In the past, the vast majority of small and large companies have looked to Microsoft Exchange and Outlook to provide email and calendaring for the organization, but more recently, Google has attempted to revolutionize this space with Google Apps. The product has evolved very quickly and has an enormous amount of users already. In fact, Google reports that over 5 million businesses, and around 50 million people use the product. As a certified and authorized reseller of Google Apps, we've set several companies up on the product, and use the product in our consulting company too. September 23, 2012 Update: This article was published on Method CRM's website on September 23, 2012. Click Here to view the article on Method CRM's website.
What is Google Apps?
Google Apps is a robust suite of collaboration applications for small or large businesses, that can be centrally managed, and that seamlessly works through your Internet browser, smartphone, tablet, or other mobile devices. The applications accessible through Google Apps include:
- Email - Use the familiar, and powerful Gmail interface on your computer to manage your company email, or access your email on your mobile device, or sync with Outlook. Delegate access to others, manage multiple email addresses or organizations, and retain more with 25GB of storage space standard.
- Contacts - Manage contacts with Google contacts within the Gmail interface, on your mobile device, or sync with Outlook.
- Shared and Online Calendars - Sharable calendars let you collaborate freely. Create multiple company calendars in addition to your personal calendar for different purposes, then post calendars online and set access rights, easily. Access from the familiar Google interface on the web, from your mobile device, or sync with Outlook.
- Shared and Online Documents, Spreadsheets, Presentations, Drawings, and Forms - Access all your documents online from anywhere. Create new documents, edit existing documents, and share them with others easily without installing, updating, or maintaining any software. Access online or on your mobile device, or sync with your computer.
- Marketplace Apps - Many non-Google applications such as Method CRM, MailChimp, and many others integrate with Google Apps to share contact information, send marketing campaigns, and much more, so you're able to customize your Google Apps experience with additional applications that suit your individual company's needs.
- Much more - Google+, Sites, Voice, Analytics, and much, much more from Google available as part of a Google Apps subscription.
How does Google Apps Differ from Microsoft Exchange and other Solutions?
Google Apps is housed on enterprise-class, Google servers with robust backup and security measures in place. Because it is housed on these servers, you never have to worry about updating server hardware or software including IT costs associated with this. The applications are available online from any computer with Internet access, from mobile devices, or can be synced with Microsoft Outlook. The service also comes with access to many more applications to produce a full-fledged office suite, rather than just providing basic email and calendaring functions.
Can you give me an Example of How Google Apps has Helped?
We have helped several companies to transition to Google Apps... For example, one of our clients is a realtor firm with more than 150 realtors in the group. Since they are realtors, they travel frequently, and work remotely most of the time. Their previous setup was a Microsoft Exchange server that provided access to email and calendars, and some also used the same server as a file server to access Microsoft Word, Excel and other files while in the office. While outside the office, they would generally save documents to their local computers, and would email documents back and forth. They are highly dependant on email, but even so, the Exchange server would need to be restarted for server maintenance, and a couple of days they had problems with the server and all 150 realtors were without access to email, calendars, files, etc. for many hours. We set the company up on Google Apps for Business and have transitioned their local files, email, calendars, and more to the Google servers and they now have access to their email, calendars, documents from anywhere at any time, and haven’t reported any down time on any of the Google services. Instead of emailing documents back and forth, they work on the documents online and share them with co-workers or clients. They have a variety of devices, including Apple and windows computers, phones and tablets, Blackberry phones, and many different types of Android devices and are now able to access their information from any of these devices and collaborate seamlessly.
How can my Company make the Transition to Google Apps?
The transition to Google Apps will involve setting up, or adjusting some website and mail server settings, and may involve moving existing email, calendar, documents and more to the Google servers, so its best to check with a certified Google Apps reseller like us before moving forward with the transition. There are a number of editions of the product, including business, education, and government editions, and Google even offers a free edition with more limited capabilities. Standard editions are priced at $50 per user per YEAR, so the cost of these advanced tools is very reasonable given the features. With all of these great features it is not surprising that millions of companies have already made the transition to Google Apps. Contact us to explore whether Google Apps may be the right solution for you.