Google Offers New Postini Security Bundles

Google is offering three cascading packages that range from basic anti-spam protection to legal discovery, on a per-user, per-year basis.

Google is coming up with new ways to bundle its Postini security software-as-a-service assets, as the company began offering on Feb. 5 e-mail filtering, encryption and archiving software in three levels of protection for enterprises.

Google, which has applied the Postini assets to Gmail since it bought the company for $625 million to better compete with Microsoft and IBM in the collaboration software market, is now breaking out three products for Lotus Notes, Microsoft Exchange and Novell GroupWise.

Specifically, Google is now selling Google Message Filtering, geared to help companies quash spam, viruses and other e-mail threats, for $3 per user per year.

For companies worried about both external and internal security threats, such as e-mail leaks in which sensitive data is taken outside the firewall, the company is offering Google Message Security. For $12 per user per year, this bundle includes Google Message Filtering plus stronger virus detection, outbound processing and content policy management.

Business that need to pinpoint individual e-mails for legal discovery in addition to pervasive security can subscribe to Google Message Discovery, which includes Google Message Security plus one year of e-mail archiving, retention and discovery for $25 per user per year of archived data.

Scott Petry, director of product management at Google, who founded Postini in 1999 before SAAS and cloud computing were on Google's radar, told eWEEK in a briefing Feb. 4 that the new bundles represent an opportunity to sell Google Apps to non-Gmail-using customers.

"The vast majority of enterprise out there that have not deployed Gmail are using Exchange servers, Notes servers and GroupWise servers, etc., [and] now have the ability to deploy some fashion of Google Apps and make it work with their existing infrastructure," Petry said.

Customers can sign up for the Postini security software online and through channel partners.

The Postini assets are one way Google, primarily a consumer-oriented company, is trying to gain traction in businesses with its Google Apps software as an alternative to Microsoft Office, SharePoint or Lotus Notes.

The collaboration-centric Apps package includes Gmail, Google Docs for documents, spreadsheets and presentations, Google Calendar shared calendaring, and Google Talk instant messaging.

More than 500,000 businesses and thousands of universities use Google Apps in addition to or even as alternatives to Lotus Notes, Microsoft Office and Exchange, and other corporate-tested systems.

To date, Google has not stated how many customers are paying for GAPE (Google Apps Premier Edition), which includes the aforementioned Apps products and support in a package for which the company charges $50 per user per year.

For his part, Petry said he is thrilled with the way Google has let Postini go about its business, noting that Postini is still deploying its software on its own infrastructure to 40,000 customers.

Currently, the Postini assets protect Google's Gmail in GAPE. Petry said Google and Postini are working on other ways to integrate Postini's security assets across Google Apps, but would not provide details or timelines.