Google Apps Adds Team Edition But Limits Cross Company Use

February 7th, 2008
Bill Lazorik

Google AppsGoogle has just released a new version of their online apps suite called Team Edition. It compliments the current Enterprise, Education/Non-Profit, and Free editions by allowing members of an organization to collaborate together without their entire company signing up for the service. Employees simply verify their email address and they will be able to share and work together using Google Docs, Calendar, Talk, and Start Page. Students can also add their school email address to get access to the team edition features. The whole verification process would be similar to adding a network on Facebook. This is a great way for Google to get a back door into a company and may lead to more businesses paying for the Enterprise version. The requirement to verify an email address is an attempt to appease corporate IT managers worried about security. It is doubtful large corporations will be embracing the service anytime soon, but many small and medium sized operations may find benefit in free collaboration tools while maintaining local control of their email services. However, the requirement to verify email addresses limits the utility of Google Apps for cross company teams, and projects that consist of consultants and employees from multiple companies. It would not be surprising to see Google drop this requirement in the future when everyone becomes a little more comfortable with the idea of cloud computing.

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