Technology

Google Offers Free Google Apps for Work

The search giant is trying to lure enterprises away form Microsoft's productivity suite.
Katie Kuehner-HebertOctober 20, 2015
Google Offers Free Google Apps for Work

Google is taking on Microsoft and other competitors by offering a new promotion: access to Google Apps for Work for free while companies are still under an enterprise agreement with another provider.

“We’re so confident that Docs has all the features you need, without the ones you don’t, that we’re making it even easier to give it a try,” the Mountain View, Calif. company said on its blog. “If you’re worried about switching to Docs because you still have an enterprise agreement with another provider, we’ll cover the fees of Google Apps until your contract runs out. We’ll even chip in on some of the deployment costs and set you up for success with one of our Google for Work Partners.”

While Google didn’t mention Microsoft or IBM by name, it’s well understood that these are the top competitors for its Google Apps productivity suite and related tools, according to TechCrunch.

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“By taking on the costs associated with an [enterprise agreement] — 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,” Tech Crunch wrote.

Once a user’s current EA is up, Google will offer a simple contract “with no traps or gotchas,” the company wrote. Google estimated that businesses with basic EAs and no dependencies can potentially unlock savings of up to 70% by switching to Google Apps for Work.

Google Apps for Work, which includes Google Docs, Sheets, Slides, Forms, and Drive along with calendaring and communications tools like Gmail, Hangouts, and Calendar, as well as an IT dashboard for management, starts at $5 per user per month. It increases to $10 per user per month for unlimited storage space and “Vault,” a system for e-discovery of emails, chats, docs, and files.

Google will cap the amount it covers for deployment at $25 per user. However, there will be no bill for Google Apps for Work until the prior EA runs out. The company didn’t say how long this promotion would be available, but it’s currently only offered to customers in the United States. Google said it’s working on bringing the offer to global markets in the future.