Google launches enterprise-grade G Suite for Education

G Suite

Google announced today that universities and other large educational institutions will have a new version of its G Suite productivity service tailored just for them. Called G Suite Enterprise for Education, the service will first be a roughly straight port of the tech giant’s offering for large businesses, but will later receive features specifically for schools.

With the new offering, organizations will get features like the ability to hold video calls in Hangouts Meet with up to 50 participants, a security center for managing potential threats, and advanced mobile device management.

Google’s cloud productivity suite is already popular among schools large and small. This offering will likely make it even more appealing to IT administrators at the largest organizations, who need more advanced features. That could also translate into commercial wins for Google.

The new bundle also gives Google a way to make money off its education user base. While G Suite for Education is available for free, customers will pay $4 per user per month to access the additional enterprise features. Right now, Google is running a promotion that allows schools to get the new service for $2 per faculty and staff user per month, with eligible students coming along for free, but that pricing only lasts for an institution’s first contract term. (Contract terms can span multiple years.)

That said, it’s all far cheaper than G Suite Enterprise, which costs $25 per user per month.

Getting students on board with G Suite has been a key part of Google’s strategy with its productivity service. If the tech giant can get the workforce of tomorrow used to its productivity service over Microsoft Office, that could help drive the behavior of IT buyers in the future.

All of this comes alongside new security features for all users of G Suite for Education, including data loss prevention for securing sensitive data, hosted S/MIME for email encryption, and the ability to manage and mandate the use of physical security keys as a second factor for logging into the service.

Update January 24: This story has been updated to clarify that the discounted pricing can span multiple years, depending on the length of an institution’s contract.

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