Google wants enterprise customers, but, more importantly, it wants search in the enterprise. It launched Google+ because social was becoming a major type of search and they could not let Facebook and Twitter have it.
But, how can they drive search and social into the heart of the enterprise? They do it through owning the CRM platform.
Salesforce.com brilliantly gets it with their acquisition of Radian 6 and offerings like Chatter and Ideas. In fact, their entire brand is now about the social enterprise. They know that for the enterprise, social and search will eventually only matter if it can be monetized through conversion to leads pumped into a CRM system. A social listening platform like Radian 6 enables this.
They also know that the way to fire up a marketing and sales org about social, and to monetize it, is to do it within a platform sales and marketing, or the entire org for that matter, must use to survive daily — the CRM platform.
Imagine if Google owned CRM and listening and combined it with Google+ and Google search, all integrated in the cloud so that leads could pass through the system from search (social or regular), to lead, to pipeline to close.
It’s solves the number one question I still get when I speak — “How do we calculate the ROI of social?”. It also puts social on par, in the same language, of every other marketing channel so investments can be made simply again.