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Google Explains G Suite Price Increase In Context Of Upgraded Functionality

Microsoft Office 365 resellers are ready to drive marketing efforts on the first-ever price hike for Google's office productivity suite

Google publicly informed customers Thursday that the price of G Suite subscriptions would go up in April, explaining the first-ever price hike in the context of upgraded functionality for its groundbreaking office productivity suite.

"Over the last ten years, G Suite has grown to provide more tools, functionality and value to help businesses transform the way they work," wrote David Thacker, vice president of product management for G Suite, on the Google Cloud blog.

"The one thing that hasn't changed over this time is price," Thacker said.

On April 2, after 12 years on the market, pricing will change when G Suite Basic goes up $1 per user per month, and the Business tier goes up $2 per user per month.

[Related: Google Next Day Two Recap: G Suite Takes The Spotlight]  

Google advised customers to coordinate with partners.

"Any customer that licenses G Suite through a reseller should hear from their partners directly regarding the new pricing, or they can reach out to their partners proactively," Thacker said.

Resellers so far have only gotten a letter from Google preceding the public announcement and are waiting to learn more on a worldwide conference call Google has scheduled with partners for Feb. 5, one Google partner told CRN.

At the same time, Microsoft partners are raring to take advantage of the price increase in their marketing campaigns.

"G Suite customers are already getting a group of products that does very basic email and calendaring," Reed Wiedower, CTO of Washington, D.C.-based Microsoft partner New Signature, told CRN.

"I can't imagine asking those customers, who mainly purchased due to price, sticking with Google if there is an increase."

Microsoft, which followed Google into the cloud-based office tools market with Office 365, has mostly maintained fixed prices since the release of that product while also bulking up its feature set.

When Microsoft introduced price increases for Office 365 enterprise customers without Software Assurance plans back in 2014, Google and its partners were quick to pounce.

Google's former enterprise chief, Amit Singh, at the time retweeted the CRN story reporting on the partial Office 365 price hike with a comment that the cost of cloud computing should be going down.

The Google executive had a suggestion for disgruntled customers: "Move to @googleapps."

While comparing G Suite to Office 365 is an apples-to-oranges exercise, the price increase will make Google's product the more expensive option for many businesses.

Office 365 Business Essentials, the rough equivalent of G Suite Basic, costs $60 per year, meaning Google's service will no longer be less expensive with an annual commitment. That offering comes in at $6 per month—the same as G Suite Basic after the increase takes effect.

The E1 license for Office 365, at $8 per month, is already less expensive than G Suite Business, the comparable product.

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