Did you know that more than 2 million businesses already run Google Apps? It’s not surprising given how easy, cost effective and reliable their applications are to use.
We started using Gmail for business close on 2 years ago. I’m not talking about a Gmail account. This is Google’s email application that uses your domain name when handling your email. As an example an email from this domain would look something like firstname.lastname@example.org.
At the time our business was going through a growth spurt and we needed more than just a hosted email box for each of our staff. We needed calender sharing, better email management and spam was becoming a problem. So, we started looking at setting up our own infrastructure. Then one of the Team suggested we give Google Apps a try. I must admit I was hesitant at first. I was concerned about how secure our data would be and how reliable it would be.
We went ahead and I’ve never looked back. Since then we have found there are numerous advantages to using Gmail for business.
- Google acts as your email provider which means you don’t need staff to run your email server, you don’t need any software and you don’t need any hardware. Huge cost saving!
- You can access your email anywhere in the world as long as you have an internet connection. In fact you can even access you email offline – check out the video.
- The spam filtering works really well. Much better than the hosted mailbox solution.
- Google backs up your email onto Google mail servers which saves you money and gives you piece of mind that your back-ups are actually being done.
- Security was a big question for me. Now I have Google’s security team, some of the best in the world, looking after my information.
- You can customize Google Apps by applying your branding and configuring it your specific business requirements.
- It’s free for the standard edition.
The Google App suite isn’t just an email service, it also includes cool tools like Google Docs and Google Calendar. Google Calendar allows you to share online calendars with co-workers, friends and family. Google Docs is a web-based document, spreadsheet and presentation suite. They also recently started offering document management support for most popular document formats such as .doc, .xls, .ppt, and .pdf. So you don’t have to convert to the Google document format when storing documents with Google.
Google Apps is an excellent tool for small to medium size businesses. The best part is it’s free. For larger business there is a Premier Edition ($50 per user per year) which offers additional features.