Google plays in various categories of cloud computing at the same time. Google Docs, Spreadsheets and GMail are software applications as a service (SaaS) and more in the category of other dedicated SaaS applications like NetSuite for ERP or Salesforce.com’s Sales Cloud for CRM. Google’s offers also more platform centric services such as Google App Engine which moves more into a Platform as a Service (PaaS) category where Salesforce.com with Force.com is also a leader. While this is well known to many cloud experts meanwhile, there is still confusion around this in the market. Forrester established a cloud taxonomy which give a clear guidance and actually helps a lot to avoid confusion. Beyond this, thought it would be helpful to layout the hard facts of the recent announcement and the Jaguar deal.
See Google’s announcement of the business edition of google applications. Here are the hard facts:
Features unique to Google Apps Premier Edition include:
- 10 GBs of storage per user
- 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.
- 24×7 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.
- 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 tools.
- Application-level control – Allows administrators to adapt services to business policies, such as sharing of calendars or documents outside of the company.
The deal with Jaguar which is announced at the same day, claims the following benefits:
- Increased storage capacity with 25GB of storage per user
- Significant savings from lower infrastructure and support costs…. although the deal size is not disclosed.
- 99.9% service level agreement… although a full transparency like with trust.salesforce.com is not available to my knowledge
- Improved data security and administrative management… although no details are disclosed
Interesting is the adoption model that Google and Jaguar agreed on: Jaguar Land Rover has selected a kind of in-house evangelists and has selected 250 users for a first wave across its departments. These users get trained on all necessary aspects of Google Apps and will assist the other employees to get up and running without further training.
Comparing for example the storage limit of the above business version and the Jaguar details shows another important trend. Google starts to tailor the configuration or at least these kind of storage or traffic limits based on customer demand.
Please feel free to leave a comment below with your experience using Google apps.