When Google dropped a cool US$ 625 million on communications security and compliance company Postini in July of 2007, speculation was rampant about the company's intentions, with most pointing to a desire to attract more enterprise customers by beefing up their "Apps" with security options.
The pundits appear to have gotten this one right with Google's announcement of a series of enticing email compliance and security products -- all powered by what was Postini. The new offerings include message filtering, transport layer encryption, and business records archiving and discovery. Shazam! The records management market just got Googled.
The newly available services, which work with any mail system including Lotus Notes, Microsoft Exchange, and Novell Groupwise, are part of the popular Google Apps platform.
“As threats rise in volume and complexity, and compliance requirements pile up, IT is struggling to find the resources to keep up,” said Scott Petry, director of product management, Google. “Now, Google can take care of this for you. Organizations of all shapes and sizes can get access to Google's industry leading security and compliance technologies.”
Google now offers the following packaged services that deal with the all-too-common concerns of security and compliance.
Google Message Filtering
This is Postini's industry-leading spam and malware filtering service. Companies looking to fight off spam, virus, and other email threats with off-site resources can sign up for this service for a thrifty US$ 3 per user per year.
Further to the market entry ripple, we would note that white list email filtering providers, such as Spam Arrest ought to be worried. Our friend Google is the very same company that believes their search algorithms have rendered metadata obsolete. We reckon it's a safe bet that the big nerds in the Googleplex hold a similar such confidence in their spam filtering algorithms.
Google Message Security
An enhanced version of Google Message Filtering that includes the above service plus enhanced virus detection, outbound processing, and content policy management.
This service is aimed toward companies concerned about growing external security threats and internal risks like email data leaks or content compliance violations. This package costs US $12 per user per year.
Google Message Archiving & Discovery
The deluxe package includes Google Message Security as well as one year of message data archiving, retention, and discovery.
Directed toward companies seeking to reduce security exposure and improve legal discovery readiness and message compliance, this service is US$ 25 per user per year for one year of archived data. Additional years of data retention are sold separately.
This release can also be viewed as a move against Microsoft in their on-going battle over enterprise desktop app, collaboration tools and email services.
While Microsoft still dominates in these categories, Google's winning combination of feature-rich products and aggressive pricing are steadily biting into Redmond's hold on this market -- a hold that the software giant is willing to spare no expense to keep. Good luck.
Regardless of Microsoft's reactions, the addition of the Postini services is certainly going to increase the appeal of Google Apps -- which are already in use by over 500,000 businesses and thousands of universities -- and is likely going to force a new name onto the short list, as GRC managers worldwide consider just how they are going to manage, archive and discover their email business records.
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