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Google is getting a wee bit more enterprisey. Today the company announced that it’s beginning to offer 24-by-7 phone and email customer support for Chrome to businesses that aren’t even paying to use Google Apps like Gmail and Docs.
The new program, Chrome for Work Assist, is a “contact us” affair. In other words, neither the blog post announcing the news nor the website that promotes it contains pricing information.
Before now, Chrome support was only available to Apps customers, Google for Work product manager Saswat Panigrahi wrote in the blog post. Chrome for Work Assist has only been available in the U.S. and Canada, he wrote, but will become more widely available in the future. He added that in addition to providing support, Google will be helping companies deploy Chrome across their workforce in the new offering.
Chrome has racked up more than 1 billion active users. Longtime users might know their way around it, but for companies that pay for many Microsoft technologies, technical support for Chrome, specifically, could be most welcome.
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This sort of nuance is critical to getting businesses more comfortable with deploying core Google technologies. Success could mean greater willingness to pay for Google Apps, the Google public cloud, and other premium services.
Last year, Google hired enterprise software veteran Diane Greene by acquiring her company Bebop. Since that deal, Google has done certain things to make its technology a more appealing choice. For instance, Google quietly launched a content delivery network and a competitor to public cloud market leader Amazon Web Services’ (AWS) Lambda event-driven computing service. And, last week, Google went public with the fact that music streaming service Spotify will be migrating its data infrastructure from AWS to the Google Cloud Platform. With these moves, and the new Chrome support for non-Apps customers, Google seems to be attempting to more fully shed its reputation as a consumer-focused company.
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