Google Apps

No more excuses: 9 reasons why smart businesses upgrade to Google Apps for Business

If you use Google Apps for your business, you should upgrade from the free Google Apps solution to the paid Google Apps for Business solution.

Google offers two types of messaging and productivity solutions for businesses; Google Apps (free) and Google Apps for Business. They both include Gmail, Google Calendar, Google Docs, Google Sites and an Administration Panel for your domain. Google Apps is free, and Google Apps is $50/user/year. But there are some very compelling reasons to upgrade to Google Apps for Business.

Google Apps and Google Apps for Business

Businesses using Google Apps for their daily operations should upgrade to Google Apps for Business. The extra features, integrations and security create a peace of mind that far outweighs the price tag.

1. Storage

Google Apps for Business users have a quota of 25GB of email storage space, Google Apps (free) users only get 7GB. Although 7GB may be more than you had with your legacy system, 7GB of space can be filled up pretty quickly these days. Given the number of emails most businesses get per day and compliance laws on email retention, business users will need the extra space.

2. Mobile Sync and BES Integration

Google Apps for Business can also be integrated with Blackberry Enterprise Server (BES). The BES connects with Google, authenticates using OAuth and syncs using Gmail Sync, Calendar and Contacts. The Google Sync (Active Sync) tool which syncs mail, contacts, and calendars with smart phones like iPhones and Androids is a feature of both editions of Google Apps. However, in Google Apps for Business this feature can be restricted or turned off as a security measure. This allows an Administrator to better comply with the company's policies around mobile devices.

3. Outlook Interoperability

Google has a tool called Google Apps Sync for Microsoft Outlook (GASMO). This tool allows users to access their Google Apps mail, contact and calendar through the familiar skin of Microsoft Outlook. This tool is like "training wheels" for those who are resistant to move to a web-based email system. This tool is especially useful with Administrative Assistants and other heavy calendar and email users. GASMO is only available for Google Apps for Business users.

4. Support

Google Apps for Business Administrators have access to 24-hour phone and email support. A real person actually answers the phone or replies by email. Free Google Apps subscriptions do not include phone or email support. The administrators and users must comb the Google User Help Forums and Google Help Center articles for answers. With the constant evolution of Google Apps these articles and posts may be out of date and unreliable.

5. Google Video

Google Apps for Business users can activate the Google Video service. Google Video is like a private YouTube within your company. Users can upload videos, which become searchable and streamable online. The videos can only be shared within the company. Videos provide amazing training opportunities as well as communication tools for virtual or global companies.

6. Google Groups for Business

Although the interface is poor and inconsistent with the rest of Google Apps, this service is a necessity for email communication. Groups allow Admins and/or users to create groups which can be used as distribution lists, shared mailboxes and internal announcement lists. Groups also provide a searchable web-based archive of all group communications.

7. Business Security

Google Apps security is a very popular and somewhat controversial topic of discussion. I won't attempt to go into it in this short blog article today. However, Google Apps (free and paid) is the first cloud based messaging and collaboration suite to achieve FISMA (Federal Information Security Management Act) certification. Google Apps for Business offer the additional security features of SSO integration, 2-step user verification, forced SSL, and custom password strength requirements.

8. Reliability

Security is not the only consideration when choosing a business productivity and messaging solution. The other important factor is reliability; the service must be available and have very few service disruptions. Google Apps for Business guarantees a 99.9% up-time in the Service Level Agreement. This works out to be no more than nine hours of downtown per year.

9. Growing Your Business

Before April 26, 2011 Google Apps users could have up to 50 accounts for free. This Spring Google announced that the limit would now be capped at 10 users for new customers. This rule does not affect those organizations who signed up for Google Apps before April 26th, 2011. If you are new to Google Apps and plan on growing your business beyond ten people, you should upgrade to Google Apps for Business.

The Google in the Enterprise weekly newsletter helps professionals get the most out of Google Docs, Google Apps, Chrome, Chrome OS, and all the other Google products used in business environments.

You need Apps for Business

The standard version of Google Apps is just fine for families, recreational groups and students. If you are running a serious business on Google Apps, you need Google Apps for Business.

If you aren't sure, you can always sign up for a 30 day free trial and downgrade if you aren't happy with the extra benefits of the paid version. If you aren't ready to make a full year commitment, try the recently released flexible subscription plan for the fee of $5/user/month.

About

Susan Cline is the Director of Training and Change Management at Google Apps Parter Ltech. She is also the author of several Google Apps courses on Lynda.com. Visit Susan at her website http://susancline.com/ or follow her on Twitter @GoogleAppsSusa...

40 comments
planetsteve
planetsteve

We are now using Google Apps here at work, including the nifty little Clouud Connect toolbar for Microsoft Office. All very nice until BT decided to mess up our internet connection this week. Four days with no internet, no email, no documents, not a cloud in sight. What happens then, all you clever folks trying to get us all to abandon local software????

phil
phil

Too many posts here with hidden agenda's. My small business reality, many emails (many domains) all routed through my G app's Gmail. Google app's is providing many REAL SAAS tools that make a difference to my business. Frankly Google rocks for me and my business. We haven't used Outlook for 3 years.... do we miss it NO.. I could go on without to much detail underpinning, however I can only tell you that all the calendar / email integration just works....and works well.

Tony Hopkinson
Tony Hopkinson

On what basis are you making that choice? I mean it was a straw man argument for starters! Where did I say TR was playing favourites? Where did I say it was ethically objectionable for TR to have deal with google? And WTF is free advertising? Not to mention when did sense become common? I must confess to being massively disappointed in you.

Ricky Tandiono
Ricky Tandiono

I am trying to convince the organization I worked for to opt for google App, or maybe most of it is google mail and google doc. Google mail is good for its space and search capability, while google doc is good for collaboration. Then there also google cloud connect to collaborate your office file. The current problem that I find google has : - Google doc is still not that fast and not that user friendly (if you compared with the microsoft office 2007 or 2010) - Google cloud connect, does not collaborate well if you have a lot of tabs. it kept on said failed and can only replace your version. These 2 samples already make it hard to "sell" to management to have google app replace Microsoft app and/or to make use google app to work better instead of doing the old ways of sending emails with attachments.

ScarF
ScarF

"This tool is like 'training wheels' for those who are resistant to move to a web-based email system." I have 6 email addresses which I used regularly. Plus, two more to throw to the spammers. How is one thinking I can manage all of them without a local installed tool capable to sync with the respective servers? How more time would I spend only logging off and on again to check all these accounts in a web browser? Unless one has a single email address, I continue to believe that the local email client is still highly needed.

higglepiggle
higglepiggle

For Small businesses, the free product is fine. Things like Videos are only useful in businesses where there are enough people to make 1-2-1 contact tricky. Also re. uptime, 99.9% uptime is fine a for a small business. Factor in some of the downtime will coincide with 'business downtime i.e. out of office hours. So the % is even less. Google is unlikely to allow any significant downtown as it is just bad PR for the overall product/company. I've set up a few companies on the free account and it suits them fine. Most users don't even break 1gb of email. Plus things like IM are becoming more popular. The only tricky bit is migrating old email to the free account, but there are ways around this. On a personal note, i'm not looking forward to the day when things have 100% availability, as its only when things go down that you realise what kind of organisation you have, + you have a bit of spice to life (i.e. moaners vs lets get things going again brigade).

gkeidar
gkeidar

Having become familiar with Windows Phone 7 in the last couple weeks, I can see why an article like this is published. Not only has it become obvious to me what a revolution this phone is quietly creating, but come the fall, when 7.5 OS will be released, the Windows phone will quickly push the rest of the 'smarts' under the bus. For if you use a windows based PC, MS Office and alike, the choice as to which OS based phone to buy and use would set-in just as quick. For Windows users, migrating to the Windows Phone is simply a no brainer decision to make. I'm not an associate of Microsoft, nor stand to profit from the Windows phone in any way... Just posting what I think.

PGS-AU
PGS-AU

It's not only where the servers located, but Google tend to enjoy trawling peoples' files for keywords, and we ALL need so much more spam than we already get. Check the T&Cs for gmail. OK as a search engine, but I wouldn't trust them any more than I do PayPal, eBay or the Aussie Gov't.

Mark W. Kaelin
Mark W. Kaelin

I an confused by the "Is this a Google advertisement" comments. This is a new blog on TechRepublic - the topic is Google in the Enterprise. We discuss Google and Google Apps. Naturally there will be articles that describe how to get the most out of what Google has to offer. There will also be articles about Google's privacy policies and trust issues. I don't understand why Susan's article is confusing some readers. If the article was in the Apple in the Enterprise Blog and had the title 9 reasons you should upgrade to Lion OS, would you consider that advertising too?

Gis Bun
Gis Bun

Did Google pay for this column? Looks like it. There are also at least 9 reasons not to use Google Apps for Business.

Lazarus439
Lazarus439

It seems like EVERY TR newsletter has as least one "article" is no more than a (barely) disguised shill for Google, and Google Apps in particular. Is Google paying for this adoration or goes it own a chunk of TR (or a parent)?

Litehouse
Litehouse

I'm a bit shocked that TR allowed this "article" to be published. It's nothing more than an advertisement by an author that is a Google Apps Partner.

Neon Samurai
Neon Samurai

FISMA is great if one is inside the US; they are also already under US privacy laws so no real chanes there. For folks outside the US, does anyone know more details on the security? - is user data encrypted on Google's servers? - can Google access user's data and passwords or is the data inside a user-only encrypted blob and passwords unrecoverable? - does Google store non-US data outside of US servers so that US law can not be used to "legally" break other nation's privacy laws? (eg. Canada and Australia have more strict privacy laws so technically where CA or Ausie data stored on US soils falls under US laws.) The potential benefits are very attractive including BES support but it remains a non-starter if data is accessible by thouse outside of the business customer. I'd be interested to find out that Google is mananging it's services more like the storage providers who've implemented systems so that even they can't retrieve credentials or decrypt user data.

Spitfire_Sysop
Spitfire_Sysop

"You need Apps for Business" Seriously? I think that depends on what your business is and what hardware assets you already own.

Mark W. Kaelin
Mark W. Kaelin

Have you upgraded to Google Apps for Business? Why? Why not?

Ricky Tandiono
Ricky Tandiono

Cloud computing have a risk on the connectivity. Local software have a risk on the lost of data. When connectivity down, you can always mitigate it to a temporary solution or use a temporary laptop and work somewhere where there is connectivity. When your local data is corrupted, the time needed to restore the data and lost of work will be greater lost. Local data can have expensive backup like daily backup in other location etc. Cloud computing can also have "expensive" secondary solution, sign up for secondary internet connection.

Mark W. Kaelin
Mark W. Kaelin

What makes you think that the Editor's Choice has anything to do with you or what you have said. I will say, since you brought it up, that I have been very disappointed with you and your insistence that this blog post is an advertisement. I think Susan and I have both explained what the article was about and what this blog will be about in the future. Tony, I have great respect for your comments and you normally do a great job of keeping me honest - something I truly appreciate - but you are out of line here.

longyhoo
longyhoo

"This tool is like 'training wheels' for those who are resistant to move to a web- based email system." When I first read it, I felt that the article was implying that web based is better than local application. To me, web-based (be it exchange or gmail) is good but not on the same level of functionality as local install. Similarly, a yahoo/gmail app on mobile device is not as good as a web-based email or local install. Web-based email is only better, if 'portability' is wildly more important than other factors. perhaps, in a few years, I will no longer need a locally installed email application.... just not there yet. IT may carrot or stick some folks off a local install, but there will be users that expect those 'training wheels' (as they call it) to be permanent.

ICanFixIt
ICanFixIt

You can manage all your email accounts in Gmail, just like outlook, using the gmail POP connector. I use one gmail account to run 3 gmail (2 are G apps) and one hotmail account. You can set the send from and reply addresses for each account within Gmail, just like outlook.

Lazarus439
Lazarus439

I don't subscribe to "Google in the Enterprise" so I know I'm not seeing this article in it. I'm pretty sure I saw it in "Tech Sanity Check". Since you are surprised at the response, it seems pretty obvious that there's a disconnect somewhere. Perhaps TR needs to rethink its rules on replicating articles in several disparate newsletters. This is a perfectly acceptable article in the "Google in the Enterprise" newsletter but in on that's supposed to be vendor-neutral, it reads like a well done press release/ad.

Tony Hopkinson
Tony Hopkinson

A lot of people come here to interact with their peers. If one of us says this is good stuff, and people respect that person's opinions, that's a million times more valuable than some one selling said stuff. I mean they weren't going to say it was crap were they... If google aren't paying you for access to to your user base, you need to go back to business class, and try and turn up this time...

Mark W. Kaelin
Mark W. Kaelin

Why don't you describe the 9 reasons you should not upgrade to Google Apps for Business if you are already using Google apps in your business? I'll pay you as a guest writer.

seanferd
seanferd

Shills for ms, google, apple, cisco, you name it! Where does it end?

Mark W. Kaelin
Mark W. Kaelin

The Google in the Enterprise Blog is new so we are promoting it a bunch to get it established. And, for the record, editorial has no idea what marketing Google does with CBS and we never have and never will.

sperry532
sperry532

Google will not reveal the locations of their storage facilities, including the country, for "security" reasons. In other words, you rolls the dice and takes your chances. As far as their encryption, you won't get any information there because of - again - "security" issues. The thinking appears to be that if Google reveals the type or level of encryption they use, it will provide information to hackers and crackers. While I cannot begrudge their lack of forthrightness in these days of cybercrime, I surely will not be using their services for my business. I prefer to know where my data is and under what security it is handled. Google's simple assurances along the lines of "just trust us", do not sit well. Then again, your mileage may vary.

Mark W. Kaelin
Mark W. Kaelin

Susan gave us reasons why, if you are already using Google Apps for your business, you should make the upgrade to the fee-based version of Google Apps for Business. Do you not find those reasons compelling?

Tony Hopkinson
Tony Hopkinson

If the subject line had been more precise as in upgrade from google free to google pay, or I'd noticed it was in the google in the enterprise blog ( I came in by newest), I wouldn't have bothered reading it, to be quite honest I wish I hadn't because all it did was irritate me. Why in Cthulu's name, would I think that an article promoting paying google in a google blog by a google partner, that mentioned (understandably) not one alternative wasn't an advert. How do I distinguish it from one? Because you say it isn't, fine I got it wrong. Exactly who's problem is that though, if that wasn't the objective?

awgiedawgie
awgiedawgie

Check out the list of different TR blogs. Apple, Microsoft, Google, and even Smartphones are all there. There's no favoritism. Call it free advertising if you want to, but this is the Google in the Enterprise blog. What do you expect them to talk about - the benefits of using Linux?? Incidentally, there's a Linux and Open Source blog, too. Seems to me they were paying pretty close attention in business class. By having different blogs focusing on the benefits of each of those areas, TR is targeting more interests, and is so attracting a broader array of readership. Just try to run a tech website without allowing any articles that highlight the benefits of any services, and see how that works out.

Spitfire_Sysop
Spitfire_Sysop

1. Co-located data. Your data may be sharing a "cloud" with lulzsec who are trying to tear down the walls between users on your co-located server. Or worse, you could be sharing a server that will be confiscated by the FBI due to some data be deemed illegal. 2. Goolge does not focus on Enterprise. They have too many services and most of them are for consumers. They can't focus on any one of them long enough to give it all the attention it needs. Some services wither completely while others seem to be constantly evolving in to something else. What seems like a smart business decision today could be Google's next scrapped project. 3. Why buy a cow if you can get the milk for free? Play it safe, don't put all your eggs in one basket. Their free services are good for some things but you want to invest your money in more solid technology. -Insert farmer colloquialism here- 4. SaaS savings are a lie and a scam. What looks like a lower upfront cost will end up being a huge expense in the long run. The longer you stay on their service the less economical it is. Rates could change too. It is better to make an investment in your company than in theirs. 5. Loss of control. Once you move to the Google model it is a slippery slope in to chaos. Suddenly the IT dept. is cut from the budget and your employees want to bring in personal devices because they can access their Google apps from anywhere. Now you have no control over the integrity of the devices used to connect and not only is policy enforcement out the window but so is security. All it takes is one user with one botnet. 6. Chromebooks. The next step from Google apps is to deploy Chromebooks. They are new and untested. I don't believe any of the claims Google has made about them. You get what you pay for here. 7. Googles privacy policy. Seriously, go read it: http://www.google.com/apps/intl/en/privacy/ #1 on the list is "Use information to provide our users with valuable products and services." Does this mean that your Apps for Enterprise data goes in to their marketing database? Sounds like it to me. 8. You still need a separate web host for your corporate webpage. Hosting comes with e-mail for your domain name. Now you're not using gmail What else can we put on this "web host" thing? Calendars? Cloud storage? (from the FAQ) http://www.google.com/apps/intl/en/business/faq.html 9. Usage limit: "Each account can currently send email to 2,000 external recipients per day to prevent abuse of our system and to help fight spam. If one of your mail accounts reaches the limit, the account will be temporarily unable to send mail." If they get more traffic than they can handles they will inevitably have to throttle all of their users.

Mark W. Kaelin
Mark W. Kaelin

I suggested a blog on Tiddlywinks, but I was overruled for Google Apps - it's true we discuss the technology people actually use.

Lazarus439
Lazarus439

In every Tech Sanity Check and some other TR newsletters, the second article is always flagged as "Resource of the Day" and it's always about Google, the great majority of the time, specifically Google Apps. As has been pointed out, the newsletters do cover lots of vendors, but I cannot accept that just sheer newsworthiness make Google every day's "Resource of the Day". If this is really a paid ad, fine, but it should be labeled in a way that says as much. Something like appearing on the right side column along with the other ads.

susancline
susancline

Hi Readers, This post was intended for businesses who are using Google Apps for messaging and productivity. In my opinion, it is a poor business decision to use the free version because it does not include the security, support and uptime. I do not think that Google Apps is the correct solution for all businesses, BUT, if you do choose Google Apps, at least shell out the $50 for a business license. This Blog is about Google in the Enterprise, Google Apps for Business is big part of that topic.

Spitfire_Sysop
Spitfire_Sysop

I was just pointing out that it reads like a large advertisement. She should be compensated by Google for this. They are, after all, an advertising agency. They make their money off of ads so don't give them any handouts.

Tony Hopkinson
Tony Hopkinson

Mind you I'd have compelling reasons for not having anything to upgrade from.... Be interesting to see how this one flies, bet there's a high number who have them because they are free.

Tony Hopkinson
Tony Hopkinson

Given how many we get around the content, do we really need or want the content to be an advert as well. Would a more objective assessment, surrounded by adverts have been a better approach? I can see the value of adverts to goodle and to TR, to us? Kool-aid is Kool-aid and much more common than sense...

seanferd
seanferd

Due to the loose usage of the word versus version or service-level meanings. That's just one poor word choice, probably only viewable in retrospect when one is the author and didn't intend the loose version of "upgrade". (See what I did there? I added confusion with a loose version of "version", but I had already use "version" previously in the narrower software sense. This unintentional "bait and switch" didn't happen in the article.) Due to the nature of article titles, the wrong meaning is easily assumed . I did it. I was disabused of the notion after reading up to the first comma of the Takeaway. Gripping hand: Did susancline even write the title, as it appears? Not that it matters. Sure, the intent of the title could be made clearer, I think. When I first saw the title, I did not read the article for exactly the reason that the title is "misleading", because it exists in a world of sensationalist titles.

Tony Hopkinson
Tony Hopkinson

9 reasons why smart businesses upgrade from free google apps to the premium version.... Upgrade could be taken out of the context you now say you are narrowing it to, and I bet you wouldn't object to the extra business you might get from people moving from X to the upgraded service. :p I suspect some of the people using the free service, and going to feel like they are having their arm twisted. Despite it being free, if they are using it, it's now part of their business process, changing from that to anything is not without a cost of some description. The vote up was because I'm tired of these whimps who vote people down and not say why. PS I've no objection to bias, it's prejudice I have a problem with...

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