Ever since Google Drive was announced and I upgraded my space, I’ve been enjoying enhanced speed and performance. I’ve also been waiting for Google to take Google Drive Licenses live in the Google Apps for Business domain control panel. This afternoon, Google Drive licenses became available for purchase with a big, yellow, box notification in my Google Apps Dashboard!
First, you have to agree to the activation conditions and confirm with Google Apps you want to add Drive licenses to your account and that’s a confusing process where you have to click on buttons to continue — and it looks like you’re adding every single Drive license to your account — but you are not. You are merely confirming to Google that you will pay for licenses IF you decide to assign them to your users.
Google sets up the system to bill you on the first of every month, but you won’t be billed for anything until you actually assign licenses after giving Google your billing information and credit card. It takes about 10 minutes for Google to email you and verify your billing information and to assign you a whole new “Billing ID” number number for this licensure process. I was having horrible flashbacks to Office 365!
Google Apps for Business users have two choices for adding Google Drive space beyond their initial 5 gig allotment. Users can purchase space on their own dime — a much better pricing deal than having the domain administrator purchase additional space.
I am currently on the 200 gig individual plan for $10 a month and the cheapest Google Apps for Business license for a single user is 20 gigs a month for $4!
That’s a big difference.
I guess the reality is that a Google Drive Business license is purely for work, while individually purchased space is for wholesome personal use. The fact that the Business Google Drive is only for Docs and not Picasa is telling.
I decided to assign one 20 gig license for $4 a month to my own user account. I will be billed for service starting June 1, 2012.
Here are the available licenses, and it looks like you can only assign up to 250 licenses for each storage level.
You can also choose to auto-add the same license level to all users and to new users by default.
I immediately went to the “Buy Storage” page for Google Drive from my Google Drive App and — bingo! — right there was my previous individual 200 gig subscription as well as my new 20 gigs I assigned from “my domain.”
In checking the Google Drive App and in Google Drive proper, the additional 20 gigs are not yet showing as available and it’s been 90 minutes since I made the license assignment. I will update the status of my additional 20 gigs right here in the comments stream for this article when that upgrade goes live.