Google today announced it has acquired Synergyse, a Toronto-based startup that offers a training service specifically for Google Apps. The company plans to integrate Synergize Training, which requires a Chrome extension, into Google Apps “later this year.” Details of the deal were not disclosed.
Google describes Synergyse Training as a “virtual coach inside of the Google Apps interface, built on Google Cloud Platform.” Until today, pricing started at $10 per year for individuals, $10 per employee per year for businesses, and was free for students. There was also a case-by-case option for companies with more than 5,000 employees. But now Synergyze Training is becoming available at no additional cost for all Google Apps users — in the meantime, existing customers can keep using it, and anyone can download the Chrome extension for free.
Synergyze Training provides voice and text interactive modules, searchable by topic and available directly in Google’s apps. Because the trainings are hosted in the cloud, they are always up-to-date even as new features roll out.
Building a service that requires a tech giant’s browser, is powered by that tech giant’s cloud offering, and exists with the sole purpose of improving the same tech giant’s other services — that screams acquisition bait. But Google didn’t bite for that reason alone. This was likely the figure that won the company over: Organizations that use Synergyse see on average 35 percent higher adoption across Google Apps.
The Google Apps product suite (Gmail, Hangouts, Calendar, Google+, Drive, Docs, Sheets, Forms, Slides, and Sites) is used by more than 2 million paying businesses. Google naturally wants to grow that figure, but for the businesses that do sign up, the company also naturally wants them to keep coming back. Synergyse is “an elegant way to scale our training offerings to our customers and our customers’ users,” Google believes. According to its website, Synergyse is used by over 3,000 organizations worldwide, supporting 4 million users.
Synergyse was founded by former Googlers Varun Malhotra and Majid Manzarpour in February 2013. The startup launched Synergyse Training in April of the same year.
“By joining the Google Apps team, we can accelerate our mission because we will be working even closer with the teams that build Google Apps,” Malhotra, Manzarpour, and CTO Alex Kennberg wrote in a blog post today. “Advancing our mission at a faster speed is very exciting for the Synergyse team and our customers will directly see the benefits as we move forward.”