Google changed the game by rebranding G Suite to Google Workspace in October 2020. They have added new Google Workspace pricing tiers. Google Workspace users and resellers can expect subscription costs to increase by the end of September 2021. To avoid a large bill, all Google Workspace subscribers must take care to update their plans before the revised pricing comes.
Since the dawn of G Suite, businesses have paid a small flat fee per user regardless of how many users they have. “In the past, businesses were paying a monthly fee of $6 per employee for G Suite basic. With this change, Google is more than tripling that cost per person per month,” says Jared Eason, Sales Engineer at Vendasta. The increased fee is due to Google changing its licensing. Instead of having a flat rate for everyone using the product, Google is introducing “editions.” The top-tiered edition is the enterprise edition, and this includes all businesses with more than 300 employees.
What sets the below levels apart are the limitations of usability. An example of this according to Eason is that “in a Google Meet, the number of participants is limited to 100 people. Another limitation is that each user will only have 30GB of data with the lowest edition.”
Every plan listed above includes the traditional G Suite products: Gmail, Drive, Meet, Calendar, Docs, Slides, Sheets, Keep, Sites, Forms, Chat, Currents, Jamboard. These collaboration tools are now all available in one spot due to a deeper integration implemented by Google in 2020. Unfortunately, if you were to purchase directly from Google, the Enterprise plan is the only plan available for businesses that have more than 300 employees.
What does this mean for small businesses?
The pricing adjustment is unavoidable for small businesses but fortunately, there is a way to optimize this cost increase. Third-party providers that have a relationship with Google can arrange for discounts as well as negotiating a split of employees between pricing tiers, thus getting the best pricing option and package suited to their small business clients. “There are additional discounts we can get for our partners. Google will help in that way, but we have to work together to submit individual proposals to Google,” says Eason.
This rule change will especially affect businesses with more than 300 employees since Google will automatically update all such subscriptions to the enterprise tier. This means the price will be going up substantially for those businesses. Businesses with less than 300 employees can avoid being automatically switched to the Enterprise tier. Eason says, “If you have less than 300 users, you can have everyone at the business all under one SKU.”
This means smaller businesses will have less difficulty navigating this change, however, there are now multiple editions or tiers to choose from depending on business needs. With each edition ranging from Starter to Enterprise, the price doubles and then triples. The Enterprise price is not listed on the Google Workspace site. Businesses will have to navigate through this change with an understanding of what the updates included with each edition.
How to best navigate the change
With the changes last year, Google now has two different groups within Workspace: Business and Enterprise. Within Business, there is Business Starter, Business Standard, and Business Plus. Enterprise holds two levels including Enterprise Standard and Enterprise Plus.
Agencies can get their clients an optimized price by working with a third party. This will ensure that small business clients get the Google Workspace pricing and edition best suited for their needs. The third-party provider will have a relationship with Google and can get a better price as well as help you to split up the subscription if needed.
“The ability to split up the subscription is another great reason to work with Vendasta. We can request that a certain number of employees get moved to the Enterprise tier, while the remaining employees continue with a less expensive option,” says Eason.
For example, if your client has 400 employees and only requires the first 300 to have an Enterprise subscription they can negotiate the remaining work under Business Starter.
Google Workspace Business Starter
- Ideal for freelance work, mom and pop shops, small businesses that don’t require much storage space.
Google Workspace Business Standard
- Small to medium businesses that need more storage space.
Google Workspace Business Plus
- Directed at larger businesses still under 300 people.
- Useful if large video conferences are common.
- All businesses with more than 300 employees.
- Includes advanced security and more storage than other plans.
The change implementation strategy will change depending on each client's needs. Small businesses currently using Google Workspace need help to figure out a game plan moving forward. Are your clients working with remote workforces? Do they have over 300 employees? Are they in a sensitive industry such as healthcare and require increased cybersecurity? As these questions are answered, it becomes clear which pricing and subscription options best suit each business.
Ensure that your small business clients are aware of the changes and how you can help them. The following template is a great example of communication that informs the client about the change and also creates a sense of urgency.
You may have seen some recent announcements about G Suite rebranding to Google Workspace. As your Account Manager at [XYZ], I’m reaching out to share how the rebrand will affect your account, review your current subscription, and outline your transition options.
As Google transitions away from G Suite and onto Google Workspace, we encourage you to move to our new Workspace plans as they will be best suited for your future growth. I am happy to discuss what transition path most closely aligns with your current plan to ensure it is a smooth process.
To discuss your accounts transition or the discounts you are eligible for in more detail please let me know or schedule some time here.
Hope to hear from you soon!
Google Workspace Pricing Comparison
Microsoft 365 is the main competitor of Google Workspace. Both platforms provide a collaborative work environment and have loyal users. The Workspace pricing change has brought up the question of whether it’s worth staying with Google or switching to Microsoft 365. With the update, the pricing is now comparable to Microsoft 365 though Workspace is still the more affordable of the two. It also offers more diverse plans than Microsoft currently has. The base plan for Microsoft 365 is five dollars per user, per month. The Business Premium plan is set at $20 per user, per month. There is a separate plan that only includes Apps for business, however, no comparable plan to the Google Workspace Enterprise tier.
Google Workspace is still a great option for collaboration and business purposes. By integrating all Workspace products into one dashboard, Google has made its product more user-friendly for businesses of all sizes.