The discovery of fire, inventing the WWW, color TV, first girlfriend… There are several moments that can be considered as “game changing” to mankind and I’m about to believe that Google Wave will be one of them.
(In case you were laying in your couch completely high and off the world the past couple of days and have no clue what Google Wave is all about, watch the video on their site: http://wave.google.com/)
In essence it’s the answer to what the corporate world has been unknowingly begging for ages. Ever participated in getting an RFP (proposal for winning a project) out the door? It’s often chaos. Most companies use email, several versions floating around, people that get dragged in the RFP process in a later phase have only half of the context, people come and leave, documents get lost, after the RFP gets out of the door everything is just thrown away,… Google Wave can be the perfect answer to an RFP process. You can replay (trace back = compliance) everything that has been said and discussed, keep track of all the documents and data, you can opt-in and opt-out, etc.
Another interesting case is knowledge management. As I see at Capgemini we have often very interesting discussions in our developer communities and mailing lists. Unfortunately, a lot of the shared documents and discussed content gets lost. If that would be captured as a Wave and you have a server-side robot that indexes and tags everything and feeds it to e.g. a Google Search Appliance to organically build a knowledge base… *drool*
So here’s my suggestion to Google: turn Gmail in a native Wave client. Bring out Wave server software that large companies can install with several connectors to e.g. LDAP /Active Directory systems so that companies can abandon their email infrastructure and use Waves as their way of internal communication. For external communication you can invite clients to your corporate Wave server or use the Gmail client to still send mails out.
Waiting for my developer account… can’t wait to get my hands dirty 🙂

Lee Provoost is a Cloud Computing Strategist and ERP+ lead at Capgemini. You can follow his ongoing stream of thoughts on Twitter http://twitter.com/leeprovoost.