Google Apps to power Sify mail, chat apps

In India Online by Ashish Sinha7 Comments

Google Apps will now power Sify’s consumer apps like mail, chat etc – and will replace Sify’s web1.0 (or older?) applications

If you are wondering why would Sify partner with Google, the question for Sify would have been very simple – Build or Rent?

  • Replacing the older system (which is damn old) and building a new email client (with some differentiating element) is an uphill task.
  • Renting the Google apps (and revenue sharing?) helps Sify in providing useful service to it’s customer base (which anyway is declining).

‘Our agreement with Google makes superior applications available for communications and collaboration, coupled with our understanding of the needs of Indians, on our popular portal; – (source)

Google is also pushing the apps suite aggressively via the ISP channel and is playing with the confused positioning of ISPs. as well:


  • ISPs like Sify are confused (bigtime) whether to be a consumer portal or an enterprise service portal – they want to monetize every piece of user action on their network and that leads to a ‘mediocre’ product (isn’t a replica of frontpage?).
  • These mediocre products worked earlierm but with competition from Yahoo, Web18, Reliance etc heating up, Sify will have a hard time competing (on technology/advertiser front).

And Google can really cash on such confusions. For e.g.:

  • Sify takes Google Apps – promotes that to it’s user base.
  • Users are exposed to Google Apps and start using Gmail, Gtalk, Collaboration sute (online office) etc.

I believe, it’s just a matter of time that these users actually will move away from Sify network to Google and Sify, in the name of ‘superior applications’ handsover it’s users to Google.

What’s your opinion?

Google has also partnered with Airtel to offer Google apps to Airtel broadband customers.


  1. Mahesh T

    Once upon a time…ISP’s aggressively partnered with portals to provide Email,IM and Front page to their customers. They even paid portals for the service. (Y! had 12% of its revenues coming in from deals with sbc,comcast,bt)

    With the tide of internet advertising raising high; Email,IM and Front page became free(ad supported) services and the dynamics of the equation changed: Portals pay ISP’s to expand their distribution.

    But, i think, there is a catch in the ISP-Portal play at India: the cyber cafes. In US, people were onto internet for the first time though their own net connection. Not so in India…Cyber cafes, Universities and Office are the main doors into Internet. Hence, distribution shrinks primarily to Front page(igoogle?)

    Celebrating Life…

    PS: I hope, Google stays “Don’t be Evil” and not syndicate its ads in the Popups that Sify forces on to its users. Because, Sify is evil and greedy enough to show a popup every minute!!

    1. Ashish

      Very true – the thing is many of the Indian ISPs were confused about the ‘right’ business mix – so they went onto launch their content portals as well.

      Looking at all these – I guess Airtel is far more a focused company and no wonder their market share reflects the same too.

      1. Jagannath A

        airtel doesnt have a portal like sify but it also offers airtel branded google apps for its internet customers. probably sify just followed airtel…

  2. Anand Manaswin

    It is ridiculous, bogus and funny news. Sify shifts their users to google apps and saving own infrastructure cost. Google apps is free for ALL anyone can use gapps if they own a domain which hardly costs
    rupees 500 (as per This is nothing but selling their user database and earning revenue through advertisements… absolutely free of cost.

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