Google gobbles up messaging security firm Postini

Google Inc. will more aggressively market its suite of hosted application services in the wake of its $625 million acquisition this week of Postini, a provider of online security and compliance services.

Mountain View, Calif.-based Google intends to add capabilities gained from acquiring Postini to its corporate-oriented Google Apps family of hosted applications, introduced in February, so that it can offer the industrial-strength security, archiving, encryption and policy enforcement features that large corporations require.

The acquisition "reaffirm[s] our commitment to delivering hosted applications to businesses, and that means small businesses as well as larger businesses," said Dave Girouard, vice president and general manager, Google Enterprise.

While 1,000 businesses sign up every day for the company's Google App services, most of Google's new clients are small businesses. Bigger businesses are interested in the services too, but have more complex security needs that led in part to the Postini acquisition, according to Girouard.

"We've seen a significant amount of interest from large businesses as well, and this is one of the things driving our acquisition of Postini," he said. Once the acquisition is complete, expected by the third quarter, the addition of Postini's data security and policy compliance capabilities to the Google Apps platform "will make the transition to hosted services even easier," Girouard said.

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