Monday, September 6, 2010

Google apps for Corporate Use: Should you move to the google apps?

This question comes up in blogs, discussions and clients ask if it's a viable solution.

Google's sweet spot is 1-25 (up to 50) users to share and use all Google Apps and email, calendar, sharing...

There are many IT shops that sell this service exclusively as a sole all in one solution for a business and as a service to their clients. They don't make much as a reseller but they are selling the google "reliability" selling aspect.

Now, as a business, should you move to or start using google apps as your IT infrastructure?

Say you want to move to the cloud. Google Apps seems a logical choice. You can buy your domain name, have google host your site, email and shared apps. It only costs $50 per user.

After really trying to see all different reasons of why should one use google apps, there are +'s and -'s in my opinion.

 This post is just listing 2 of the downsides that we see for businesses.
1. TOS:
The biggest issue I have is in their TOS section 11.1.
You the client OWN your data but Google has the right to publish and distribute, royality free globally that content. Your data.

Yikes. I think I know what that means.

2. Support.
I hear the argument their web support is great. I know schools have paid phone support, but even if your a 5-10 person law firm or accounting firm, and you have a doc that goes lost somehow or say Google goes down(yes they do go down) and you have nobody to call or hold accountable, I cannot see this being a reliable complete business solution.

3. Approach of culture change(from MSoft) and business mobile devices:
Yes, Iphone and Droid's have apps for that. Blackberry BES will only work if you have a BES server(extra $$). Blackberry does have an app for Gmail, but it's different than standard Blackberry inbox feel.

The approach to how the look and feel can be an easy cut over or painful "not wanna change attitude" approach.

The big news last year was that the City of Los Angeles gave google the go ahead to host their email on  gmail servers, and I believe it was going to save them Millions in IT overhead. Which is great!

2 questions:
1. Do they get Phone support if Gmail goes down for the city of LA and is their systems protected from the TOS 11.1 section?

2. What I've read, they have only cut over only 1/3-1/4 of the users to the new gmail system and it's been over a year and 1/2/.  What is the hold up and how much is it costing to do this cut over?

I think for a startup with 1-5 users, maybe project based consulting job, or where documents are not trade secret, this might be a good starting off solution. Once a business get's it's feet on the ground, financially accountable to board members, holding other lients private data(accounting or legal) - I think a hosted Exchange solution is a better fit because of ownership and control of the data.

Our approach is different for clients. We do a combo of Cloud and on-premise solutions that there is not single point of failure in-case of a disaster.

We do believe in the cloud. If and only if you control the data(servers) and make them redundant.
If you don't control, control access to and have a solid DR solution, then I cannot give blessing to a client that "just  wants to move to Google" They have to know what they are getting into.

I personally like Google. I have a google account. Not for serious work but it's fast and great for filtering junk. But for business I cannot see moving my whole infrastructure to it.

  • Are you a business using Google Apps?
  • Are you selling google apps to clients?
  • Do the "-" mention above don't bother you?

If you want to know more about our approach for a hosted cloud based solution which includes a complete disaster recovery proof solution, (a Cloud and on-premise based solution), don't hesitate to give us a call and we can give you all the information.

TVG Consulting
"Providing the Ibuprofin for your IT Pains"
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