October 31, 2014

7 Reasons You Should Switch to Google Apps

google appsLate last year, Google Apps for Business eliminated its free version.

The reason?

Many business users tended to outgrow the basic version too quickly and personal users were left waiting on updated features that had to become business ready before launching.  But even with the new price tag, Google remains a viable option for small business.

Below, I outline the top reasons your business needs to be on Google Apps:

1. The Cloud

2012 was the year of the cloud and 2013 is carrying the momentum. With that momentum, businesses see the opportunity that Google Apps presents. In fact, according to International Data Corporation analyst Melissa Webster, Google will gain momentum this year because there’ll be a lot of collaboration and content in the clouds.

Just to be clear, however, Microsoft does offer an updated set of Office Web Apps, accessible to individual users from their SkyDrive accounts, and to business users through Office 365 and SharePoint. Though the Microsoft Apps show promise, the Google Business Apps have a tad bit more functionality.

2. Price

Google Apps is less expensive than Microsoft Office 365. Whereas, Google costs only $50 each user per year while Office 365 costs $72 per user per year. It even has more features added since Google started offering the application to the public. Office 365 charges more if a user adds other options.

3. Google+

Google+ has been slowly making a name for itself. Though, it’s no where near Facebook, it’s nothing to sneeze at either. As of October 2012, the site attracted 105 million users compared to 65.3 million in October 2011, a 60.9% increase.

The main features small businesses can use to get the best out of Google+ is Integrated Google Hangouts.

Google + hangout for Google Aps

Google plus hangout

4. Google Voice

Through 2013, all domestic calls made through Gmail will be free. It’s becoming a tradition just like at the end of 2011 and 2010.

Google voice for Google Apps

Google Voice has already had video chat integrated into the service; this competes with video calls made through Skype, Yahoo Messenger, Windows Live Messenger, and other chat services. Adding free local and low-price international calls will be attractive to users who can easily launch a voice call from within Gmail if video isn’t an option.

5. Google Apps Vault

Vault is an easy-to-use and cost-effective solution for managing information critical to business and preserving important data. It helps in reducing the costs of litigation, regulatory investigation and compliance actions.

Since businesses of all size need to be prepared for the unexpected–using Vault to manage, archive and preserve your data is a big help. Litigation costs can really take a toll on a business and even minor lawsuits can run up to many thousands of dollars. Vault adds archiving, e-discovery, and information governance.

This service is optional and is an additional $5/user/month.

6. Google Consumer Survey

Now I have to say that this is NOT part of Google Apps per se, but it’s too useful to NOT include. Google takes free online surveys, that you can create through Google docs, and brings it one step further. With Consumer Surveys, site owners create online surveys to be shared with Google’s publisher network and pay as little as $.10 per response. To target a specific demographic, it would be $.50 per response.

Google Consumer Survey

With the data, Google will provide charts summarizing responses, insights and highlight interesting differences, which can be segmented by age, gender, location, etc.

7. Google Maps Coordinate

Again, like Google consumer survey, this is not part of Google Apps. But it’s useful so I had to include it. If your business has workers on the go, Google Maps Coordinate combines the power of Google’s mapping technologies with modern smartphones to help you improve communication with employees in the field.

The idea is that if you can visualize where your employees are at, you can better deploy them. Employees, in turn, can update the status of their jobs and watch for new assignments via the mobile app.This is extremely relevant as IDC estimates that there will be more than 1.3 billion mobile workers by 2015 (37.2% of the total workforce).

Can you understand why I had to include it?

What are additional reasons can you think of to switch over to Google Apps?

14 Comments ▼

Michael Holmes


Michael Holmes Mike Holmes is in Market Development for Marathon Consulting, a New York based information technology firm that aims to help business owners stay focused on their business, not on their network. Feel free to connect with Mike on any of his social media channels.

14 Reactions

  1. Great piece, Mike. I’ve yet to make the switch but probably will soon. Thanks for laying out these reasons for us to consider.

    Ti

  2. No problem Ti! Microsoft office really is no comparison.I’m gald you enjoyed the post :)

  3. We run GoogleApps now for a few months and everything is fine, we can recommend it, but during free trial we experienced a nightmare I would like to share here: We accidentally deleted the email address that should later (after the trial) become the billing address, with the effect that Google’s system automatically suspended our account. Immediately.

    It was easy to contact them via phone but it took them more than 48 hours(!) to unlock our account because it was not a technical issue but an accounting issue. At time of accident it was Saturday afternoon, so we had to wait till Monday… We had newly moved four business email accounts to GoogleApps and were deadlocked for more than 48 hours. A terrible and costly experience.

  4. Mike —

    I am not sure if you are aware that most of the largest and sophisticated cities uses Officer 365: New York City, Chicago, San Francisco, Minnesota. In fact, the entire state of California and Minnesota use Office 365. In contrast, Google Apps is used by smaller cities like Orlando and Pittsburgh. However, it is true Los Angeles uses Google Apps. Unfortunately, LA is suing Google Inc for refund of fees for non-performance of contractual obligations. Just how embarrassing is that??

    http://betanews.com/2011/10/20/los-angeles-wants-refund-for-google-apps/

    Almost all major Fortune 500 companies use Office 365: Coca Cola, Merck, etc … In fact, even Google Inc. use MS Office.

    I agree that if you are s small “mom and pop” business, the corner grocery or hardware store that use simple tools — Google Apps is perfect for you.

    However, for larger sophisticated companies where security, confidentiality, reliability, and capability is critical — Google Apps is NOT the way to go.

    Just go ask the City of Los Angeles — which is suing Google for refund for non-performance of contractual obligations.

    [Edited by Editor]

    • I just bought the office 365 but have not installed it yet…I’m now very confused as to using it or not…we r starting a real estate business which will not b a mom n pop business. What should I believe? I need more research so in the meantime I think I will return office 365.

      • Do you want 100% compatibility with client’s, vendor’s, and your own existing Word and Excel docs? Google App docs are NOT 100% compatible. Google’s spreadsheet app is programmable with custom scripts and such, but it’s model is completely different from MS Excel, so you can’t transfer sophisticated spreadsheets over to Google apps without major pain.

        Stick with Office 365 as your main document and data system. Small to Midsize business plans are $6-8 dollars a month, which works out to $72 to $96 a year, per user.

        If you see a specific feature in Google App that you need that doesn’t seem to be matched in Office 365, then by all means get a single user subscription to test it out. But I’d suggest keeping Office as your main base.

  5. 3 reasons to switch to Google Apps
    Cost

    Compared to the full version of Microsoft office, Google’s premium account price of $50-per-year price tag is cheap. The free version is cheaper still, and may be more than enough for smaller enterprises. Because the service can be administrated by non-technical personnel, companies may see a drop in IT costs as well.

    Security
    Data is accessed through secure connections and Gmail uses SSL for mail connections. Strong passwords can be implemented and all administrators can see last login time. Additionally, Gmail arguably has the best spam and virus filters of all the web-based e-mail services. With automatic blocking of executables and a service-wide spam filter, the free version is a strong choice for a secure platform. The premium version can use the award winning Postini service added in as an additional layer of protection.

    Centralized data storage
    Documents are available from any web browser, upping the convenience ante for remote workers. With applications and data accessible from any web browser and most popular phones, road warriors have found the killer mobile app. Offering 24 hour access to all of your employees with a standardized deployment, Google Apps For Your Domain can allow workers to concentrate on working, not on getting systems to talk to each other.

  6. We have been using Google Apps for 5 years now and there is nothing like it. It is simple yet powerful. You get everything you need for your small business in your fingertips.

  7. Do not, I repeat do not buy Google apps. It is so poor, every Microsoft document you have will get chewed to pieces upon conversion. Try saving an attachment from gmail direct to google drive. Need a 3rd party plugin unless you don’t mind downloading things that are already in the cloud back into errrr the cloud.. that’s not very “true cloud” is it. There is a reason it is so cheap. I’m surprised they are allowed to charge for it.

  8. I could give more than 7 reasons why you shouldn’t

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