Google Apps behind the firewall?

I had a very interesting talk with a friend of mine today (in the most awesome Monmouth Coffee), mainly about the use of technology in high school education. One thing that came up in particular was that the software used by schools (at the behest of the government) to help with education is terribly poor at its job, being both difficult and unpleasant to use.

Of course, in the real world, in steps Google, providing through its Google Apps suite, pretty much everything your organisation could need. Unfortunately for most schools, the demands of a public sector lifestyle make it rather hard to use the Internet proper as part of your software strategy. And it’s not just schools that are in this situation.

Is it just me that thinks that there is a huge opportunity for Google (or anyone else with a similar product, for that matter) if they added the Google Apps applications to the Google box? I note that Iceberg, a DIY-programming application, is available for download and operation behind the firewall. Given that the product ships with a recently produced project management app for design and dev teams, this could prove very popular.

I know the future is in the cloud, but until that point, maybe Ray Ozzie has a point with the whole “software plus services” thing.

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