Google in a big step to build up its app store and market it to enterprises, be it small or large, has launched programs aimed at small enterprises with limited IT resources. So now, with a simplified installation process for administrators using a new and simplified set-up wizard, Google App store is again catching eyeballs. So now when you reach the sign up page you will encounter the set-up wizard in the administrative ‘Control Panel’. The easy and simplified interactive guide will lead you through all the frills and add on services like the entire key configuration options ranging from creating your user account to setting up e-mail accounts transferring your existing data to a one stop shop under Google Apps and finally configuring mobile devices. It will also help you chalk out the roll out plan for the apps by allowing you to chose whether you want a pilot run first or immediately deploy it, hence helping you decide whatever suits your requirements. You also have the option to run the set-up in pieces using the inbuilt progress indicators so that you can come back after intervals of time and complete the set-up.
App Store since its inception was devised as a self help service this new addition further simplifies it. According to Google as stated by Heather Folsom, a Google product manager, in a blog post, the interactive guide helps users walk through a variety of key configuration options ranging from setting up user accounts to establishing communication through registering e-mails. According to analysts, Google needs working on its app store to help it compete against the best, not only does it need administrative tools it also needs a clear cut roadmap, product and training documentation and better connectivity between client and developer in the form of developing more enterprise class communication packages for Google Apps.
The various services and solutions offered by the app store include hosted e-mail, calendar, IM, a website builder and office productivity applications and connectivity solutions. Its basic version comes at no cost and also its academic version comes free of cost, however the one being marketed to businesses and enterprises namely Apps for Businesses costs US$50 per end user for every year.
Google Apps faces strict competition from a variety of app stores and communication suites and other solution providers like Microsoft, IBM, Zoho, Novell and Cisco so it is natural for Google to make strides to actually be able to stand up against the competition and sell its products to various businesses and enterprises and carve out a niche for itself in this market.