The latest news: At Southern Miss, the university and Google are...
"collaborating to adopt Google Apps for Education, which includes Gmail to manage student e-mail accounts, Google Calendar and Google Talk. The new system brings many benefits to Southern Miss students, including indexed e-mail search, enhanced spam filtering, calendaring, tagging capabilities for tracking e-mails, and 7.5 gigabytes of storage per student."Also of note: Keep a close eye on how Google integrates Google Talk with Google Android, the search engine giant's smart phone operating system.
Head of the Class?Additional details about the Southern Miss-Google relationship are hard to come by. MSPmentor is yet to confirm how many seats/students the Google project will involve. Still, there are signs across the higher education market that Google Apps has gained critical mass.
- California State East Bay University
- California State University Stanislaus
- DePauw University
- Kent State University
- Midland Lutheran College
- Shu-Te University
- University of Arkansas at Little Rock
- University Delaware
- University at the Pacific
Three Reasons to Watch CloselyFor MSPs, there are three reasons to track Google's growing momentum across college campuses.
- First, there's a chance Google will make additional vertical market pushes in 2010 and beyond. Google insiders have downplayed the vertical market chatter to me. But I'm watching and listening for more clues.
- Second, tomorrow's workforce -- today's college students -- will demand Google Apps and/or similar SaaS applications when they show up at your door for work.
- Third, those Google-savvy college grads will also work for your customers.
MSPs appear to be catching on. Nearly 22 percent of MSPs are running Google Apps and/or offering Google Apps to their customers, according to our third-annual MSPmentor 100 survey (complete results will be published in Q1 2010). And Google spent much of 2009 attending MSP-oriented conferences in order to raise its voice and visibility in the managed services market.
Of course, Google doesn't have a lock on the SaaS productivity market. Remember, Microsoft is preparing Office Web -- a SaaS version of Office 2010. Zoho seems to be catching on in business settings. And upstarts like HyperOffice want a piece of the action, too.