Google is planning on ramping up its SaaS offering, although the firm is careful to stress that it is playing to its strengths and not seeking to steal all of Microsoft’s customers.
"Our intention is to really put more value at that price point and offer some amazing proposition to companies," president of Google’s Enterprise unit, Dave Girouard told the recent Pacific Crest Technology Leadership Forum.
The firm, which currently offers its free office suite to personal users, as well as very small businesses and its Premier service to businesses of all sizes for £25 a year per user, has stressed that it is focused on developing its suite to play to the service’s strengths – mainly collaborative work – rather than going directly after Microsoft users.
"We expect to hold the price point and add more and more value at that price point," he added, stressing that it wasn’t so much about capturing value market share as it was about building volume.
"We want to have commercial relationships with lots of companies, and it matters more that we have that than exactly how much dollar per user we’re getting."
Girouard conceded that the firm’s package will never reach the functionality of Microsoft’s Office package, but said that was not the firm’s intention. "If you’re looking for feature parity, you’ll probably never see that. I’d like all the holes [in the feature set] to be filled, but I’ll say generally we’re not in the model of trying to replicate the products that work really well for what they do."
Using financial analysts as an example, he said that Google Apps wasn’t being aimed at them – and their need to build complex models in spreadsheet applications – but rather they were looking to provide the functionality the majority of users need and do so better than Microsoft does.
"Excel is very good at that. [But] there’s a million things you can use our spreadsheet product for that we think we’re much better than Excel at."