Thursday, February 22nd, 2007

Google Apps – Premier Edition

Category: Business, Calendar, Email, Google, Office, Showcase

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From the You-Know-When-Ajax-Has-Gone-Mainstream-Dept, Google announced today it will be offering businesses a premium service for its key productivity applications, at $50/user/year. The package includes:

  • Access to office-style applications – Google Docs & Spreadsheets, Google Page Creator. No presentation package yet – perhaps Google should acquire S5 :-).
  • Access to communication applications – GMail (@your-own-domain), Google Calendar, Google Talk (voice/IM).
  • Access to Google Homepage (maybe corporations could deck this out to become their intranet homepage?)
  • Control panel to manage the domain
  • Ads can be turned off
  • Storage at 10GB/user
  • Integration with organisation’s sign-on and email infrastructure
  • Phone support

The apps themselves are available to anyone, but the integration and extra services come with the premium service. Google provides this comparison table.

The giant elephant in this room is your company’s data sitting on Google’s servers. In the absence of an “Apps Appliance” sitting inside the firewall, there will always be a major proportion of the market unwilling to commit to a solution like this – increased risk of data loss, theft, and manipulation. Google’s pure-external model keeps things nice and simple, but it’s not for everyone.

Zoho, for example, offers “in-premise edition” to run inside an organization’s network. Similarly, Zimbra’s collaboration app. It’s also becoming possible to make your own stack, with apps like Wikicalc and the various wikis, though nothing as comprehensive as Google’s offering. It’s feasible MS will move their apps in that direction too.

The comparison among these approaches will be worth watching in coming months. For now, though, it’s great to see how much Ajax and the web has evolved in the past two years, with Google providing a lot of the inspiration. From TechCrunch: “Beyond competition and concerns, tonight is a good time to recognize the incredible force of innovation that Google is as well. Its nearly full-service suite of sophisticated, integrated online services is something of historic proportion.”

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Posted by Michael Mahemoff at 11:50 am
20 Comments

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Isn’t it 10 GB/user?

Comment by Felix — February 22, 2007

I think that there will likely be a google apps box solution in a year or so. I have to say that the GSA solution is pretty nicely handled.

Comment by don hosek — February 22, 2007

Felix, Yes, 10GB…makes more sense for a company that gives away 2+GB to each mail user for free.

Comment by Michael Mahemoff — February 22, 2007

Google also recently added support for email aggregation – basically fetching email from POP3 servers. This is cool because if you have multiple accounts, you can view/search your email from one place.

This is still not the holy grail, because some providers like yahoo mail don’t provide POP3 access in their free version, and if you want to perform business analytics or collaboration across different users’ accounts, you’re out of luck.

Radixmail intends to fill this gap – http://www.radixmail.com

Comments welcome.

Comment by Joe Hanink — February 22, 2007

Oh, sure, it’s not enough to copy Slashdot’s stories–you have to steal their joke format, too.

(I jest, I jest.)

Comment by Braden — February 22, 2007

And there I was thinking it was a Mad Magazine gag I was ripping off :-).

Comment by Michael Mahemoff — February 22, 2007

Big problem with this package….All data will be stored on Google’s computers…Big privacy problem here. Our Company would never allow data to be stored out of our control. period.

Comment by Dantv — February 22, 2007

@Dantv
Obviously, this isn’t for everyone. But if you’re a small time operation with 1-10 employees this seems to me to be a no-brainer. I think once Page Creator gets better it could make more sense for small businesses to move their email, web, and intranet needs over to Google’s system.

Comment by Ed Knittel — February 22, 2007

@Ed
That’s all true…Funny what Google’s doing here…Another case of history repeating itself. I remember the 70′s when I would sit down at a dumb terminal and logon to the mainframe to get my email, my docs and my spreadsheets. Sure they were primative compared to today’s apps but it’s just the same thing. Seems to me that it won’t be long before Dell and others will be selling a network ready diskless dumb terminal for $150 bucks…

Comment by Dantv — February 22, 2007

Yeah Dantv, it will make our laptops smaller and lighter.

Comment by Chris — February 22, 2007

This is useless without an internet connection. Period.

Comment by Karl — February 22, 2007

Am I reading their offer correctly: free for educational institutions? What’s the institutional cost for supporting 65,000 students on your own email system vs Google?

Comment by Dji — February 22, 2007

With the API it is a pretty powerful combination. I have been migrating some clients to this platform because I don’t have to worry about the biggest pain point. Email.

Comment by Kin Lane — February 22, 2007

I’ve been using Google Apps and Apps for Your Domain daily for months and I love them, calendar and docs are terrific, however I’m surprised they went live this soon…

- Google Spreadsheets are painfully slow and not ready for prime-time.
- The start page is just plain broken, it doesn’t work well at all and the administration functions are nil.
- Support is horrible for all the apps. It’s horrible even for a free app. It will be interesting to see if it improves when people are paying for it. Google doesn’t have a great reputation for human-to-human interaction.
- Some kind of offline client, even just to download and backup data automatically, is badly needed.

I love my Google Apps, but I think I’ll start a pool to guess what day this year the Google Apps backlash will hit hard.

Comment by smithee — February 23, 2007

It’s an option for very light users, and it puts some pricing pressure on the Office low end editions.
An appliance version would be more useful for businesses.

Comment by Anthony Yates — February 24, 2007

The only thing still missing is a shared contacts app. Once they have that, sign me up!

Comment by Nicholas — February 25, 2007

A lot of usefull info . Thanks

Comment by hi — June 26, 2007

I have a calendar demo, similar to google one
http://kurapov.name/calendar/

Comment by Artjom Kurapov — July 23, 2007

Very nice
http://bookingengine.galaxyweblinks.com/

Comment by custumsoftware — March 31, 2008

Well all the infomation is stored on google’s computers….
can we trust google?

Comment by Aphrodisiac — July 30, 2008

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