This week, in what may be a response to Microsoft’s recent moves to integrate its products, Google Apps and NetSuite team up and the result is definitely good for SMB. Xerox and Cisco have also partnered, CA offers data protection on Azure, while TrendMicro offers backup for very small businesses.

Google, NetSuite Partner

With Microsoft working its way toward closer integration of many of its business offerings, which has become particularly evident with Office 365 and recent announcements around Dynamics with pricing that suits the SMB space, Google appears to be upping the ante with its integrated offerings, the most recent of which is this week’s announcement of integration between Apps and NetSuite (news, site).

Announced at SuiteWorld 2011, NetSuite -- which offers a range of financial and ERP suites -- says it has been working with Apps to provide deeper integration, including contextual integration between the main components of NetSuite and both Gmail and Google Calendar.

This means that, for example, the email integration enables real-time access and updates to relevant customers and transactional NetSuite data in Gmail, as well as the capability to collaborate among teams on documents created with Google Docs within the NetSuite environment.

In addition, Google Calendar and the calendar in NetSuite OpenAir, its cloud professional services automation (PSA) and services resource planning (SRP) are now synchronized so that both companies can provide bidirectional synchronization between the two. Watch out for more integrations like this as Google counters Microsoft moves in this space, with SMBs ultimately coming out on top.

Xerox Print Management with Cisco

Xerox (news, site) also appears to be making moves to dig deeper into the SMB space, with the announcement this week that it has created an alliance with Cisco (news, site) to make Xerox’s print services available to the Cisco channel partners through the cloud.

As a result, the channel partners will be able to resell services offered by Xerox from a Cisco-built data center, enabling users to print from any device and any printer.

The result is three new solutions including:

  • Xerox Managed Print Services through Cisco, which will provide mobile printing solutions and as well as secured print management that enables printing from any and all locations
  • Xerox Cloud ITO Services, which enables clients to accelerate the rollout of new IT services including infrastructure as a service (IaaS), cloud consulting services and private cloud deployments.
  •  Xerox Mobile Print, which allows mobile workers to securely print business documents from email-enabled devices

While Xerox and Cisco have worked together before, this is the first time they have done so at a technology level. Another set of services that can only be good for SMBs.

CA Offers Azure Data Protection

Meanwhile, CA (news, site) has announced an agreement with Microsoft to offer customers its ARCserve data protection technology as a SaaS offering using Microsoft’s Windows Azure cloud platform.

The cloud offering, scheduled for availability in the second half of this year, is part of CA Technologies' strategy for bringing rapidly deployable, easy-to-own IT management solutions to market.

This solution will be especially attractive in situations where conventional, internally deployed backup-and-restore systems and software implementation may be less financially appealing, such as SMBs or remote offices that lack the necessary on-site IT staff.

The solution will be designed to meet the needs of CA and Microsoft partners, especially those who may incorporate its data protection functionality into their broader cloud-based IT management offerings.

TrendMicro Offers Backup Services

Finally, TrendMicros (news, site) is also offering backup services for businesses with up to 100 people with the launch of SafeSync for Business, an online file sharing and backup platform geared for small, mobile and virtual offices.

Trend Micro has launched the service with native iOS and Android applications for tablet and smartphone users, as well as an agnostic mobile Web interface optimized for both form factors. For more details on it, have a look at the video with SafeSync creator Dan Conlon (10 min 16 secs).


Pricing starts at US$ 90 per user for 50 GB of storage; businesses with between 51 and 100 users will pay about US$ 75 for 50 GB each.