As customers begin to recognize large productivity gains with Gmail, Google Docs and the rest of Google Apps, they frequently ask when they’ll be able to use services like Google Voice, Reader, Blogger and AdWords with their Google Apps accounts. We’ve steadily added new functionality to Google Apps and recently added support for third-party apps, but we’re thrilled to swing the floodgates of new functionality wide open now. Starting today, customers worldwide can access a full spectrum of services from Google—including more than 60 productivity-boosting applications that extend far beyond any traditional software suite.
Coupled with the ability for administrators to provide different sets of applications to different groups of users, the possibilities for empowering workers in new ways are remarkable. For example, you could equip your marketing team with Picasa Web Albums so they can collect and share photos from customer appreciation events, and let that team publish your company’s blog with Blogger. Services like iGoogle and Alerts, on the other hand, may be broadly useful, and could be enabled for your whole organization.
Existing customers can transition at their own pace over the next couple months to the new infrastructure supporting these applications from the administrative control panel. New customers will automatically have the new infrastructure. The additional services are not covered by the Google Apps SLA or telephone support, but we’ll be watching for feedback how we can make these new applications even more useful.
In tandem with this big improvement, we’re also simplifying the names of the versions of Google Apps. Here’s how we now refer to our line-up:
§ 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.
The team has worked hard to unlock all of this new functionality for our customers, and we think many of these new applications will become indispensable within your organization. To help get you started, each day the Google Enterprise Blog will profile how your organization could put a different application to use. The first post tomorrow will focus on Google Reader, so visit the Enterprise Blog to follow the series.
Posted by Derek Parham, Lead Software Engineer, Google Apps