Google sweetens enterprise Apps deal

19 Oct 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Google Goes After Microsoft & IBM By Making Google Apps For Work Free While Customers Still Under Competitor’s Contract.

In an effort to acquire more Google Apps for Work customers, Google just announced a new promotion that’s a huge shot across Microsoft’s bow. “If you’re worried about switching to Docs because you still have an enterprise agreement (EA) with another provider, we’ll cover the fees of Google Apps until your contract runs out. The company is using a marketing ploy long used by wireless and long distance companies to entice consumers to switch to its productivity suite, which includes email and video services for businesses.

Google, which has been working to make its products more compatible with Microsoft’s software, will also help pay for the cost of transitioning to Google, the Web company said on Monday. While Google didn’t call out Microsoft or IBM by name when making the announcement, it’s well understood that these are the top competitors for its Google Apps productivity suite and related tools. Google for Work Apps is a Web based platform includes email tools, document creation, spreadsheets, and presentation software that focus on collaboration.

Then, Google will give customers $25 per user, for up to 3,000 users, to help them manage the change, whether they need to spend that money on data migration or training on advanced features for employees. In exchange, Google is asking potential customers to sign up for its Apps services at least a year after a competing contract expires. “A lot of companies are entrapped in a costly and opaque licensing agreement,” said Rich Rao, who oversees sales for the Google Apps business.

Microsoft, which sells both cloud-based and packaged software, is the dominant provider of productivity software to businesses, according to Mr Lepofsky. Although Google pioneered a number of Web-based technologies to let multiple people work on a single document at the same time, that hasn’t translated into a leadership position, he said. By taking on the costs associated with an EA – a tool Microsoft uses to keep customers locked into contracts for longer periods of time in return for better pricing – Google is fighting back against one of Microsoft’s most powerful tools associated with retention.

In the past, some analysts have questioned the company’s commitment to business services, but Google says it’s fully committed to delivering enterprise-grade services. “We’re at a point where we’re doing things CIOs typically expect,” said Mr. That includes regular roadmap updates, customer summits and measuring customer satisfaction. “Google has been all in for our company,” said Jim Nielsen, a manager of enterprise technology planning at flooring company Shaw Industries, a subsidiary of Berkshire Hathaway, with approximately 23,000 employees.

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