Google for Work to woo more businesses with freebie offer

The deal especially puts Microsoft Office 365, ​arguably the biggest threat to Google Apps, in the crosshairs as the war between the two gets more heated.
Written by Rachel King, Contributor

Google for Work, the corporate-focused arm of Google Apps, is breaking out the carrots and sticks in a bid to woo more organizations to the cloud-based productivity suite.

Putting its mainstay productivity app, Docs, in the spotlight, Google is removing some of the cost barriers for new customers -- specifically those with enterprise agreements elsewhere.

The Internet giant pledged on Monday that it would absolve Google Apps subscription rates until the new customer's pre-existing software contract ran out on top of contributing to deployment costs.

When the pre-existing enterprise agreement has come to term, the new customer will then start paying regular Google Apps rates.

Rich Rao, head of global sales for Google Apps for Work, asserted in a blog post that there are no traps or loopholes to this contract, promising that this arrangement could result in savings up to 70 percent of what the customer was previously paying elsewhere.

The deal especially puts Microsoft Office 365, arguably the biggest threat to Google Apps, in the crosshairs as the war between the two gets more heated.

In August, cloud security vendor Bitglass reported that Office 365 surpassed Google Apps as the top vendor of cloud-based office productivity software.

Larger companies with more than 500 employees were said to choose Office 365 over Google Apps at a rate of 34.3 percent to 21.9 percent.

Furthermore, with customers across regulated industries boasting workforces of 1,000 people or more, Office 365 demonstrated a 500 percent increase (from five to 30 percent) since 2014. Google Apps followed with a jump of 200 percent.

Cutting moving and deployment rates could disrupt and derail these ongoing trends altogether.

Other major cloud software providers included in the report, which surveyed nearly 120,000 global organizations, were Salesforce.com and Box.

Right now, Google's offer is only available to organizations based in the United States. Google said it is currently working to extend the offer to other markets worldwide.

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