Google Apps continues to iteratively update its cloud productivity suite with multiple minor feature enhancements rather than huge releases. Well, never let it be said the same isn’t true of their business model, as Google Apps adds previously consumer-focused offerings like Google Voice and Blogger to the enterprise dashboards and renames their paid editions. Here’s the scoop.
The basic gist, according to the Google Enterprise Blog entry, is that every Google application, from web advertising service AdWords to online photo gallery Picasa to YouTube, can now be accessed with your Google Apps account.
The new applications have the potential to help add value to Google Apps deployments in interesting and unpredictable ways, but it’s worth noting that any application outside the core document editing/messaging/collaboration package isn’t included in Google’s 99.9% SLA or covered by telephone support.
As for that renaming, here are the details straight from the horse’s mouth:
- Google Apps is our free service geared towards families, entrepreneurs and other groups up to 50 users.
- Google Apps for Business offers 25GB of email storage per user, a 99.9% uptime guarantee, data migration capabilities, advanced management tools, telephone support, added security features and more, all for $50 per user per year.
- Google Apps for Government is FISMA certified and designed with local, state and federal agencies in mind.
- Google Apps for Education offers many benefits of Google Apps for Business, but at no cost to schools, universities and qualifying non-profits.
This is a really interesting play by Google in light of the launch of Microsoft Lync: Google doesn't seem to have anything to directly counter the new focus of Lync unified communications, but it seems like they’re throwing everything else they have into the Google Apps package and seeing what sticks.
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