Are Google Apps any good?

Posted on the 5th July 2011

There is a lot more to Google than it being a simple search engine – it can be used for pretty much everything from advertising through to the actual running of your company through the use of its many apps.

After conquering the search world, Google is now pushing hard to be a major provider of business software, tackling longtime dominator Microsoft over productivity and collaboration apps. But does this company, most famous for free consumer oriented offerings like search and basic apps, have what it takes to be taken seriously by business? Can you really rely on Google Apps?

A recent IDC survey shows that Google Docs is “widely used” in 20 percent of companies. (Google Docs is the set of word processing, spreadsheet,  presentation and calendar components of Google Apps.) And even some large organsations, the latest being the city of Los Angeles and its 30,000 users, are adopting Google Docs and the corporate version of Gmail. Chalk up yet more converts in Google’s crusade to make itself, not Microsoft, the default choice for everything from word processing and spreadsheets to email.

So far, many of the early takers have been smaller businesses that didn’t need enterprise level management and integration with other applications. But since the fall of 2008, when biotech giant Genentech became its first big name enterprise customer, Google has rolled out features to lure other enterprises. These include client software to allow users to keep working while offline, Google Apps Sync for Microsoft Outlook (to let Gmail users work through the familiar Microsoft email client) and Google Apps Connector for BlackBerry Enterprise Server so that mobile users can access Google Apps on their smartphones.

Resellers, customers, and analysts agree that the paid version of Google Apps delivers on its core promise of costing a third or less than a similar lineup of Microsoft products.

Because email is a huge expense for large companies, it’s no surprise that Gmail is also a popular draw.

So – all in all – Google seems to provide good value for money in a world where cost is becoming more and more important.

Radweb are a Google Apps Reseller. Contact us to set up your organisation.