Rackspace will now sell and support Google for Work applications to business customers, just as it already resells and supports hosted Exchange and Sharepoint for business customers.
[company]Google[/company], which is pushing its apps into business accounts many of which run [company]Microsoft[/company] Office. [company]Rackspace[/company] will bill the customer, and provide phone support for those times when that button you always use suddenly disappears without notice. (Hey it happens with Google Apps — it actually happens with Microsoft apps too for that matter.) Having someone to call in that event is pretty helpful.
Google Apps for Work sold directly starts at $5 per user per month with 30 GB of online storage. A version with unlimited storage is $10 per user per month. Rackspace will charge $10 per user per month for basic and $15 per month for unlimited. That extra $5 gets you Rackspace’s claimed “fanatical support” which includes help with provisioning, security configuration, device management and with migration issues and account management.
“We see a ton of interest in Google Apps for Work from small business customers who are looking for help and assistance with it. We have to make it less complicated for them,” said Bret Piatt, Rackspace senior director of corporate strategy and development. Google Apps for Work includes spreadsheet, word processing, presentation applications, Google Drive storage and Google Hangouts for multi-party calling and video conferencing. Google also says it provides around-the-clock phone support so Rackspace has to rise above that bar.
Google entered the apps fray via free Google Apps but has been pushing more into business for the past few years. Whether its focus is on small and medium businesses or on enterprises is not clear, although I’m not sure it matters much. Large companies, for example, often use Google Apps to wring pricing concessions on Microsoft Enterprise License Agreements. Last month Google changed the name of its apps roster from Google Enterprise to Google for Work, for example.
Other Google Apps premier partners include Onix Networking Group, Agosto, [company]Cloud Sherpas[/company], Tempus Nova, SADA Systems, Maven Wave, Dito, and [company]Appirio[/company]. [company]Sprint[/company] also resells Google Apps into business accounts.