If you’re a Google Apps for Business user, you’ve undoubtedly been frustrated by the release of Google+. The product, still very much in private beta, isn’t available to you guys yet. I’m a paying Google Apps user myself and understand the frustration.
In fact in my eagerness to use Google+ on a daily basis, I made the switch and have literally moved all my email from my paid-for Google Apps account to a standard free Gmail account. Yes, I’ve gone from paying to not paying just to use one of Google’s products.
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What’s even more frustrating is that anyone with an email address can get access to Google+, you don’t need a @gmail.com address. Signing up with a ymail.com, hotmail.com or other enterprise email address is perfectly fine unless you’re already using that address with Google Apps for Business.
Simply put, the only people who aren’t able to access Google’s new social project are people signed up to Google Apps, many of whom pay.
You can understand why there’s a little animosity.
Bradley Horowitz, VP of Product Management at Google, explains above that the company was aware of the problem and that it will be addressed soon BUT this isn’t the first time Google Apps users have been left behind. Most recently, the roll out of Google’s new design across its various apps has seen Google Apps users once again wondering why they’re being discounted.
There is an argument that Google Apps users, many of whom are large businesses, need to prepared in advance for releases such as Google+. Releases that could potentially complicate their working environment. Irrespective, I’m sure an option for customers who want access to new or pre-release features wouldn’t go amiss
From my experience, the reality is this; many of the users complaining that they haven’t got access to Google+ aren’t businesses but rather individuals who – in their eagerness to use a custom domain with Google’s products – signed up for Google Apps for your Business.
An ideal solution would be for Google to provide a new simple offering for individuals who want to use Google Apps with their own domain and are willing to pay for it – let’s call it Google Premier. Sit this new package neatly between standard Gmail accounts and Google Apps for Business. Users of Google Premier can then choose whether or not they receive priority access to Google’s new products and features. Devoted users are happy, it should provide great feedback and it’s potentially a lucrative source of revenue.
What do you think?
In the mean time current Google Apps users will either have to sit tight or make the switch to a standard gmail account and add your custom email address as an alternative to send from. Not sure how? Instructions here.