Google Enterprise is dead. Long live Google For Work. Google’s executive chairman Eric Schmidt announced on the company blog yesterday that the rebrand better fitted Google’s aspiration that “technology should make work better”.
Google Enterprise covers Google Apps and the included suite of services such as Gmail, Google Docs, Sheets, Sites, Slides and Groups; a business version of Google Maps; the cloud computing service Google Cloud Platform; the Android operating system and Chromebook mobile computing range. Several days earlier, Google Hangouts was moved inside the Google Apps suite which means it is covered by the same security, 24×7 phone support and availability (99.9 percent uptime) assurances.
The “For Work” tag is now applied to everything in Google Apps, i.e. Google Gmail for Work, Google Drive for Work, etc. Confusingly, Google Drive for Work was launched separately to the “For Work” rebrand two months earlier as a standalone service offering users an unlimited amount of storage in Google Apps for an extra US$5 per month on top of the US$5 for month for Google Apps.
Google Drive for Work now appears to be the new name for Google Drive as part of Google Apps for Work. A second plan has been added to the Google Apps pricing page which includes unlimited storage and the Google Vault archival service for US$120 per user a year plus tax. The first plan which costs US$50 per user a year plus tax includes 30GB storage per user, the Google Apps productivity suite and 24/7 phone and email support.
The more expensive plan adds advanced admin controls for Drive, email archiving, audit, legal discovery and reporting tools, as well as the unlimited storage, which is capped at 1TB per user if the Google Apps account has fewer than five users.
Schmidt made some interesting comments about how the industry has changed in the past 10 years.
Work today is very different from 10 years ago. Cloud computing, once a new idea, is abundantly available, and collaboration is possible across offices, cities, countries and continents. Ideas can go from prototype to development to launch in a matter of days.
Working from a computer, tablet and phone is no longer just a trend—it’s a reality. … In other words, work is already better than it used to be.