Goodbye, Google Enterprise; hello, Google for Work

Google is rechristening its Google Enterprise stable of applications: they will now officially be called Google For Work, according to a blog post by Google chairman Eric Schmidt on Tuesday.

The rationale appears to be that that the line between work and leisure time has been obliterated (no kidding) and that that the tech tools we use to find places (Google Maps) and to communicate with friends or colleagues (Gmail, in many cases) stretch across not only our devices, but also our work and personal lives and offices and homes. For better or worse.

As has been discussed several times, including here, [company]Google[/company] made its bones in web search and its money largely from advertising, but now seems intent on being a force in enterprise — er, work — accounts as well.

Still, part of me sees this rebranding as a tacit acknowledgement that while Google Apps, Gmail, etc. have made inroads at startups and other small- and medium-sized companies, they still face a battle wresting big, enterprise-y accounts from the clutches of the [company]Microsoft[/company] Office (and Office 365) juggernauts.

I’m betting that Google would not agree with that publicly, but Michael Cizmar, president of MC+A, a Chicago development shop that works a lot with Google technologies, agreed. “Google does not and should not pair itself up to play in the same place as traditional players,” he noted via email. “This rebranding helps Google distance itself from those other enterprise companies while leveraging the growing trend of consumerization of IT.”

Google for Work

Note: This post was updated at 12:47 p.m. PST with Michael Cizmar’s quote and more context around Google’s competitive situation.