Google Apps for Work Now Boosts – 2M Paid Users

It appears to be full steam ahead for Google Apps for Work, with the company revealing Tuesday that 2 million businesses are now paying to use some part of its online productivity suite.

The service, which includes a business-specific version of Gmail and a version of Google Drive that lets employees work together, competes against established players like Microsoft as well as newcomers like Dropbox and Quip.

As part of its push to expand the reach of the product, Google announced eight “recommended partners” that offer add-on products to help companies with needs that Google doesn’t necessarily tackle itself.

ProsperWorks for CRM, Smartsheet for project management, Ringcentral and Switch for cloud-based communications, AODocs and Powertools for document management, and Ping Identity and Okta for identity and access management.

“These third party solutions have been reviewed by Google for the quality of integration; we have done a pretty robust assessment of their security policies, including penetration testing; and we’ve picked solutions in categories that we thought were the most critical business needs of our customers in extending Google Apps,” writes Apps for Work Managing Director Rahul Sood in a blog post Tuesday.

Some feel this could translate to a major influx of new businesses and signifies Google’s intent to begin curating the apps out of the hundreds in its marketplace. “Google created the cloud productivity market,” says Switch, a Google partner, Communications CEO Craig Walker in Fortune Magazine. “With this partner program companies like Switch and others can extend the Google for Work suite with services that truly complement the collaborative, secure, and flexible work experience that Google Apps users expect.”

Google also announced that its connecting web apps that integrate with its productivity suite to their Android app counterparts in the Google Play Store. Now, people who go to the Google Apps Marketplace to find a web app will be able to also find a matching Android app, where it’s available.