By: William Alexander Printer Friendly Format
Google Apps is a set of office productivity tools provided by Google for the enterprise market.
It all started with the launch of google's version of free email, the GMAIL. The
pure email platform has slowly evolved as google continued to add more features
to it. Chat was embedded with the launch of Google Talk. Audio as well as Video
chat was later supported. Google Docs provided the ability to upload, share and
organise documents. Calendaring was supported.
With Google Apps, google has grouped all these services together gmail,
calendar, video, talk, sites and docs as a single package with single sign on
for enterprise customers. There are two versions of it. The standard version is
free and comes with all the features with smaller storage space and no support.
The Premier edition is charged at USD 50 / per user per year and comes with 25GB
space per user and 24/7 support.
When Google Apps was launched it was initially a direct business model
targeting SMEs. However google soon found that supporting SMEs directly is a big
challenge and impossible. Therefore Google started the Google Apps Reseller
model where, across the globe resellers can sign up with google and resell
google apps in their region. In return google apps resellers get to retain
customers, provide consultancy, migration and support for their end customers
and earn recurring revenue.
This is definitely a threat to the Microsoft Hosted Exchange model. Microsoft
is now working on its Microsoft Online services model to counter this threat.
Google Apps take up rate has been quite high, especially with so many google
apps resellers mushrooming around the globe. However the ones that will really
succeed are those with technical competency to handhold SMEs during their
migration from their existing, POP accounts and other email servers.
What are the components of Google Apps?
control of spam –
Advanced filters keep spam from your inbox so you can focus on messages that
all your important email –
25 GB of storage per user lets you keep just about anything you think may be
important down the road.
Email, instant message, and make high-quality voice and video communication
without launching a separate application.
and video chat from your inbox
from your inbox
old messages instantly –
Google search technology is built in, so you can find emails and instant
message conversations quickly.
data leaks - Create
custom inbound and outbound policies to keep sensitive information safe with
people together easily –
Just pick a time (based on when people are free) and enter meeting details.
Google Calendar will send invitations and keep track of RSVPs.
project calendars –
Share whole calendars company-wide or with specific people. Coworkers can
have editing rights and see shared events alongside their own schedules.
event information in context –
Embed an internal calendar in Google Sites or publicly on your website, no
rich video information –
Video sharing makes important communications like internal trainings and
corporate announcements more personal, engaging and effective.
videos secure and private – Employees
can securely share videos with select coworkers or everyone at the company
without making confidential information public.
large files or complex infrastructure – Google
securely hosts and streams your videos, so employees don't need to share
videos over email, or burden IT for a video solution.
at your company can contribute –
Employees can share videos instantly. Viewing and annotating doesn't require
any special software, just a standard browser.
company information secure –
Set consistent sharing permissions across all company sites.
useful information accessible –
Create an intranet or let project teams build sites to capture and share
files simply –
File versioning is done automatically, so it's easy for people to make
updates and get the latest version. Supported formats include .doc, .xls, .csv,
.ppt, .txt, .pdf and more.
content from many sources –
Display Google Documents, Spreadsheets, Presentations, YouTube videos,
Picasa slideshows and gadgets without any programming skills.
information instantly –
Google search technology is built-in, so employees can find useful company
information as easily as searching the Internet.
employees contribute –
No coding or system expertise is required to update pages or create new
internal sites, so anyone can add to shared knowledge.
your company's documents – Administrators
have fine-grained controls to manage how broadly employees can share
together without the hassles of attachments – Coworkers
can share the same online copy of each doc, spreadsheet or presentation. All
revisions are saved and recoverable.
and publish through the web – Presentations
can be delivered to remote audiences, and documents and spreadsheets can be
published internally for employees to view.
with traditional file formats – Import
and collaboratively edit or publish from .doc, .xls, .csv, .ppt, .txt,
.html, .pdf and other formats. You can export as well.