Google Apps for Business increasingly make sense for smaller companies and those needing to better support employees who need and want to work from anywhere, said Sprint, announcing the addition of Google's cloud-based productivity tools to its portfolio, beginning Aug. 18.
"We see a changing shift in the workforce. There's much more of a drive around BYOD, and untethering employees, with a lot of this being driven by Millennials," John Tudhope, Sprint director of product marketing, told eWEEK. "We see a tremendous opportunity to come in with a partner like Google and be disruptive …
Adding Google to the list of things we already bring to the table … we can have a broader conversation with customers about how they embrace this changing workplace."
Today, anyone can sign up for Google Apps for Business. But businesses that sign up through Sprint, said Tudhope, can take advantage of several value-added services, of which there are three key ones.
"When customers move to Google, we will assign a consultant to them, who will work through their deployment needs and what they need to do. And that's all free," said Tudhope. "Plus, we offer personal deployment packages, for a fee, in which we actually do the physical migration for them."
Another offering is the Boost eLearning platform, which includes more than 400 apps for user-led learning and training, whether they want to learn a new skill or brush up.
"We provide that free to our customers," said Tudhope. "Plus, they get 24/7 end-user support. And it's that added backup that, when they're having difficulties, can really make a difference. We may ascertain that the issue is a mobile device problem and then we just handle that, instead of the person having to hang up and call someone else."
Sprint's backing of Google Apps for Business is carrier-agnostic; Sprint can deploy the Google apps across a business, regardless of whether or not all the devices are on the Sprint network. The third piece, however, is that when customers do purchase Sprint devices and Google Apps for Business, Sprint will set up the devices for them.
"We'll make sure the Google apps are pre-loaded, and make it very seamless for their deployment," Tudhope explained. "We can also pre-load other things, like MDM or contracting solutions, or load all of their icons. And if they want a branded approach to the phones, we'll do that, too."
For a fee, Sprint will also offer Domain Services—if you don't own a Website, or your own email handle, Sprint can help you buy these—and Single Sign-On capabilities. That means a user can sign into the device once, using two-factor authentication, and then have access to all the Google apps, plus more than 3,000 other cloud-based apps, and not have to enter another password.
"We expect most businesses of a certain size typically will need help with their deployment, and we'll have deployment packages available—we'll offer it all in one stop. Then, we give them the project management overlay, complimentary," said Tudhope.
"That's the beauty of Google," he added. "It's all very consistent, and simplistic."