If you are a small business, or if you sell to small businesses, the Google Apps Marketplace is a Big Deal. Taking those in turn:
If you aren’t already using Google Apps to host your small business infrastructure, you probably should. It’s free for most, and inexpensive for the rest. But it’s incredibly convenient for all due to single signin, central administration, and a generally consistent experience across the board. That convenience for you (and your employees) translates into higher productivity, meaning more hours out selling/building/working, and fewer hours of confusion and employee angst. That story has been true for some time. But with this latest announcement, it’s even more true because now third-party applications can seamlessly integrate with Google Apps to provide a seamless experience between not just Google applications, but all applications.
This is where the other side of the coin comes in: if you sell applications to small businesses, the Google Apps Marketplace is a really big deal. There are a lot of small businesses out there. In the US alone, there are over 25 million. That’s a huge market. But it’s a hugely fragmented market. Getting the word out is an enormous challenge, and marketplaces like Intuit Workplace, Salesforce.com, and — now — Google App Marketplace are crucial to pulling it off.
See, to succeed in selling to small businesses, you need an incredibly low cost of sale that scales to incredibly high volumes. You can’t have a bunch of sales people out chasing a $10/mo customer. Rather, you need those $10/mo customers to sign up 24 hours a day, day after a day, to add up to a reliable revenue stream. That means they need to find you. And contrary to expectation, they’re probably not looking for you in a search engine. Rather, they’re looking for you in a marketplace: on their phone, inside QuickBooks, or inside Google Apps.
With all that said, let me happily announce our own latest integration: Expensify in the Google Apps Marketplace!
We’re huge fans of application marketplaces: we’re the “Most Viewed” application in Intuit Workplace, a Salesforce.com “Force 40” application, and have high-rated apps in the iPhone, Android, BlackBerry, and (surprisingly popular) Palm Pre stores. Each of these marketplaces has been a powerful gateway into a new demographic: Intuit for accountants, Salesforce for salesfolk, mobile for the modern man. Each of these groups is huge, but hugely fragmented. These marketplaces provide a powerful, cost-effective way to get the word out on a massive scale.
Accordingly, we’re very exited for this latest integration with the Google Apps Marketplace as it puts us a click away from IT managers at millions of small- to medium-sized businesses worldwide. And that’s not a metaphor: literally we’re one click away (ok, two if you’re being picky) when Expensify is installed in your universal navigation bar.
Once the Expensify app is integrated with your Google Apps domain, you’ll gain access to our full expense report management powers right from the universal navigation bar. Click on more to expand the tab and select Expenses to access Expensify from within Google Apps. This means everyone in your organization — from the lowest temp to the highest executive, whether you have 1 or 1000 employees — can put down the glue sticks and paperclips and start doing expense reports that don’t suck.
To learn more, please check out our short list of 1-minute tutorials to get acquainted with the features that are going to ease your expense reporting pains.