An incentive which allowed midsize businesses locked in contracts with other vendors to use Google Apps at no cost until those contracts expired was started in October and expired on April 14.
But Google has decided to maintain the incentive until the end of 2016, while also making it easier for smaller companies to qualify.
Writing in his bog, Neil Delaney, sales director for Google Apps said that the programme, which also helps fund migrations to Google’s cloud is doing rather well.
More than 20,000 midsize companies took advantage of the offer since October, launching 200,000 new Apps seats they wouldn’t have to pay for until licenses with other software vendors expired.
The original iteration of the programme applied to companies with between 250 and 3,000 employees. Delaney said Google fielded so much interest from smaller customers that it reduced the threshold to 100 employees for the extension period.
The programme aims to induce companies locked into an Enterprise Agreement (EA) to switch to Google Apps. It gives new customers the opportunity to influence the move to Apps and gives decision makers the final incentive to make the switch.
Google wouldn’t name specific competitors from whom it sees the programme siphoning customers. But it is pretty obviously talking about the sort of volume license offered by Microsoft for certain products, including Office 365.