You may have noticed our big announcement yesterday that BatchBook is now listed in the Google Apps Marketplace. We’ve since gotten a number of people (including reporters, other SaaS companies and even a few customers) asking us simply, “Why did you join?” So I thought I would share my response with you all.
As I explained to Mike Pearson who wrote an article about the new Marketplace for the E-Commerce Times, it just felt like the right thing to do. Let me explain why.
Google understands the value of giving customers control of their own information. All of the Google Apps business products have a publicly available API. You may think this is only important to tech addicts and uber geeks. But THIS IS HUGE for every entrepreneur who cares about growing their business. You see, this is Google’s way of saying (and something BatchBook says as well), “the business information that you trust to our care is yours – do what you need to do with it to succeed.” Yes, Google Apps let you send e-mails, schedule events and create spreadsheets. But they’ve just increased 20 fold what else you can easily do with YOUR information including tracking deals, sending newsletters, generating invoices, scheduling appointments, managing your projects, sending surveys and so much more.
And they were able to do that because a few years ago they made the decision to make their API, the gateway to the data stored within the Google applications, available to anyone their customers chose to grant access to it. They did it in a smart way, in a secure way and honestly, in a pretty gusty way. They knew customers might take their data and run. They knew competitors would have a peek at their inner workings. But they focused on empowering their users to take control of their own data, whether through a geeky friend, a trusted reseller, or another SaaS product. And their users are now benefiting immensely.
This idea is a founding principle of the Small Business Web, a movement we co-founded a year ago to bring together like-minded, customer-obsessed software companies to integrate our respective products and make life easier for small businesses. With more than 70 companies now participating, many of which are part of the new Google Apps Marketplace, we feel that the growing trend towards open integrations can only benefit small businesses.
So yes, the decision to join the new Google Apps Marketplace was a no brainer. They’ve made it easier for their users to access the growing number of applications they can use to run their business. We, of course, wanted BatchBook to be the first in line.
We are in this to help small businesses. And we know this is the right way to do it.