Google to offer Apps for Work free to some enterprises

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Google to offer Apps for Work free to some enterprises

No indication of whether Australian businesses can benefit.

Google will offer its Apps for Works suite free to customers with enterprise agreements with IBM and Microsoft, in a bid to boost its share of the productivity market. 

The offer is valid in the United States and Canada, according to a blog post by Rich Rao, Google Apps for Work head of global sales. He did not indicate if Google will introduce the offer in other markets, such as Australia. 

Rao said Google would cover the fees for Google Apps for customers who are locked in with other providers through an enterprise agreement, as well as the deployment costs for switching to its web-based productivity suite. 

He promised switchers a "simple contract with no traps and gotchas" and claimed businesses with basic enterprise agreements and no dependencies could save up to 70 percent by moving over to Google Apps for Work. 

There are conditions attached to the deal, however. A maximum of 3000 users per qualifying customer can use Google Apps for Work for free, through a credit for the remainder of their existing enterprise agreement term, for no more than a year. 

Google will also provide customers buying between 250 to 3000 user licences a $US25 ($A34.49) per seat deployment voucher payable in two instalments. 

This payment is to cover costs for domain activation, project management, implementation, customisation, change management, training, data migration and configuration. 

The online giant will pay up to a total of $US75,000 ($A104,464) per company to cover the cost of migration, but this must be done within six months through a Google Apps partner participating in the offer.  

Further costs will be covered by the migrating customer, after negotiations with their Google Apps partner provider. 

Customers who take up the offer will not have to terminate their present enterprise agreements with other providers to receive the credit from Google. 

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