I am not sure how good of a deal this is. Usen already sells this services and makes no money apparently.
The big concern is all the data is in the US under a US company. Is that a good idea for a Japanese firm? We’ll see what they decide.
Quoted from here.
Softbank, Google Joining Forces On Cloud Computing
TOKYO (Nikkei)–Softbank Corp. (9984) will market Google Inc.’s document-sharing and calendar services to businesses as part of a cloud computing alliance.
Softbank’s 003SH smartphone is powered by Google’s Android operating system.
Subsidiary Softbank Telecom Corp. will in February add the Google Apps platform — which allows users to view e-mails and in-house documents online and share schedules — to its corporate cloud computing service, dubbed White Cloud. It plans to charge 6,300 yen annually or 525 yen monthly. Other companies also sell Google Apps, but Softbank will be the first in the world to charge a monthly fee.
And by combining Softbank Mobile Corp. smartphones with Google’s Android operating system, customers will be able to connect directly to Google servers via Softbank’s cellular phone network. Since data will not be sent to the Internet under this setup, there is less danger of internal documents being leaked. Google Apps could also be sold as a set with smartphones.
Softbank will deploy specialist sales and support staff for Goggle Apps together with the Internet firm’s Japanese unit. Starting with around 20 personnel, the staff will be filled out gradually.