Most of us will use Google explicitly for search and maybe email – but it’s not a 2 trick pony, underlying their search and email offering is Google Apps and it’s universal login system. It’s not overstating to say that this element really is the future of Google.
Since its launch in 2006, Google Apps has revolutionised communications using a diverse range of digital services including Gmail, Calendar, Groups and Google’s cloud service, Google Drive. Google’s famous GMail service is probably the best email service in the world and services over 400 million active inboxes. It supports almost every type of file format and has the best anti-spam filter bar none.
Connected moved over to using GMail in 2008 as a temporary fix when our £20k Microsoft Exchange server configuration went pop. And we never moved back, and stand in amazement as companies still spend tens of thousands of pounds to run a 1990s style email service. In comparison, Google Apps costs just four quid a month per person and includes every element. If you’re a little bit phobic and require the super strength version then the costs doubles, but that’s still less than £100 per year and includes:
- 30GB of Gmail and Drive storage (need more?)
- Custom email address
- Video chat, calendar, document editing
- 24/7 customer support
- 99.9% uptime guarantee
- Business-critical data archiving
- Data retrieval for investigation
- Company-wide data discovery and export
Notwithstanding the use of external collaboration tools, it’s likely that collaboration will become the most powerful tools and reasons to use the suite. Because everything is stored on the cloud, sharing data and information is built-in. Remember when you had to email spreadsheets around the place, or save them on USB drives? All gone, and for the better.
The final element is the ability to share between your device, including tablets. This provide a single-sign-on approach to computing regardless of where you are and what device you are on. Microsoft, belatedly, introduced Office 360 but so closely followed Google’s model it was unlikely to unseat Google users and yet the offering wasn’t strong enough to keep all Microsoft users loyal so there is a gradual leakage from MS to Google – not the other way round.
No doubt, another player will come along and disrupt Google’s model but for the moment it really is the go-to solutions for most professional users and no longer stigmatised as the free-email model that many IT experts used to sneer at. Who’s sneering now?