Fundamentally we found the problems boil down to redundancy, or lack there of. While hosting your own server provided many configuration options it was dependant on a single connection to the Internet and of course a stable operating environment – free of interference from other services also installed on the server. Ultimately it was a liability and ticking time bomb that we needed to get rid of.
Google Apps for Business is our tried and trusted alternative to running our own email servers. For anyone who has a Gmail account this is simply just Gmail for business users where you have firstname.lastname@example.org pointing to Googles servers. While initially this may seem like a huge leap of faith we’ve all been running a Hotmail or Gmail account personally for years – so when it came down to it was just a matter of trust which quite frankly wasn’t hard to win given our experiences running Exchange Small Business Server.
Specifically we like:
Gmail was a pioneer in encrypting users email using the SSL protocol, this meant that all transmission between you and their servers was safe from prying eyes, while this might seem like an essential pre-requisite to any email solution it was exorbitantly expensive when we first started using Google Apps in 2006.
Even more useful is Googles spam filter – they suggest that over 75% of email they receive is marked as spam – which if true offers a huge time saver. Our experience with Exchange server was that it’s spam filter worked on some rather primitive heuristics and often got things wrong, causing more headaches than it was worth. Perhaps not obvious but this the Gmail’s filter also scanned attachments for viruses and other nasties before allowing you to save them to your computer – yet again another tick on the security stack.
More than just email.
In addition to the worlds best email solution, the “Apps” component brings immense value to our business by way of super effective collaboration in real-time with colleagues and clients. Our biggest time and sanity saver is using Google Drive with Docs and Spreadsheets to work on a single document with others at the same time but instant messaging and video with Hangouts also proves itself time and time again.
One of the pet hates of running our email systems was the lack of access when we needed it most. Typically this was while out of the office. Sure we had mobile access configured but it was slow and often just didn’t work. Google Apps provides technology agnostic access whether you’re on iPhone, Windows Phone, Blackberry or the native Google Android platform you’ve got secure and fast access.
Don’t just take our word for it.
Of course we could keep listing features (they are almost endless) – but these are our favourite.
Watch the ‘working in the future’ video to get a better idea.
If you’re interested in getting your organisation using Google Apps, talk to us. While not our core offering we have taken the time to qualify for the Google Apps reseller program, as ultimately if our clients email is solid we can do better business. The reseller status enables us to set you up quickly with the highest levels of support available from Google.