Google's Two Managed Services Moves

How do you get readers hooked on free services, and then transform them into paying customers? Plenty of Web companies have tried -- and failed -- to do exactly that. But Google has made two interesting moves in the managed services market that could attract dollars from consumers and small businesses.

The first involved secure email services (see this earlier blog entry). The second involves office-type applications. Jeff Kaplan at ThinkStrategies offers some timely perspective on both moves.

One other thing I find interesting: Google has a habit of clearly articulating its SaaS offerings, while Microsoft's alternatives continue to have confusing definitions. In some ways, Microsoft apparently is struggling to engage SaaS customers while maintaining loyalty to ISVs and VARs. (Here are 10 things you need to know about Microsoft's SaaS and managed services efforts.)

Full disclosure: MSPmentor's editorial and sales teams have standardized on Google Docs, Google Analytics and other free services because they allow us to collaborate and track our business performance very easily.

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