Google adds Postini functionality to Google Apps

Search engine giant begins to integrate Postini's security technology into its hosted applications to boost their enterprise appeal.

Google has taken its first public steps to integrate its July acquisition of security vendor Postini, adding the latter's email security and compliance services to the high-end version of Google Apps.

Specifically, Google Apps Premier Edition has now been upgraded to include what were the old Postini's security, compliance, policy management and message recovery services.

As a result existing spam and virus filters in the suite can now be better configured and customised, says the search giant.

Google Apps Premier Edition users also now have a central management capability for setting outbound content policies, including adding footers to every message based on business policy rules, blocking messages with specific keywords or attachments, and preventing emails with sensitive information being sent.

Administrators will now be able to view all organisational email, e.g. if needed for compliance purposes, as well as have the ability to bring back any messages deleted within the previous 90 days.

"We are quickly adding Postini's security and compliance capabilities to give businesses more control over administration and security of Google Apps Enterprise Edition," said vice president and general manager of Google Enterprise, Dave Girouard.

"We saw the potential to deliver a more complete hosted solution for businesses of all sizes [via Postini]," he added.

Google invested $625 million (306 million) in the swoop on Postini, a move seen as a major challenge to Microsoft's Exchange dominance.

Google has also used the Postini addition to upgrade Google Apps in other areas. Users will probably welcome the large increase in online storage available - from 10GB to 25GB.

Network managers will probably be more appealed by a new email routing feature, equivalent to the one in the Education Edition of Google Apps. This means Google Apps can be run with other email systems, which offers options such as running different internal groups on different email clients, if desired.

All the new functionality will be in the next edition of the product, available next month.

The move does not equal the end of Postini as a product. Google says it intends to continue offering and expanding Postini's messaging security and compliance products on a stand-alone basis, which is good news for the company's user base of 11 million users.

Finally, existing Postini users have an offer of a free trial of Google Apps Premier Edition: if they sign up before the end of the calendar year they get it for free until the end of June 2008.

More than 36,000 businesses and 11 million users use Postini information security and compliance products.

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