Google Apps comes with so many great apps for your business productivity needs. Using your web browser on any device, you will have access to your Google Mail email accounts, Google Calendar, Google Drive (documents and spreadsheets), and many more apps everywhere you go. It is a great alternative to expensive business applications and is a fantastic choice for small and medium sized businesses.
When a new client asks me about e-mail accounts and e-mail addresses, the first thought that crosses my mind is getting Google Apps setup. Actually, I usually start with a comparison of different e-mail options such as using a personal email account for your business (and why it’s the wrong thing to choose), or going the more expensive route of using Microsoft Exchange and being able to access Exchange online, but I try not to go into the specifics about hosted exchange, imap servers, and all the technical mumbo-jumbo that us geeks like to talk about in our free time. My goal is not to confuse the client, but to help educate them about the possibilities and help them to make the best choice. This is why I have chosen Google Apps for my clients e-mail accounts.
With the Google Apps for Business e-mail accounts, you get to use the familiar Gmail interface and all of the great features that come with Google mail. To get started, I usually setup an e-mail address as a super administrator that I can grant specific access, control privileges for others in the organization, and setup new accounts. The Google Apps free version allows you to create up to 10 e-mail accounts for your organization. Usually, that is sufficient for most small to medium sized businesses. After setting up all of the e-mail accounts for the users in the organization, I then make sure that I go through all of the Google Apps email settings and configure them so that the users get the latest updates automatically pushed to their accounts. Some awesome features that I would recommend enabling in the email accounts would be found in the Google Mail Labs settings: Send and Archive, Insert Images, Undo Send (Use this one all the time!). Not only do I recommend going through each and every setting screen and analyzing it, I usually do this for the client and explain the choices as I make them.
In addition to using Google Apps for your business email addresses, Google also offers Google Calendar, Google Docs (now known as Google Drive), and many other Google Apps for your business productivity. Google Calendar allows you to import other Google Calendars, create multiple calendars and share them with others in and outside of your organization, and you can even embed them into web pages. Many clients find it very helpful to stay organized with multiple employees by assigning them each a Google Calendar so that they can keep track of their work schedule. In addition to sharing calendars, using Google Drive to share documents, spreadsheets, and other files in the cloud means that the important file that “Suzy” has been working isn’t stuck on her desktop computer, it’s actually stored in the cloud hosting, and is accessible by those who need it.
When you are getting started, or even if you have been in business for a while, you realize that your IT infrastructure plays a crucial part in the success of your business. Over the last 10 years, David Martin Design has specialized in using Google Apps, Google Calendar, Google Docs and Spreadsheets, Google Mail, Google Reader, the Google Chrome Browser, and many other useful products offered by one of the most successful businesses in the online marketing industry. Although Google does not provide much support for their business apps, they really don’t need to because they just work. The Google Apps sync wonderfully with your iPhone, your Windows Phone 8, or even with Microsoft Outlook! Google Apps is a great choice for your business email hosting, your business calendar, and they constantly get better over time. So what are you waiting for? Let me know if you are interested in getting Google Apps setup for your business right away!
Want to read even more about Google Apps? Check out these awesome resources: