."
Oddly, at the same time Google was promoting how other companies are integrating with Wave, some unknown source leaked what appear to be screenshots of various Google apps, including Gmail, with what looks like integrated features from Wave. Endgadget published the screenshots after communications with the source, noting that it seemed the tipster had "genuine insider knowledge," but at the same time warning these could be one of a number of possible new interfaces Google is exploring.
Of course, as Elliott notes, there's "nothing entirely ground breaking," yet. But Wave does seem to be capturing the attention of some important developers.