Google Inc. has introduced Google Apps Premier Edition, a new version of Google's hosted services for communication and collaboration designed for businesses of all sizes. Google Apps Premier Edition is available for $50 per user account per year, and includes phone support, additional storage, and a new set of administration and business integration capabilities. Google Apps, launched as a free service in August 2006, is a suite of applications that includes Gmail webmail services, Google Calendar shared calendaring, Google Talk instant messaging and voice-over-IP, and the Start Page feature for creating a customizable home page on a specific domain. Google Apps Premier Edition joins Google Apps Standard Edition and Google Apps Education Edition, both of which will continue to be offered for free to organizations.
Google has also announced that all editions of Google Apps include Google Docs & Spreadsheets. In addition, Google Apps supports Gmail for mobile on BlackBerry handheld devices. Features unique to Google Apps Premier Edition include: 10 GBs of storage per user, which offers about 100 times the storage of the average corporate mailbox; APIs for business integration where APIs for data migration, user provisioning, single sign-on, and mail gateways are designed to enable businesses to further customize the service for environments; 99.9 % uptime, where Service Level Agreements for high availability of Gmail, with Google monitoring and crediting customers if service levels are not met; 24x7 support for critical issues includes extended business hours telephone support for administrators; Advertising optional where advertising is turned off by default, but businesses can choose to include Google's relevant target-based ads if desired; and $50 per user account per year.
In addition to Gmail, Google Calendar, Google Talk and Start Page, all editions of Google Apps include: Google Docs & Spreadsheets so with this addition, teams can collaborate on documents and spreadsheets without the need to email documents back and forth. Multiple employees can securely work on a document at the same time. All revisions are recorded for editing, and administrative controls are designed to allow organizations to define limits on document sharing. Gmail for mobile devices on BlackBerry so that Gmail for mobile devices provides the same Gmail experience--such as search, conversation view, and synchronization with desktop version--on BlackBerry handheld devices for users of Google Apps. Gmail for mobile devices joins a list of other mobile options for Google Apps and BlackBerry users that already includes a Google Talk client and a variety of calendar sync tools; and application-level control designed to allow administrators to adapt services to business policies, such as sharing of calendars or documents outside of the company. Google hosted applications are available in local languages, such as French, Italian, German, Spanish, Chinese, Japanese, and Korean.