When Google announced the launch of the Google Apps reseller channel on January 14, the technology press and reseller channel pressed jumped on the story as this is big news for the industry. Google continues to prove it is serious about enterprise computing and challenging the status quo models for in-house computing. With the opening of the official reseller channel, Google is demonstrating a commitment to ensure that businesses get the support, integration, and training services necessary for any successful platform or application rollout.
To much of the media focus, however, has been on how Google Apps Premier Edition compares with Microsoft Office. While Google Docs, Spreadsheets, and Presentation are pretty cool applications with some amazing collaboration and integration features, they are not as mature with respect to traditional features — fonts, formatting, styles, etc. — as the Microsoft suite.
More importantly, these applications are not the best reason to use Google Apps Premier Edition. Google Apps provides a hosted environment for communication and collaboration that delivers features, capability, and value that few, if any, other providers can match.
Here are reasons to consider Google Apps Premier Edition:
Hosted Email and Calendars
- The easy-to-use GMAIL web interface
- Full IMAP support lets you use pick nearly any email client, including Outlook
- Private, shared, public, event, and resource calendars
- 25 GB of space per mailbox
- Free blackberry and PDA integration
- Secure Instant Messaging with searchable archives and VoIP telephone service
Collaboration Tools and Solutions
- Embedded collaboration in Docs, Spreadsheet, and Presentation saves money on fee-based web conferencing services
- Google Sites enable easy and fast creation and management of Intranet and internal project sites
- Secure customer portals with no network adminstration required
- Google Forms for simple information gathering and management
- Embed content within Google Apps dymanically into public web sites, including calendars, events, and response forms
In summary, Google Apps Premier Edition provides a better solution for companies already using hosted email, calendar, and collaboration services and can provide a more cost effective means of delivery these services than upgrading current in-house systems.