Google announcement for stop allowing new business users to use its app for free did not come as a surprise but was long in pipeline. Google gave an indication when they first set limit to number of users that can use this app from 50 in 2009 to 10 users in early 2011 and now zero.
With over 40 million Google app users across the globe even if they target to convert 10% of them, they would be having 4 million paying $5 per month/user or $20 million a month. Google selling this under the cover of better service experience for its business customers and providing high uptime guarantee.
They have also worked on providing add on services such as customized Google play store for small business to store in their Apps , which will only be accessible internally to employees. Focused to provide better service Google will also be providing 24 hour phone support for its paid customers.
With Paid Version of Google Apps users get email, calendar and online office suite as an all-in-one service, allowed to be used on private domain. They seems to be inspired from MS office 365, online service offering similar set of application access well integrated to its with standard software versions, at a dollar high value $6 single user/ month.
There are some loop holes to what Google is suggesting in their emails to its customers. It reads as below
“Starting today, we’re no longer accepting new sign-ups for the free version of Google Apps (the version you’re currently using). Because you’re already a customer, this change has no impact on your service, and you can continue to use Google Apps for free.
Should you ever want to upgrade to Google Apps for Business, you’ll enjoy benefits such as 24/7 customer support, a 25 GB inbox, business controls, our 99.9% uptime guarantee, unlimited users and more for just $5 per user, per month”
But it does not clarify on following situations:–
What if a new employee joins the organization, does he have to pay for using google apps..?
What will happen if an old employee leaves an organization? How to check and keep a tab on his mailbox.
What if the company is a NGO or Nonprofit Organization?
Though they have said it openly that it will be free for an individual user. But not disclosing on how they will be determining whether a user is registered is an individual or from some company.
To cover this Google allows and emphasis on storing the company custom built internal apps on their playstore which are only be accessible to company employees.
There must have been great demand for support and services that could have resulted Google coming up with this plan to support their infra and phone support services. It’s still not known that how many of them will actually pick on Google services and would be joining this paid support but eventually they all would be.