Google Introduces Flexible Pricing Plan Business AppsBy Nathan Eddy | Print
The search giant added a $5 per user per month pricing option which requires no contractual commitment.
Five years after the launch of Google Apps, the company is offering a flexible pricing plan designed to help small and midsize businesses. For customers who sign up online, Google is adding the Flexible Plan, a new $5 per user, per month pricing option which requires no contractual commitment. With this plan, businesses can add or remove users as necessary and will automatically be billed for the proper amount. The company said it would continue to offer the current pricing option – $50 per user, per year with a one-year commitment – as the Annual Plan.
Second, Google is eliminating upfront payments for new customers to make it easier for them to manage their cash flow. Whether they choose the Flexible or Annual Plan, customers will pay at the end of each month. The company will also begin to offer direct debit in the United States, U.K., Austria, France, Germany, Italy, Netherlands, and Spain, and over the course of the next few months, Google will also make these billing options available to their reseller partners.
In addition, starting on May 10, new organizations (excluding schools and non-profits) with more than 10 users will need to sign up for Google’s paid service, Google Apps for Business, which offers features designed for businesses – customer support, more generous storage limits, a 99.9 percent SLA and more. The company said the change would allow them to deliver on the expectations of their small business customers and invest in new features that will help them succeed.
Only new customers will be impacted; existing Google Apps customers can expand beyond 10 users (up to a maximum of 50) at no additional charge, and we’ll continue to offer Google Apps for free to groups with 10 users or fewer. Schools and non-profits that qualify for Google Apps for Education will not be affected, Hunter Middleton from the Google Apps product team explained.
"We hope these improvements will encourage more businesses to adopt Google Apps for Business. And there’s a lot more to come: we’ve already launched 57 feature improvements this year – including Google Cloud Connect for Microsoft Office, discussions in Google Docs, and an improved control panel for business users – and we’ll continue to provide the innovation our customers expect," Middleton said. "We look forward to helping more businesses flourish in the months and years to come."