If you have heard all the buzz about Google’s Cloud Solutions platform for business, you are probably wondering what the big deal is. Here is a list of 5 reasons that should at least force you to consider moving to Google Apps for Business.
- Mail – Google Mail offers pro users 25GB of email space. That is a whole lot of email to keep, for those smart people who don’t delete their email. Seriously, Google Mail is instantly searchable, easily accessible and they have recently introduced many features such as, nested labels (folders), read receipts, smart sorting (Priority Inbox). Mail also boasts great integration with Text/Video/Voice Chat, Contacts, Calendars and Documents. And, if you can get past your perceived need for a desktop email solution, you can enjoy a clean and simple browser only interface.
- Calendar – Google Calendar has become the standard. It is almost unimaginable that someone wouldn’t use Google Calendar on some level. The ease of creating events, sharing events, inviting others to events, creating calendars, sharing calendars, inviting others to manage calendars, synchronizing events/calendars with devices… do I need to go on? Google has outdone themselves with how robust and easy their calendar tool is. Now, integrate that with all the business tools that Google Apps has and bam! You’ve got a pretty powerful cloud calendar solution.
- Docs – Google Docs has instant collaboration functionality. I don’t use desktop word processing, spreadsheets or presentations anymore. I am 100% in the cloud, and I love it! For most people that I talk to, that is appalling, and the majority of those appalled have no legitimate reason why it is so appalling, can I say appalling one more time? The only thing I can get from them is that they just don’t understand it. Most have been brainwashed by Microsoft Office for so many years, that they believe it is the only way. Even when switching to Mac, they bring Microsoft Office along for the ride. Now that’s appalling! Okay, so imagine this, you create a word document outlining the details of a project you are working on, or for an event that you are planning. Then, instead of emailing that document to someone to review or to add to, you share it with them. You can choose whether they can edit, view only or comment only. So you chose comment only. Now that person gets an email about 5 minutes later and begins to view the document, while inserting comments about specific details that you were unaware of. You are seeing these comments in real time and are making changes to the document and resolving the comments along the way. The document is complete and you never had to send an email with an attachment. Now you can view only share with several people who need to be aware of the documents details, but don’t necessarily need to make any changes or add any input. Boom! That’s collaboration in the cloud.
- Synchronization – Google + Exchange = Awesome!I was reminiscing with a colleague recently about how I used to manage email back in the day. I had my first blackberry smart phone, and I could check email easily. However, our small business didn’t have an Exchange server or Enterprise email setup. I was on a POP3 webmail server. I could download email to my computer and to my phone, however they did not talk to each other. I am not even talking about Calendars and Contacts. I couldn’t sync my email! Wow, that was frustrating. Delete 20 emails on my computer, then have to do it again on my blackberry.Now, with Google Apps for business, you can sync your Mail, Contacts and Calendars to almost any device. The integration with my iPhone 4 is beautiful. No more synchronizing with a USB, I am constantly in sync no matter where I go. All of my email, contacts, calendars and events are in the cloud and synchronized with all of my devices. That is a breath of fresh air.
- Cloud Storage – Recently launched Google Drive has shaken up the cloud storage space. If you have been using Dropbox, box, SugarSync or another cloud storage solution, think again. Especially if you are already a Google Apps for business customer. With the expected tight integration into Google Apps for Business, and the competitive price point, Drive makes for an impressive option in the cloud storage space. Get 5GB for free and up to 16TB of total space. Also, Google Docs do not pull from your storage space. Pretty awesome!