Google announced today a new process for Google Apps feature releases. Administrators will now be able to choose between a "Rapid Release" option that pushes new features to users automatically, or a "Scheduled Release" option that gives admins more control over when new features are pushed out.
This is an important step forward for Google Apps as it expands into the enterprise. Google Communications Manager Jessica Kositz says, "We expect many SMBs to choose rapid release, and scheduled release to appeal to our larger customers with more complex IT environments." Enterprise admins might not want new features popping up unexpectedly, so giving them more control over how changes are rolled out makes sense.
To this end, Google is launching a site called What's New to inform Apps customers of forthcoming features. Admins will be able to use it to decide which new features to deploy and when, giving them the chance to test new features and notify users of changes.
Last November, Google gave all Apps customers the option to give users access to all Google services from their Apps account. At the same time it gave customers a choice of several different Apps account types: Business, Government or Education - as well as a free version for small groups. Today's announcement continues the Google's progress in refining its service.