I’ve seen a few postings lately musing about the Google/Postini marriage. It must be nice to have such rich and fertile material to pore and yell and talk over; like giving a hyper dog a large chewy bone to keep them occupied for hours upon hours at end while you try to get things done… Anyway, this is in response more towards Hoff/beaker than others he references.
I don’t think Google’s plans are quite this grandiose (providing security, becoming an ASP-cum-ISP and providing some buzzword called “clean pipes…”), and I don’t think they are going into security in itself, per se.
Postini’s offerings and customers fit exactly into what Google wants to do with Gmail and now Google Apps. This means they house even more content; content very personally and professionally relevant to its users and customers. They leverage content for advertising, and so on, which is a nice side-effect to providing SaaS for small-medium companies (or maybe the vice-versa is true!).
Also, with Postini, they can control the upstream gateways for many other companies. So even if you don’t let Google house your data over time, they can still scan it and gather content/information about you and your company to better leverage advertising and relevance.
Besides, what is “secure” in housing one’s important data at a third party? I don’t much care if it is wrapped in SSL or POPS. Yes, security is part of it, but it is just a bullet point to get companies to take them more seriously as an alternative to Exchange/Lotus Notes/ISP mail service.
I think, like people look at crimes, it is easy to take Google’s plans way more complicated than they truly are. The simple answers are almost always the right ones, not the huge complex conspiracies that can be thought up. 🙂
PS: Providing “clean pipes” sounds awfully nice and altruistic to the rest of us, but come on. Google went public. In going public, Google went from being altruistic and “not evil” to being ultimately self-serving towards itself and its stakeholders. It will only do “clean pipes” if it can be “evil” behind the scenes and profit from it…but I don’t see that truly happening unless they offer up widespread wireless access and then leech all that rich personal data from all of us…evil, really. But I don’t see that happening, really either.