Google surprised startups and small businesses by killing free signup for its apps, which essentially means there is no more free signups to Google apps. Businesses of all sizes will now have to sign up for Google’s premium version only (though there is a workaround which enables you to signup for free Google Apps account using an existing one).
The move has forced startups and bootstrapping entrepreneurs to think of alternatives for Google. And there are plenty. Zoho, Microsoft’s office web apps, Zimbra, Hyper office and several others are out there.
Zoho offers both paid and free plans for services like email, notebook, docs, calendars and spreadsheet whereas Microsoft’s Office Web Apps allows paid users to edit documents, spreadsheets, and presentations from its web interface, designed after the Office desktop programs.
We curated some of the alternatives for you (if we have missed any, please let us know in the comment section):
Zimbra is an enterprise-class email, calendar and collaboration solution, built for the cloud, and can be used by both individuals and businesses. Zimbra offers different packages such as starter edition: For 1 year subscription for 15 people Zimbra charges $399. The subscription includes mobile and archiving and discovery with no support.
For professional edition, the company charges $625 for annual subscription that offers Zimbra collaboration tool for 25 mailbox. Professional edition of Zimbra for 100 users cost $3500. The professional edition offers features like Zimbra mobile and Archiving and discovery included, advantage support.
Microsoft Office Web Apps
Microsoft office web apps offers $4 (per month)for hosted email with maximum user limit of 50,000 plus. It offers features such as complete integration with Outlook, web access to email, calendar and contacts. Additionally users can use cloud based email using their domain name including 25GB user mailboxes and ability to send attachments up to 25 MB.
For small businesses Microsoft offers $6 plan per user which includes features like Cloud-based email, Shared calendars, Instant messaging, web based viewing and editing of word, excel, powerPoint, and onenote files, team site for sharing files Anti-malware and anti-spam filtering.
For mid size businesses and enterprise, Microsoft’s office web apps offers $8 plan with maximum user limit of 50,000 plus. The plan claims to offer everything for small business including active directory synchronization configurable anti-spam filtering, sharepoint intranet supporting up to 300 site collections along with live 24 x 7 IT-level phone support.
Hyper Office offers SaaS based business collaboration and communication solution for small and medium enterprises. Most of the services that Zoho and Google apps offer are covered under Hyper Office.
For core collaboration tool, Hyper Office offers $7 per user (per month), which includes features such as calendar, contact, forum, reminders, votings and documents . For enterprise collaboration, the company offers $15 per users with features like calendar, contact, forum, reminders, votings and documents, wikis, projects, email, publisher and Outlook sync. Additionally, Hyper Office also offers A La Carte, which is not being offered as a stand alone modules.
Zoho offers both paid and free plans for services like email, notebook, docs, calendar etc. Zoho have pay-per-use model, including freemium model across all its 28 products with a free basic version.
Zoho charges $5 for premium account which provides features like word processing, spreadsheets, presentations, databases, note-taking, wikis, customer relationship management (CRM) and project management. With its annual subscription plan, Zoho extends 20% discount on yearly subscription, which means the premium account cost around $48. The company also offers 15 days trial module.
Price comparison of Google Apps Alternatives
Assuming any business having >25 employees, Zimbra has an edge over others including google apps as for its professional edition, which manages 25 mailbox costs $625 ( $25 per user annually). Zoho’s simple online document management app costs around $48 annually per user, while Google apps charges flat $50 per user annually.
However, Microsoft’s Office web apps is a bit expensive. For small businesses Microsoft charges $6 per users on monthly basis, i.e. $72 annually for single user. Hyper Office seems to be most expensive in the list. Hyper Office charges $180 per user annually for enterprise collaboration feature.
What are your thoughts about these tools? Will new startups will go with paid Google apps or Google’s move create opportunities for Zimbra, Microsoft’s office web apps and Zoho?