Could it really be happening, might Google be in striking range of a coherent, unified, Google wide messaging strategy? If this reverso world happenstance was ever to come to pass the first thing you would need is a single accountability point to drive a coherent strategy, and that’s exactly what has happened today.
Google has placed all of its messaging platforms under the one executive, Javier Soltero Vice President and General Manager of G Suite. Mr Soltero now has the distinction of being the first person to be in control of every Google messaging product. Will this usher in a new paradigm, or just result in more Google products being killed off seemingly at random and no real unification?
In an interview with The Verge Mr Soltero said they have no immediate plans to integrate the products, reinforcing that users make choices about which service they use for specific purposes. Honestly, this is reassuring to hear. While Google has not been able to become a significant player in the global messaging space from a consumer side, that doesn’t mean there aren’t consumers very happy with the services they are using.
Perhaps Google’s path is not for standardisation but rationing and streamlining. Javier is now in control of G Suite, Google Chat, Google Meet, Hangouts, Android Messages, RCS, Duo and the Android Dialer.
It will be interesting to see what changes are made, especially on the consumer side where people are often more invested in their individual choices. We will also be interested to see what Google can do with text-based messaging.
With Google’s current RCS strategy at odds with basically all of their partner’s visions of a walled garden ecosystem and Google’s reliance on those partners to successfully roll out their strategy, we are more than a little concerned that it will end up being a flop.
All of that is before you discuss the likelihood of Apple and their walled garden factory, ever embracing an open worldwide standard that makes switching off their lock-in platform easier. While it would be great to have a single open platform everyone uses, I fear the horse has already bolted on that.
It is still possible that Google can build out an interoperable RCS back end for the web that would bypass carriers and OEMs who don’t participate, but without first-party parity on iOS devices it may all be in vain.
All of that aside, we welcome Javier Soltero to his new role across the cloud and Hiroshi Lockheimer’s Platforms and Ecosystems team. Good luck!