"Since we acquired Postini, we've been working toward integrating its security and compliance capabilities directly into Google Apps," Adam Dawes, product manager for Google Apps, said Wednesday in a blog post. "In the past two years, we developed and released numerous Postini features directly in Google Apps, such as user policy management; email content filters; archiving, retention and e-discovery with Google Apps Vault; and many more."
By next year, users of Postini Google Message Security (GMS) will be transitioned Google Apps for Business, while users of Postini Google Message Discovery (GMD) will be moved to Google Apps for Business and Apps Vault. Dawes said that compared to the two Postini services, Google Apps for Business now offers "more flexible, powerful, and user-friendly" versions of the same capabilities.
But those features, at least so far, have come at a price. Notably, while the Message Discovery e-discovery service costs $33 per user per year, the equivalent for Google Apps, called Apps Vault, costs $50 per user per year.
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Effective immediately, however, Dawes said that all Google Apps administrators would be able to use, for free, features previously sold via the Postini Google Message Filtering service, which enables emails to be routed and filtered--without having to use complex rule sets--to both Gmail accounts and on-premises email servers. "This feature will make it easier for groups like sales, support, and operations to use generic email addresses such as sales@ or support@," said Dawes. "Messages to these addresses typically need to be routed to ticketing or alerting systems outside of Gmail, and now Google Apps has the capability to define routing rules to get these messages to their proper destinations."
Google purchased Postini, a hosted email security company, for $625 million in 2007. At the time, the move was seen as a bid by Google to show corporate customers that a hosted email service could meet their information security and compliance requirements, and offer a viable alternative to traditional, on-premises approaches such as Microsoft Exchange.
By 2008, Google had rebranded some Postini services as Google Web Security for Enterprise, which added real-time malware scanning and Web filtering, as well as better security for remote users.
Earlier this year, Google announced that it had secured ISO 27001 certification for Google Apps for Business, thus allowing government agencies and regulated industries to adopt the hosted email service.