In a telephone conversation today discussing Google's strategy for Google Apps, director of products Matt Glotzbach mentioned a new set of enterprise specific enhancements for contact management in Google Apps. This is significant because contact management, at least according to the users I've spoken with, has been considered a big weakness of the product line.
One addition is full field support for data fields you might find in Microsoft Exchange or IBM's Lotus Notes. That should help reduce a big hurdle enterprises might see in adopting a full Google App suite, because contact management would become useless if they couldn't keep all their data. Another added feature will be support for a full company directory. According to Glotzbach, Google has been working on this for a few months in response to corporate customer feedback.
I'm still waiting on additional information from Google. An official announcement is supposed to take place later today.
[UPDATE - The announcements have been made and details are available:
- "a new API ... when combined with the existing shared contacts API, gives administrators the ability to maintain an updated and detailed global address list in Google Apps"
- an updated Contacts interface is supposed to make it "easier for employees to find and start collaborating with all other users on their company domain"
- when users search for a contact name, they see results from their company's global address list, and not just people they added explicitly or implicitly in Gmail