Google has been rapidly expanding its offerings for businesses and individuals in recent years. They’ve been aggressively expanding their apps, especially when it comes to apps on other platforms (like the Maps app for iOS). Google really does have a finger in every tech pie out there and they want to keep it that way. The world of business is no exception, and Google has been providing their Google Apps Suite for Business for some time. It’s constantly being improved and it has helped thousands of small businesses grow.
Google’s Apps for Business
Google has a great suite of apps available to any business willing to pay for their service and support. It can be completely worth it, depending on your business and your needs. You get four main services with Google Apps for Business: Gmail, Google Calendar, Google Drive, and Google Docs. These can solve your business’ communication and organizational needs, if you let them.
Currently, you can pay $5 per user/employee per month without a contract, or you can pay $50 per year per user with a one-year contract. Not sure if it’s something worth investing in for your business? Let’s take a look at what you get.
Gmail came onto the email scene in 2004 as a beta service and in 2007 to the public. It’s free, but when you get it through Google Apps for Business, you get a specialized account where you can add users, have additional storage space, (25gb to be exact) and generally have more control over all options in the email suite.
It’s easy to transfer over a previous business email client – emails will be forwarded to your new Gmail address and it doesn’t take long to set up. The number one reason Gmail is great for business is that it never goes down. Yep. Never.
Ok, maybe if some apocalyptic event happened like Godzilla eating the internet would Gmail go down.
But realistically, you’re looking at one of, if not the most reliable email service on the market. Employees still have options for customizing how they handle their email independently, and can take advantage of all of the great features of Gmail. For me, having the ability to rapidly search through all of my email accurately is enough to justify switching over!
Google Calendar is a versatile calendar system that you can use to organize your company and its employees. Once calendars are shared amongst employees, it’s easy to see when they are free for a meeting or any other reason to get together. You can get rather creative with the calendar, using it to schedule assignments, manage vacations, or prepare for projects by assigning tasks by date and time.
Google Docs / Google Drive
Google has recently merged its Google Docs offerings with Google Drive. The two make a powerful incentive for a business to switch to Google Apps for Business. If your business handles a lot of text documents or spreadsheets to get important work done, Google Docs has you covered.
With Google Docs, employees can collaborate in real-time over any document. The cloud storage provided by Google Drive means any document is backed up and easily shared between any employee who uses Google’s services in your business. Additionally, you and your employees will have greater access to your documents. Mobile access is easy, as well as accessing from any device that has an internet connection. This gives you more flexibility, especially when working on the go.
Why Google Apps Help You Manage Your Business
Besides the obvious features of the apps listed above, Google provides a business a one-stop-shop when it comes to IT needs. You’ve got a talented and active support team that can respond to needs or problems you have with your email, calendars, cloud storage, or any Google provided service.
Your connectivity and communication is immediately upgraded switching to Google Apps for Business. I could go on and on, but if you’re looking for a nice compact list format, check out what J.J. McCorvey at Inc said about Google Apps for business, “Google Apps suite includes an unlimited number of user accounts, access to all of Google’s applications, 25 GB of e-mail storage per employee, 24/7 customer support, and a 99.9 percent network uptime guarantee.”
You also gain access to a large marketplace of apps that Google hosts and a system called Google Sites. Google Sites, as J.J. writes, can be used in addition to other benefits, “to create a private intranet hub of information for employees.” This gives you even more control and options in how you want to organize your business.
First, Take My Word For It….
Here at CEM, we recently converted to using Google Apps for Business. I’ve personally noticed an increase in availability of anyone I need to email. All of the writers, editors, and our head honcho Amie, have only been more accessible since the switch. Combined with Google’s free Google Hangouts app, it’s like we all actually work in one office!
We never have issues with email downtime. The apps always work, documents I need are available on Google Drive from any device at any time. My calendar is updated with tasks and assignments and all it takes is a simple click or two for me to know what needs to be done. I’ve got no complaints. Google Apps for Business works and works well.
But You Don’t Have to Take My Word For It
Since CEM is a small business and we recently switched to Google Apps for Business, I felt it only appropriate to ask CEM Co-Owner Laura a few questions about her and Amie’s experience with the platform. Some of the highlights are as follows:
CEM made the switch because Google Apps for Business “would be crash-proof” and our “former email provider would occasionally go down.” Switching has solved those problems and it has “removed worries of email going down” and using Google Calendar has enabled CEM to be “less reliant on email and more organized overall.”
Laura didn’t hesitate to state that Google Apps for Business is “definitely worth the cost” and that CEM definitely gets its money’s worth from using it. Everyone at CEM is happier using Google Apps for Business, and we’re also safe from losing any revenue or missing deadlines due to down time. It was a win-win for CEM to make the switch.
Give Google Apps a Try
If you’re looking for a better solution to your IT business needs, Google Apps for Business might be the answer for you. It’s fairly priced and it works well. Give it a shot before you pay anything – Google offers a free 30-day trial. You’ve got nothing to lose.
Do you use Google Apps for Business? Have you had the same experience that CEM has had with Google Apps for Business?
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