Google introduced Google Apps Premier Edition, a new version of Google's hosted services for communication and collaboration designed for businesses of all sizes. Google Apps Premier Edition is available for $50 per user account per year, and includes phone support, additional storage, and a new set of administration and business integration capabilities.
Google Apps TM, launched as a free service in August 2006, is a suite of applications that includes Gmail TM webmail services, Google Calendar TM shared calendaring, Google Talk TM instant messaging and
voice-over-IP, and the Start Page feature for creating a customizable home page on a specific domain. More than 100,000 small businesses and hundreds of universities now use the service. Google Apps Premier
Edition now joins Google Apps Standard Edition and Google Apps Education Edition, both of which will continue to be offered for free to organizations.
"Procter & Gamble Global Business Services (GBS) has enrolled as a charter enterprise customer of Google Apps, a successful consumer product suite now available to enterprises. P&G will work closely with
Google in shaping enterprise characteristics and requirements for these popular tools," said Laurie Heltsley, director Procter & Gamble Global Business Services.
"So much of business now relies on people being able to communicate and collaborate effectively," said Gregory Simpson, CTO for General Electric Company. "GE is interested in evaluating Google Apps for the
easy access it provides to a suite of web applications, and the way these applications can help people work together. Given its consumer experience, Google has a natural advantage in understanding how people
interact together over the web."
Google also today announced that all editions of Google Apps now include Google Docs & Spreadsheets TM. In addition, Google Apps now supports Gmail for mobile on BlackBerry TM handheld devices.
"Businesses are looking for applications that are simple and intuitive for employees, but also offer the security, reliability and manageability their organizations require," said Dave Girouard, vice president and general manager, Google Enterprise. "With Google Apps, our customers can tap into an unprecedented stream of technology and innovation at a fraction of the cost of traditional installed
Features unique to Google Apps Premier Edition include:
- 10 GBs of storage per user - Offers about 100 times the storage of the average corporate mailbox, eliminating the need to frequently delete email.
- APIs for business integration - APIs for data migration, user provisioning, single sign-on, and mail gateways enable businesses to further customize the service for unique environments.
- 99.9 % uptime - Service Level Agreements for high availability of Gmail, with Google monitoring and crediting customers if service levels are not met.
- 24x7 support for critical issues - Includes extended business hours telephone support for administrators.
- Advertising optional - Advertising is turned off by default, but businesses can choose to include Google's relevant target-based ads if desired.
- $50 per user account per year - Simple and affordable annual fee makes it practical to offer these applications to everyone in the organization.
In addition to Gmail, Google Calendar, Google Talk and Start Page, all editions of Google Apps now include:
- Google Docs & Spreadsheets - With this addition, teams can easily collaborate on documents and spreadsheets without the need to email documents back and forth. Multiple employees can securely work on a document at the same time. All revisions are recorded for editing, and administrative controls allow organizations to define limits on document sharing. According to custom analysis of Nielsen//NetRatings
MegaPanel released this week, 92 percent of users of online productivity tools last October used Google Docs & Spreadsheets, making it the number one product in its class.
- Gmail for mobile devices on BlackBerry - Gmail for mobile devices provides the same Gmail experience - such as search, conversation view and synchronization with desktop version - on BlackBerry handheld
devices for users of Google Apps. Gmail for mobile devices joins a list of other mobile options for Google Apps and BlackBerry users that already includes a Google Talk client and a variety of calendar sync
- Application-level control - Allows administrators to adapt services to business policies, such as sharing of calendars or documents outside of the company.
"When it comes to our email systems, our doctors don't have the time or the budgets to deal with managing technology or defending against spam," said Andrew Johnson, chief information officer, San Francisco
Bay Pediatrics. "With Google Apps Premier Edition we don't have to worry about downloading the latest spam filters or navigating unwieldy servers. This is where we let Google do what it does best, so we can
do what we do best - help our patients."
In addition to Procter & Gamble Global Business Services and San Francisco Bay Pediatrics, other early adopters of Google Apps Premier Edition include Salesforce.com and Prudential Preferred Properties in
the U.S., as well as Essilor and Mediametrie in France.
To provide more options and value to customers of Google Apps Premier Edition, Google Enterprise Professional partners like Avaya and Postini are developing a variety of solutions based on our APIs,
including email gateways, enhanced security, Google Calendar synchronization, third-party integration with Google Talk, as well as offering deployment, migration, and additional support services.
Google hosted applications are available in many local languages, such as French, Italian, German, Spanish, Chinese, Japanese and Korean. Please visit http://www.google.com/a for details on the product, local availability, partners and customers.