Google in May began retooling its Google Apps infrastructure to make all Google applications available via single sign-on from users' Apps accounts.
The company ratcheted up this effort in September, allowing users of Blogger, Google Reader, Google Voice and calling-in-Gmail Picasa Web Albums, AdWords and iGoogle from their Google Apps accounts.
Google envisions this will play big for IT administrators who can now provision different applications to different groups of users. Google Apps Lead Software Engineer Derek Parham noted:
"For example, you could equip your marketing team with Picasa Web Albums so they can collect and share photos from customer appreciation events, and let that team publish your company's blog with Blogger. Services like iGoogle and Alerts, on the other hand, may be broadly useful, and could be enabled for your whole organization."
Of course, that could also be an IT admin's professional nightmare because it means they have to mess with more permissions options.
I'm not sure they want to do this, even if it simply means clicking more buttons on the admin console.
Regardless, admins have no choice. Google said it is moving everyone to the new infrastructure in the next few months. Like it or not, users will be assimilate.
Google also engaged in a touch of rebranding with this new infrastructure rollout.
Henceforth, there are four Google Apps suites:
Gone is the standard edition moniker, giving way to Google Apps as the standard free service geared toward families, entrepreneurs and other groups of up to 50 users.
Where there was one Google Apps Premier Edition for $50 per user per year, there is now Google Apps for Business.
Google Apps for Government and Google Apps for Education retain their names.