SaaS Could Be Google's Key To The Enterprise

Purchase of Postini allowed Google to offer a new pricing model for spam control, putting pressure on other vendors.

InformationWeek Staff, Contributor

April 17, 2008

2 Min Read

Google is still looking to parlay its success in search and application hosting for consumers into the enterprise market. Recent moves include new pricing for Postini content filtering, an expanding Google applications program for enterprise customers, a new VAR channel program for the Google Search Appliance, and new beta programs for the YouTube corporate edition.

Although it's not always on enterprise IT buyers' short lists, don't underestimate Google when it comes to the software-as-service marketplace. Its acquisition of spam control vendor Postini last year was almost universally hailed as a smart move, as Postini provided spam control for the Gmail service.

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But the broader purpose of the acquisition became clear in March, when Google announced a new pricing model for spam control--starting at just $3 per user per year for basic message filtering. Its enterprise spam control offering is priced at $12 a year. The company also leveraged its massive storage capabilities by adding an option of one year of mail archiving for an additional $22 per user. This is putting pressure on all major players in this market, including MessageLabs, MX Logic, and the latest entry, Kaspersky Lab.

For its part, Kaspersky announced its new service this month. "We definitely adjusted our model based on Google's moves," says Gary Mullen, Kaspersky's director of managed services. "Our customers consider e-mail to be business critical, and so do we. We've built our business model to provide the right value at a competitive price."

The list price for Kaspersky's anti-spam service for 1,000-plus users is $12.60 a year, with a three-year contract.

IT groups that are finally able to stop shoveling resources at the spam problem are the big winners here. Google is making out OK, too--an InformationWeek survey shows that more than 50% of companies are running one or more enterprise applications as a service, or are evaluating doing so. That's one stat that suggests Google's days of being shunned by large enterprises may be nearing an end.

Michael Healey is CTO of GreenPages Technology Solutions, a national IT solutions provider. Write to him at [email protected].

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