We Blog CRM has post on Google And Its Effects on CRM (a couple of months old).
The blog post points out how applications like Google Docs and Calendar can be good CRM tools and goes on to describe how the current players like Salesforce and Zoho CRM are integrating with Google applications.
Another aspect of Google's effect on CRM has not been given specific mention and rightfully so, because, though there is a potential in that angle, there were no concrete examples to talk about - at least at the time of that post.
That angle is : The effect of Google enabling more low-cost CRM vendors to come into picture due via the App Engine platform. Google App Engine has evolved a lot since its debut in April 2008. Now the platform has a lot more features and JVM support (which enables Java and other JVM based languages)
One such app to take advantage of the platform is our very own http://crm.ifreetools.com, which came out with the Alpha version less than a month ago and seems to be the only application working to be a full-fledged CRM app, based on those listed in App Engine's Application Gallery.
We at iFreeTools believe this will not remain so. There will be a lot more players dropping into the CRM / business software scene, which is now becoming more of a commodity. I had mentioned this in a comment on Zoho's blog titled "Why we compete with Google" - at that time I was still an employee of Zoho (then called, AdventNet).
Deploying such App Engine applications on Google Apps domains is as easy as "Add a Service" from the dashboard and then adding a CNAME (DNS entry) to map a sub-domain.
But, how far can such apps go ?
Will they be able to at least match the core features of the current breed of SaaS applications ?
How feature rich can such applications be, given the restrictions inherent in the App Engine platform ?
Will Google Wave have a bigger role to play ?
All this, we will have to wait and see. All I can say now is, watch out for more of Google's effects on CRM.