Google Dumps 'Enterprise' Branding, Renames Business Products 'Google For Work'

Google said Tuesday it'll no longer use the "enterprise" branding for its business-focused products, and it's not to avoid confusing people who might equate ’enterprise’ with the name of a fictional spaceship.

Instead of using the enterprise label for business-focused products like Google Apps, Maps, Search, Chrome, Android and Cloud Platform, Google will place them under the ’Google For Work" umbrella, Google Executive Chairman Eric Schmidt said in a blog post Tuesday.

The goal, Schmidt said, is to align the branding of Google's business products with the manner in which customers are using them.

’We never set out to create a traditional ’enterprise’ business -- we wanted to create a new way of doing work. So the time has come for our name to catch up with our ambition,’ Schmidt said in the blog post.

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[Related: Google And Microsoft Partners Weigh In On The Enterprise Cloud War]

Google has apparently decided with the rebranding that ’enterprise’ is an outdated term with little connection to things like cloud services and mobile devices.

Allen Falcon, CEO of Westborough, Mass.-based Google partner Cumulus Global, thinks the rebranding will help draw clearer lines between Google's consumer- and business-focused products.

Falcon told CRN he expects Google to adopt a unified strategy for sales and marketing activities across the various components of the Google For Work portfolio, to more clearly explain how businesses can be more productive by using them.

Tony Safoian, CEO of Los Angeles-based Google channel partner SADA systems, said the rebrand will help illuminate the business advantages of Google’s enterprise products.

’I think it speaks to a unified strategy for Google in the enterprise -- bringing product groups together in a meaningful and clear way, with a uniform market message about what Google can do for businesses and other organizations,’ Safoian told CRN.

Google has been targeting enterprise customers for more than a decade, but has offered little insight as to how this part of its business is faring. The search giant’s enterprise products are widely believed to account for around 5 percent of its overall business.

Its first foray was the Google Search Appliance, a rack-mount server unveiled in 2002 that let enterprises add Google search to their corporate networks. Then came business focused versions of Gmail and Google Apps.

Google’s entry to the cloud infrastructure-as-a-service market earlier this year means that more businesses are likely going to be using its tools, especially independent software vendors.

While Google is getting rid of enterprise branding, it’s still very focused on building share in this segment. Google has partnered with HP on Chromebooks and Android tablets, and it’s working with VMware on technology that lets older Windows apps run on Chromebooks.