28 February 2012 - by Mark Williams, Senior Consultant

In January Backupify posted a blog article sharing some interesting facts they had taken from an analysis of Google Apps users buying their add on products.

Google claim that over 4 million businesses are using Google Apps for Business worldwide, and more probably use the free version - which allows free access for less than 10 users - but what size of businesses are driving this figure?  Backupify did a little research to find out and wrote a very interesting blog article that is worth summarising.

Who Uses Google Apps? Are Large Companies Pushing It To A Billion Dollar Business?

Over 8,000 businesses have signed up for a trial of Backupify products. When someone signs up for a trial, one of the pieces of information Google sends over the API is the total number of seats on the domain (used for capacity planning). As a result, there is a nice sample of data to look at to see who is on Google Apps*.

Now, to be clear, this is not a random sample. This sample consists of people who want to buy backup for Google Apps. And in our experience, it skews towards domains with at least 30+ users. Why? Because that is the point where companies add an IT person, and IT pros are the ones who love to buy backup for anything and everything. Our close ratios on larger companies are much, much better than on the small ones.

But getting back to the data… what does our sample of companies on Google Apps say about the Google Apps ecosystem? Here are some inferences that can be drawn based on the data:

1. Most of the domains are small

53% of the domains are 10 seats or less, just what you would expect based on what you hear in the tech media about Google Apps. Domains with 10 or fewer seats are free, and free is a popular price point. But that doesn’t tell the whole story.

2. The number of small domains doesn’t matter because the big domains overwhelmingly drive revenue and seats on Google Apps

0.33% of domains drive 54% of seats. Even with educational institutions removed — Schools also get Google Apps for free, regardless of domain size – 0.22% of domains drive about 40% of seats. If that ratio holds true across Google’s number of 50 million total Google Apps users, then more than 20 million paying business users are on Google Apps. If that’s the case, Google Apps should be closing in on a billion dollar annual revenue run rate.

I will add that, based on our data, it also seems that the average size of a Google Apps deployment is increasing. That is, larger and larger accounts are moving to Google Apps.

3. If you remove educational institutions, the largest industry on Google Apps is the technology industry

No surprise there. But why don’t we hear more about some of the cool tech companies on Google Apps? Well, from dealing with customers in this industry, I can tell you that many of them don’t want to be reference customers and don’t want any publicity. But there are some big names on Google Apps, some that would surprise you.

That is our take on the Google Apps ecosystem, based on our own survey. If you are on Google Apps and need a backup, try Backupify.

*Note: All data shared about our Google Apps install base is derived from aggregated user data. We don’t share any customer- or account-specific user data without clearing it with the customer first. If you want to see customer-specific data, check out our testimonials and case studies. 

Extracts taken from Backupify blog, January 26th 2012

Tags: Google Apps