Google Simplifies Apps for Businesses

Google hopes to "make things very straightforward" for those who use who use its Apps for Businesses offering.

When the search giant launched its premium business version of Google Apps in 2007, it kept the free, basic version too. Both businesses and individuals signed up for this version, but Google says neither group got the best experience. That’s because businesses quickly outgrow the basic version and want things like 24/7 customer support and larger inboxes, while consumers often have to wait to get new features while the company makes them business-ready.

Announcing the changes on its enterprise blog, the search giant said that, effective immediately for new customers, individuals who want to use Web apps like Gmail and Google Drive should create a personal Google account. For businesses, instead of two versions, there will be one. Companies of all sizes are being asked to sign up for the premium version, Google Apps for Businesses, which the Internet giant says includes 24/7 phone support for any issue, a 25GB inbox, and a 99.9 percent uptime guarantee with no scheduled downtime. Pricing is still $50 per user, per year.

Google launched a reseller program for its productivity suite, Google Apps Premier Edition (GAPE), in January 2009. As Channel Partners noted that year, it seemed that Google hoped to populate the world with GAPE resellers, tapping the channel for its ability to turn even the smallest of the small businesses into a revenue opportunity.

According to its website, Google Apps resellers get to maintain full ownership of the billing relationship, just as a partner would with most on-premise technologies. This helps maintain the central relationship with customers, the company says. Beyond billing, Google Apps resellers manage the entire SMB customer relationship, including pricing, support and communications. This flexibility is designed to help partners cleanly package an entire experience together with product and services. Google says Apps has a broad ecosystem of complementary and integrated software solutions available through the Apps Marketplace. Successful resellers also are building strong relationships with independent software vendors and providing robust, end-to-end solutions, the company boasts.

Click here for more information on the Google Apps Reseller Program.

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