Google Apps is an innovative type of business IT software. The idea behind the full suite is that as a busy executive with little time to squander and with organisation as a prime consideration, you’re able to place all of your workflow and data in a centralised location for instant access and processing. This location is the cloud, which simply means that it can all be accessed anywhere and at any time over any internet connection. This is the great advantage of cloud storage. Other companies such as Intuit accounting software have offered cloud versions of their suites in order to meet expectations from their customers.
For the fully integrated system and over 10 users there is a small charge, but it is definitely cost-effective, and there are free versions of Calendar, Google Docs and Gmail which can be added to the workflow to keep staff in a small or large business co-ordinated.
One of the big benefits of using Google Apps is that you can ask for one or more domain names and all your email addresses can be grouped under the one domain. Alternatively, you can use an existing domain and make it point at another host site.
After entering the domain name and supplying a few personal details you’re ready to go.
Google Apps in essence allows users to access all the usual Google services that go with having a Google account. In addition to the familiar email you also get Calendar, Contacts and a number of other useful services, such as a personal domain name.
There are actually three versions of Google Apps which have increasing levels of functionality, so an individual or business can choose the one that’s right for them. These are the basic and free Google Apps, Google Apps for Business and Google Apps for Business with Vault.
As an entrepreneur just starting up you can choose the cheapest version to get things moving and then gradually scale up as things develop, allowing for a smooth transition to increasing complexity without having to completely change platforms.
Google has a vast infrastructure that sprawls right across the internet, with multiple mobile, web and email platforms. Effectively plugging into this with the Google Apps suite, a business of any size and complexity can draw on that leverage and use it to its own advantage, safe in the knowledge that this is not a passing fad that will require future adaptation of the business model.
For the small business the good news is that Google Apps is completely free for anything up to 10 users, so it’s ideal to get things off the ground without the need for additional overheads when money is tight.
There’s also a 10GB quota supplied for email, and with the Google Apps for Business suite this is upped to 15GB. For a small or medium business that does not have the luxury of an in-house IT department to co-ordinate communications and workflows, Google Apps is the perfect solution and moreover highly cost effective.
As a cloud based solution for sharing contacts, managing email, building web pages, keeping a calendar and working on and sharing documents, Google Apps is ideally suited to the needs of any corporate enterprise.