The benefits of Google apps are plentiful. With finances on everyone's mind at the moment, the first benefit I am going to mention is the cost savings. Because google apps require no hardware or software and need little administration this is where your saving compared to other competing solutions.
Storage is another benefit. With Gmail each email account gets 25 GB of storage and with the many time saving features your employers can work very efficiently with high volumes of email, free their time up to be more productive. Gmail is perfect for employees that need to travel around and work mobile. There is support for all of the smart phones and some of the less powerful phones.
If you're a fan of Microsoft outlook and have used this email client for some time it can be hard switching to Gmail. But Google have found a solution for this as they have created a Microsoft Outlook interface which helps with the transition to Gmail and Google calendar.
Cost savings, higher storage and mobile ability is all well and good but what about reliability? Well Google promise that Google apps will be available for 99.9% of the time. This is a pretty strong promise and they can promise this with synchronous replication of data in Gmail, Google Docs, Google sites and Google Calendar which are all preserved in many data centers. What this means is that if one data center fails to serve your request, the system will automatically fall back to another data center. You won't even know this is happening as it is instantaneous, which means you can worry far less about system downtime.
With security you relax in Google's hands. You information is safe and secure as Google operates one of the most robust networks of distributed data centers in the whole world. Security is their top priority which is why they have a dedicated around the clock security team. Also Google Apps is the very first cloud based messaging and collaboration solutions to achieve FISMA certification. FISMA stands for Federal Information Security Management Act of 2002 which means that the security and network operations of Google have been reviewed and certified. Within the FISMA Act there are guidelines on how organizations should implement security controls. Google have passed which means peace of mind for us as end users.
With google apps you get custom spam, inbound and outbound mail filtering tools which are powered by postini. You can share information within Google Docs, Google Calendar and Google Sites meaning more than one employee can work on a document rather than having to send documents between yourselves. Now here is the tacky bit you get enforced SSL connections to ensure secure HTTPS access.
You can see why more and more people are turning to the cloud to do their business. There is also customer support 24/7 via email online or phone for the real critical issues. If this article hasn't convinced you to work via the cloud I don't know what will. Google has a network of google apps reseller partners ready to help business with deployment, data migration, user training.
For more information about Google Apps UK visit Ancoris who are are a Google authorised Google Apps Reseller.
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