Optus brings Google Apps into SaaS suite

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Optus brings Google Apps into SaaS suite

Creating Telstra T-Suite, AAPT Apps rival.

Optus will launch an "integrated suite" of business software-as-a-service products as early as next month, using Google Apps at its foundation.

The telco announced it had reached an agreement with Google today to offer the Apps portfolio – including email, calendar, "office applications", video conferencing and collaboration tools – to small-to-medium business customers.

An Optus spokesman told iTnews that the telco had already signed "other agreements" with third-party vendors to supply additional products for the suite, but declined to reveal further details.

"Google Apps is the foundation of the offering. It's the key piece that everything centres around," the spokesman said.

The launch of the hosted application suite was due in the second quarter of 2011 – anywhere between April and June.

Product and price details would be revealed "closer to launch", Optus said in a statement.

Optus was a relative latecomer to the party on hosted software.

AAPT had offered the Google Apps suite to business customers since December 2009, while Telstra had banked on Microsoft's business productivity online suite (BPOS) of hosted Microsoft products such as Exchange and SharePoint.

Optus had previously launched a hosted infrastructure suite it called "cloud solutions"; however, it had resisted joining the hosted software space until now.

"The agreement [with Google today] marks Optus' SMB entry into the software-as-a-service market," the telco said.

Optus' spokesman said the telco would target customers of between one and 200 seats with the hosted software suite.

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