Google is encouraging its existing Google Apps paying customers to promote the service to friends, and the company is offering a $15 per-referral cash bonus if users help Google sign up new paying customers.
The Google Apps Referral Program, which will allow existing users to receive a maximum of $1,500 as a reward for up to 100 such referrals, was announced March 10 by Prajesh Parekh of the Google Apps Marketing team, in a post on the Google Enterprise Blog.
"For those of us who use Google Apps, the ability to access all of our documents from anywhere on any device and being able to seamlessly collaborate with colleagues or customers across the world are impressive moments," wrote Parekh. "These are moments we want to share with friends and colleagues because the more the people in our networks use Google Apps, the more seamlessly we can collaborate with them—whether it's video conferencing via Hangouts, working together on Docs or sharing calendars. Best of all, it means we can all begin to experience a new way of working."
That kind of enthusiasm among users is what helped inspire the referral program, he wrote. "Many of the millions of Google Apps customers learned about tools like Hangouts, Drive and Gmail for business from their customers, friends and networks. To help continue the momentum, we're launching the Google Apps Referral Program. The referral program makes it easy to share Google Apps with your network and show them how they too can use these tools at work. To show our appreciation, we're offering a $15 referral bonus for each new Google Apps user you refer."
The program is open to Google Apps users in the United States and Canada for now, and could eventually be expanded in the future. Google has some 5 million Google Apps users around the world, according to the company. The cloud-based Google Apps includes Gmail, Calendar, Drive storage, Docs, Sheets and Slides services.
To sign up for the referral program, users must visit a sign-in page and enter their names and email addresses, plus accept a terms of service agreement. Enrollees in the program must also provide a valid taxpayer ID number and a bank account number to receive direct deposits for their referral fees. The new users who are signed up through the referrals must continue their Google Apps subscriptions for at least 120 days, according to the program rules.
Google is always working to update its Google Apps services.
Earlier this month, Google announced that it will drop support for the Google Apps Connector for BlackBerry Enterprise Server in March 2015. The coming change will affect Google Apps users who are using BlackBerry devices running BlackBerry OS 7 or older that are connecting to Google Apps through BlackBerry Enterprise Server version 5.0.3. By using the connector, enterprises could set up their Google Apps suite to integrate with BES, which allows employees to use built-in BlackBerry applications to access their Google Apps email, calendar and contacts.
In November 2013, Google announced that it would move all its Apps sign-in pages to have the same look for consistency and security, which meant that users will lose their personalization options. Under the changes, they are also losing the ability to customize their Google Apps sign-in pages with their logos and other branding information.