"Here’s my best case scenario: Google announces that Google Apps can be “programmed” to function as a sophisticated interface to Salesforce.com and its App Exchange partners, much like SAP’s Duet and Microsoft’s OBAs function as interfaces to SAP’s, and others, ERP systems. In this fantasy world a Google spreadsheet or document or, gasp, Gmail, could be a new interface to the on-demand world that Salesforce.com and its partners have created or hope to create.
It would be a pretty cool thing if the two companies could pull it off. Microsoft Office is becoming a major platform for new development in the ERP space, Duet is selling like hotcakes, and everyone else – Oracle, IBM, among others – is waking up to the fact that these familiar desktop environments are one of the best places in which to place new functionality for ERP users. At a minimum Office-the-ERP-interface guarantees that training costs stay low and user acceptance remain high."