Google announced new pricing for its Postini hosted e-mail security and compliance management package on Tuesday in hopes of pushing more customers to consider a move to the SaaS (software as a service) offering.
Since adding expanded message filtering, encryption, and archiving tools to Postini's traditional anti-spam services in Oct. 2007 -- and parceling the same features into its Google Apps Premier hosted productivity suite -- the company has been able to convince a significant number of customers to begin working with the SaaS applications, according to Scott Petry, founder and CTO of Postini, which Google acquired for $625 million last July.
However, in a move to make the tools more attractive for use in heterogeneous IT environments, and to encourage both enterprise and smaller customers to consider the offering as a viable alternative to traditional on-premise technologies, the company has revamped the product packaging and cut its overall pricing.
In addition to pushing pricing for its flagship hosted anti-spam filtering service to $3 per user per year, Google-Postini has moved the price for its hosted virus detection, outbound processing, and content policy management services to $12 per user per year.
For its compliance-oriented message data archiving, retention, and e-discovery services, which previously cost $100 per user per year, the firm has drastically cut pricing to $25 per year with the option to extend e-mail archiving at a cost of $10 for every additional 12 months of storage.
"We've got a healthy number of our existing customers running the newer content management, archiving, and discovery services, but we think that by adjusting pricing, we can get even more people get off their existing infrastructure and get onto managed services offered by Google," Petry said. "We won't be an acquisition that withers and dies; we're focused on expanding our reach and integrating the product line."
The combined package of services is meant to compete not only with Postini's traditional rivals, including mail filtering capabilities offered by MessageLabs and Microsoft, but also with security and compliance products marketed by industry stalwarts like Symantec, Petry contends.
A customer might have to buy Symantec's stand-alone anti-spam, anti-virus, messaging security, DLP (data leakage prevention), and policy management technologies to gain the same collection of filtering, archiving, and compliance automation capabilities offered in the Google-Postini SaaS package, according to the executive.
By driving down pricing and tying the tools tightly together, Google should be able to convince some large customers to make a shift to SaaS and be able to help smaller companies gain access to tools they may not have been able to afford previously, he said.
"More than a battle against any of these other guys, this is about getting more companies off of the traditional model of deploying software and appliances to address these problems," Petry said. "We think that time is on our side, and more people than ever are ready to move to thin, in-the-cloud services; we're not trying to get everyone converted overnight, but we have set of technologies to help those who are ready augment their current infrastructure."