Google Reorganizes Email Security Services, Cuts Prices

Google Reorganizes Email Security Services, Cuts Prices

Google on Tuesday unveiled a new series of "Powered by Postini" hosted email and messaging services that are aimed at simplifying its software-as-a-service offerings and cutting its prices.

Google, of Mountain View, Calif., is reorganizing several of the email security and compliance services from its acquisition last year of Postini into three packages, said Scott Petry, founder of Postini and product management director in Google's Enterprise Management division.

The first package, Google Message Filtering, includes Postini's spam and malware filtering products, and is aimed at companies who want to shift the burden of such tasks to a third-party service, Petrie said. It will be offered to users for $3 per year.

The second, Google Message Security, includes Google Message Filtering along with enhanced virus detection, outbound message processing, and content policy management for companies worried about internal and external threats such as data leaks and compliance violations, he said. It will be offered for $12 per user per year.

The third is Google Message Discovery, which include Google Message Security bundled with a year of message data archiving, retention, and discovery to help companies with legal discovery, Petry said. It will be offered for $25 per user per year.

The new packages are offered as part of the Google Apps platform, which also includes Gmail email services, Google Docs for documents and presentations, Google Calendar for shared calendaring, Google Talk instant messaging, and Start Page for customizable home pages.

"We're trying to take advantage of the Google scale and reach to offer these services," Petry said. "We want to provide services to businesses of every size and in every region."

Channel partners will be able to take advantage of the Google brand with these services, Petry said. "Google is the number one brand name in the world," he said.

The simple packaging of the services along with the lower price is a good move for channel partners and for end users, said Joseph Vaccone, president of Excel Micro, a Folsom, Penn.-based distributor of services offerings to small and midsize business solution providers.

"It's going to attract a lot of people who are already buying SaaS products, and could help get all the people not already doing services into working with hosted offerings," Vaccone said.

The lower-priced bundles come at a time of major change in the services market, Vaccone said. The continuing explosion in the amount of spam messages being sent has lead to an industry where suppliers who were charging as low as $12 to $15 per month for anti-spam services, or half the cost of the Postini service, are starting to drop out of the market.

"We're now expecting several providers to drop their anti-spam services because some of them came on three or four years ago when the business was profitable," he said. "But last year was the litmus test. Spam volume erupted thanks to larger spam campaigns and more huge bot networks. So this year there's not a lot of profit unless you are one of the top vendors out there and can scale."