Google Apps For Small Business

Google Apps helps small businesses stay focused on their core offerings without getting mired in the headaches of IT.  Years ago, most startups and small businesses had to get a server with Microsoft Exchange and load Outlook onto all the machines of their employees.  The overhead was not only in the hardware and software but also in a system administrator and their salary and overhead.  There was not a good choice.

Lower Overhead Costs With Google Apps

The old setup was a client-server architecture.  Each laptop and desktop had a full version of Outlook pointed to a Microsoft Exchange server where the data and user policies were managed.  Your system administrator was a bottleneck in the setup of a new user, archiving emails, calendars, notes, tasks and everything else used within the Microsoft environment.  Having this whole setup meant you were in the email business.  This was both costly and cumbersome.  Failure points with your ISP, server or individual workstations were all possible and realized.

Your system administrator’s compensation and overhead reinforced the setup.  Both went together.  A small business typically has one person who knew and managed the Microsoft Exchange system.  There weren’t very many options before and it was a good setup.

Cloud Computing Changed The Email Game

With companies like Salesforce.com helping businesses to use software applications on the web via a browser, it was natural for a business email system to emerge.  Many of the email systems were good for single, personal use.  Google Apps changed the game.  Within this environment, collaboration between users within an organization under a domain name became the alternative to the cumbersome experience of MS Exchange.  The old way of remote access to your email with an awkward VPN setup was now replaced by a secure login on the web at mail.yourdomain.com.

Users were connected securely from anywhere with any computer.  They were connected inherently and in real-time with email, chat, calendars, documents and intranet sites.  We were not working in silos any longer.  Work was done within a new form factor.  Collaboration in the cloud made it easy to connect, control data and get things done.

Small Businesses Grow Easier With Google Apps

The costs of older systems created a barrier for starting and growing a business.  Now a new team member can be turned on in two minutes across the country or the world with a new email address.  They can get familiar with your business processes and quickly collaborate on appointments and documents with the rest of your team.  The speed is remarkable and a competitive advantage.

This all happens without having to have a server or dedicate a whole headcount to maintaining a server.  Your energy and focus can be on getting things done and growing your business.  Your team can be anywhere.  The realities of today’s mobile workforce and rapidly changing organizations allow you to hire, fire and build quickly with Google Apps.  It becomes the heart of your business.  Everything from the daily grind to strategic resources become available for the talent filling roles.  You can operate multiple offices in different locations to managing a fully distributed global team.  Control and flexibility work elegantly for the small business of today.

Email is your work.  However, it should not be your business.  If you are trapped or transitioning from older systems or if you are starting or growing a small business, a priceless strategy is to implement Google Apps.  Using it with the right strategy can propel you quickly to higher levels of success.

What are the things holding you back from using cloud apps for your business?  Feel free to comment below.

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