Google's mergers and acquisitions list seems to be growing every time I blink. It seems that each day, another company is being snatched up - and today is another day, so another company is being snatched up. This time, Google has announced the takeover of Postini
, an internet security firm.
If you're not familiar with the name Postini, I'm not surprised - but odds are that the higher level IT and data security guys where you work are. The company specialises in online data security and control including fields like encryption, e-mail scanning, and internet policy enforcement. Though it's not exactly a household name, its software provides the security for many large company intra- and internet setups.
Google acquired Postini for a mere $625m, according to the announcement. The security firm will now become a subsidiary of Google, rather than disappear altogether. And though its particular business segment makes a nice fit in Google's framework to begin with, the company is already looking toward the future.
It appears that Postini wasn't acquired simply for its large client book of big companies, but more for what services it can offer Google's already-existing applications. The security features behind Google Desktop and many of its online applications aren't as tight as some companies would like, causing them to instead shy away to full Microsoft Exchange server setups. Though these are very costly, they provide arguably better security (assuming you don't look at the patch list each week.).
The addition of Postini-level security could provide Google a great way to make companies feel safe using its online suite of applications, and possibly even help it break into a corporate retail market for enterprise-level software solutions. It's a key piece of the puzzle that Google has, until now, been unable to offer with its more end-user, home-desktop targeted suite.
Google will unlikely see any immediate payout from its investment, but the long-term effects could make for some pretty interesting news in the coming year.
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