Google buys Synergyse to teach customers how to use Apps

The deal is aimed at helping drive Apps adoption and teach people how to use its features

Google Apps is getting a new set of tutorials. The tech giant announced Monday that it has acquired Synergyse, a startup that offered businesses a guided tutorial for Google Apps.

Synergyse's technology allowed businesses to give their users step-by-step interactive guides to doing things inside Google Apps like sending emails in Gmail, setting up appointments in Calendar and getting started with Docs. The tutorials are frequently updated with new features that Google releases, so users can stay current with new functionality that gets added to the different services.

Later this year, Google will integrate Synergyse's tutorials into Google Apps, so all Google's customers can have access to the services and get their employees up to speed on working in Apps.

The reason for the acquisition is pretty clear: Google said that on average, Synergyse customers make 35 percent greater use of Apps compared to other companies that don’t have the training service. By extending that capability to more Apps customers, Google should be able to increase adoption of its productivity software and make it less likely for businesses to switch to another service like Office 365.

A representative for Google declined to disclose the terms of the deal. Existing Synergyse customers will continue to have access to the service now and after it has been integrated into Google Apps.

The move is another sign of the company's increased emphasis on driving adoption of its productivity suite, especially among businesses. A major hurdle that Google faces when it comes to attracting existing businesses is helping administrators manage the transition between Office (or another productivity software suite) and Apps.

Offering training for users who aren't comfortable with Google Apps may help the company pick up customers who might otherwise have stayed with what's comfortable.

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Blair Hanley Frank

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