Following its acquisition of Postini, Google is wasting no time in integrating security services into its enterprise services offering.
These services are mainly aimed at securing Google's enterprise applications, although they are a standalone offering that can be used with any e-mail server. This pick-and-mix offering is made more attractive by some aggressive pricing, which is calculated on a per-user-per-year basis.
The announcement may seem fairly insignificant compared with the current controversy over the ownership of Yahoo. However, it shows how the big service players in the Internet are shaping up to compete on one anothers' territory.
Today's announcement covers message filtering, message security (more comprehensive than the message filtering service), and message discovery (providing central archiving and search). Google now claims coverage of messaging, collaboration, security, and compliance, although it clearly only covers certain aspects of these.
The rate of progress at Postini since its acquisition by Google in September 2007 has been impressive. It now has 40 000 business customers and 14 million users. Postini is benefiting from having a very large organisation behind it.
Our main reservation about this development is that it is a piecemeal approach. Enterprises are looking for comprehensive security services, and to rationalise their supplier base. At a time when more malware is reaching enterprises through web browsing than through e-mail, Google is divorcing its web security and mail security offerings.
This fragmented approach becomes more irritating as we move into the so-called Web 2.0 domain. The current approach seems to be aimed at capturing the low-hanging fruit with an offer that is financially very attractive.
It will be well received by smaller enterprises, but larger organisations have already set their sights beyond this kind of approach.