Google Apps is catching on with enterprise customers, and Google Apps adoption among small businesses has nearly doubled in the past six months. Those anecdotes surfaced yesterday during a Google (NASDAQ: GOOG) 1Q 2012 earnings call with financial analysts. The Google Apps mentions were brief but strategic -- confirming that Google's executive team continues to focus on the SaaS market and competition with Microsoft Office 365.

According to Nikesh Arora, senior VP and chief business officer:
"Our Enterprise business also saw excellent progress as large organizations and small businesses continue to see the value of Google Apps as a cost-effective and feature-rich productivity suite. Some of our top customers to go Google in Q1 include global pharmaceutical company Roche, more than 90,000 users; the State of Colorado, which announced they intend to move 26,000 employees and users to Google; also the University of Pennsylvania and Rome have gone Google. Not only that, small business adoption of Google Apps is on fire, with SMB signups almost doubling in the past 6 months. So we're happy with the business and we're happy with the way Enterprise continues to progress."

Arora's statement arrive at a key time for Google Apps and its cloud channel partners.

Earlier this week, The Wall Street Journal speculated that Google will de-emphasize Google Apps in order to focus more on social media and search. Google does not disclose actual revenues from Google Apps, and the cloud suite only costs $50 per user per year -- while paid search continues to drive most Google revenues. Plus, some Google Apps Marketplace members say they are still waiting on more information from Google about the upcoming Google I/O conference (June 27-29, San Francisco).