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Google takes another step in biz apps biz

It took Google a month to incorporate Postini’s security and compliance servers into its business apps. Google  completed its $625 million acquisition of Postini a security-as-a-service pioneer in September.

The higher-end Google Apps Premier Edition gets the Postini goods-configurable spam and virus filters, central management to set policy for content screening etc.

Premier Edition combines word processor, spreadsheet, instant messaging, email, calendar and Web creation tools for $50 per user per year including ten gigabytes of storage. Not bad.

When Google introduced the Premier version early this year, Postini, and Avaya, was one of its inaugural partners.

E-mail and collaboration VARs, many of whom built their businesses selling and supporting Microsoft Exchange, Lotus Domino, and open-source-oriented mail like Open-Xchange and Scalix, are watching Google’s moves carefully.

One mid-western VAR says Google is taking business away with one hand, but providing other business with the other.

RICIS, Tinley Park, Ill., has lost more than a dozen e-mail accounts to Google last year.  But, many of those customers retained his company do to services work anyway.  RICIS also sells the Google appliance, which aims to bring Google search inside company firewalls, and has found rich services opportunities working with the Google APIs to integrate the company’s services into the customers’ Web sites and applications

Gregory Rosenberg, CEO of RICIS, says he makes 54 percent margin on those services vs. 25 percent on the Google appliance. He even says he makes more margin on Google than he can on Microsoft software sales.

So, even though RICIS cannot resell Google apps, Rosenberg feels he’s doing better with Google in the mix than he would without it.

If you’re an e-mail or collaboration specialist, how do you view Google’s entry? Drop a line!

Barbara Darrow, a Boston-area journalist, can be reached at

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