Google Apps isn’t just a platform for free users to enjoy the added benefit of Google’s hard work, it is also a growing enterprise powerhouse that has generated more than $1 billion in revenue for Google in 2012.
According to the Wall Street Journal, Google has “generated around $1 billion from the sale of Google Apps and separate mapping software to businesses and governments.”
Google has made major strides to align its top-notch web platforms with businesses, and recently the company announced plans to drop free access to Google Apps. Free users will still be grandfathered into the system; however, all new users will receive a $50 per year, per user fee to utilize the platform.
Currently, Google serves more than five million Apps users; however, any company with 10 or fewer users can choose the free option to avoid per user payments.
While Google may force Google Apps users to pay, the company promises to make up for those fees with 24/7 phone service, 25GB inbox storage per user, and other added benefits for enterprise customers.
By moving into the Business sector of enterprise solutions, Google poses a direct threat to the likes of Microsoft, IBM, and others who have shifted much of their focus from the consumer to enterprise markets.
As the Journal notes:
“Since it began selling Google Apps in 2007, Google has had occasional success at signing up big companies such as Spanish bank Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Argentaria SABBVA.MC -0.97% and government agencies such as the U.S. Interior Department. Google Apps late last year signed a deal with General Motors Co. GM +0.36% to provide email and online-collaboration software to more than 100,000 employees, but the deal later fell apart, said people familiar with the matter.”
Do you think Google Apps are the future of Google’s business focus?