Larry Cannell, a Gartner analyst, is confident a workplace version of Google+ is coming, and he doesn't believe that lacking one has hurt adoption of the suite so far. "But it's not creating new opportunities for sure, either," Cannell said.
He's encouraged in particular by Google's release in August of a new API (application programming interface) for Google+. Called the Domains API, it lets Apps customers integrate Google+ into "their existing tools and processes, and allows enterprise software vendors to access Google+ from their products," Google said at the time.
"Google+ isn't an ESN just yet, but this update indicates Google could be serious about this," Cannell said. "I hope Google takes the next step. They've laid a strong foundation, but they need to market and support Google+ for enterprises as they do Gmail.
"It's about a broader communications infrastructure that acts as a glue across all Google Apps," he said.
Juan Carlos Perez covers enterprise communication/collaboration suites, operating systems, browsers and general technology breaking news for The IDG News Service. Follow Juan on Twitter at @JuanCPerezIDG.