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Google Eases POP3/IMAP Access for ISP’s Moving Existing Users to Google Apps

The battle has been going on for some time now in terms of the legal requirements for ISP’s and other users of Google Apps Partner edition who need to migrate their existing users onto the Google Apps platform.

The biggest risk for any ISP? Churn. No matter how great the Google Apps platform is, ISPs fear that any change which requires a lot of action from their existing users will cause a great deal of frustration, lots of calls to the helpdesk, and ultimately, some percentage of their subscribers taking their business elsewhere. Existing subscribers who were accustomed to getting their email via POP3 or IMAP most likely would want to continue to do so, so it’s imperative that POP3/IMAP access is turned on for those subscribers *at the time migration* automatically!

Until yesterday, this was not possible, as Google required that each user agree to their Terms of Services and enable this function manually. I’m happy to announce, after lots of lobbying on the parts of customers, Partners like SADA, and many internal powers that be at Google, the U.S. Google legal team has finally approved a way for allow the Terms of Services to be rolled into the master agreement with the ISP, in which case, all existing users could have their POP3/IMAP activated at the time of provisioning/migration! This is a major victory, and very effective in reducing the risk of churn, and the complexity of the migration process – especially when you’re dealing with hundreds of thousands of accounts.

Well done, Google team! You continue to show you understand the requirements and needs of your clients and your partners!

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