Google Apps paying $15 to acquire each new customer through new referral program

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Google announced today on its Enterprise blog that it’s introducing a new Google apps referral program that will see the company payout $15 for each new customer referred through the program.

Many of the millions of Google Apps customers learned about tools like Hangouts, Drive and Gmail for business from their customers, friends and networks. To help continue the momentum, we’re launching the Google Apps Referral Program. The referral program makes it easy to share Google Apps with your network and show them how they too can use these tools at work. To show our appreciation, we’re offering a $15 referral bonus for each new Google Apps user you refer.

Those interested in joining the referral program will need a valid taxpayer ID number and bank account for direct deposits. Google also says it will provide email and website templates that can be used to send a unique referral link to potential customers.Google Apps users in the US and Canada that are interested in joining the referral program can do so here.

Update: We had a quick Q&A with Google pasted below:

  • Are you phasing out the $5/user/year you guys give to IT service providers or is that staying? This program does not impact the amount provided to Google Apps Resellers.
  • Is it an affilaite program?   After joining the program, members will receive $15 for every user that signs up from their recommendations. In order to receive the incentive, referrals must be Google Apps customers for at least 4 months. Then we’ll make a direct deposit to the referee’s bank account every month for the amount they’ve earned. 
  • How long do people have to stay in the program for a payout? I’m assuming the $15 comes with a year program signup. In order to receive the incentive, referrals must be Google Apps customers for at least 4 months. Then we’ll make a direct deposit to the referee’s bank account every month for the amount they’ve earned. 
  • Will Google be expanding this to include $ on apps or Android apps or hardware/Nexus products? (Hope so!) We’re excited about today’s launch of the Google Apps Referral Program, but have nothing else to announce.

The fine print from Google is below: Read more

Survey: workers willing to pay out-of-pocket for Google and Marketplace apps

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The Wall Street Journal points to a recent survey in which over 1,100 IT administrators and business users were asked about their use of Google Apps in the workplace. According to the report, over two-thirds of respondents said that they prefer Google’s services to the point that they would be willing to spend their own hard-earned money on Google Apps for use in the office.

The survey also indicates a strong correlation between businesses that allow workers to bring their own devices for use at work and support for Google’s software. Of those surveyed, 83% said they brought their own mobile devices to work. It seems that Google’s move to create software for everyday usage has created an path to the workplace through employees who want to make their work tasts as easy to manage as their personal tasks.

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Fortune survey again finds that Google is the best company in the world to work for

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Fortune‘s annual survey of the 100 best companies to work for found that Google topped the list for the third year running, and the fifth time in all.

Google tops Fortune’s 17th annual ranking of the best workplaces in corporate America once again, marking its eighth appearance on the list and fifth time as No. 1.

Software company SAS took second place, with The Boston Consulting Group number three …  Read more

Dramatic cut in Samsung’s smartphone forecasts, blaming high-end saturation

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Korean site ET News reports that Samsung has cut its smartphone sales target for 2014 from 360M handsets to 330M. The company’s original goal would have represented 25 percent year-on-year growth, now reduced to just 14 percent.

The company is blaming saturation at the top end of the market, with many existing owners of flagship handsets having reduced their upgrade cycle from annual to bi-annual.

Samsung as a whole isn’t hurting – it recently announced record revenues and profits – but the bulk of those earnings came from lower-end handsets and its chip manufacturing business. The ET News piece says that Samsung also plans to move into a whole bunch of new areas, including cloud computing and hi-tech materials …  Read more

Foursquare opens up local ads to all small businesses

Foursquare is squarely moving into Google’s territory with the announcement today that it is officially opening up its local ad platform to all of the 1.5 million claimed businesses in the app. That means that no longer will only a select group of partners be able to offer “Promoted” listings within the app– something Foursquare has been testing in recent months– but now all small businesses will have the opportunity to place local ads.

The benefit over, say, Google’s ads platform for local businesses, is the ability for merchants to actually see if their ad leads to a real customer walking into their store:

Today, we’re opening Foursquare Ads to all small businesses around the world. We’re moving past the days when business owners have to figure out if a “like” or a “click” has any meaning in the real world; now they can tell if someone who saw their ad actually walks into their store. We built this to be simple and flexible, learning from our four years of data and relationships with over 1.5 million claimed businesses. Any merchant can monitor how many people have viewed their ad, how many have tapped on it, and how many actually came into their store. Merchants know what they’re paying for – real actions and real customers.

Business owners interested in creating ads on Foursquare can do so at foursquare.com/adsRead more

Google adds sports scores, weather, and more editors’ picks to Google News

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Google-News-Sports-ScoresGoogle announced today on the official Google News blog that it’s rolling out new features for Google News users including an expanded 4-day weather section built into the right side of the homepage, more Editors’ Picks throughout various News sections, and sports scores:

For avid sports fans, a newly introduced “Sports Scores” section on the News homepage and the Sports page will give a snapshot of live, recently concluded and imminent sporting activity. From this summary, it’s easy to dive in further and do things like click on a score for details of the match or on a specific team to get recent news about it. The section is customizable; for example, if you prefer not to see hockey scores, you can turn hockey ‘off’ while keeping the other sports ‘on’. You can also remove the entire section if you prefer. At the outset, we’re launching in the US, with the big four sporting organizations covering basketball, football, baseball and hockey. Over time, this section will expand to other countries and sports. Stay tuned.

Google notes that the new weather section will automatically adjust to your current location and it is now including more Editors’ Picks sections across Technology and Business pages instead of just on the News homepage.  Read more