Google Docs was introduced by Google a few years ago. At that time (like everything else google does) I signed up for Google Docs. While primitive compared to Microsoft Office, it served its purpose really well for me. The sharing capabilities with individuals over the internet. It’s downsides were definitely numerous. No offline mode, limited abilities with charts,graphics, etc. Thankfully these shortcomings continue to improve.
While I still give first place to Microsoft Office, I feel that competitors like google docs and open office (which is what I also use) are just as good for most people. Unless you are doing some intensive calculations competitors to Excel work just fine. Why spend hundreds of dollars when the products are free?
Now, Google Apps is both pay and free for businesses. In fact, it’s quite difficult to find the free version now but it is still there.
What do I use Google Apps the most for? Actually, the sharing capabilities are still huge to me. I just added gmail for my business as well. It was a painless process but now firstname.lastname@example.org actually flows through google.
- You get the same server storage space as your personal gmail account (7 gigs and growing)
- Access anywhere with an internet connection
- IMAP capabilities for syncing
- SPAM filtering is great
- You still get to use your business URL (@pc-prime.com)
- You can even setup BES to work with Google Apps.
The pay version offers a bunch of things like the BES portion, more space and a few other items. It costs $50 per person per year. Compared to an exchange server that runs you thousands, it is definitely worth it.
So what does exchange offer that Google Apps doesn’t? Well, from what I have been researching, it would be the flagging of messages for followup with specific times. Now, this IS possible in the gmail screen but it is not available through Outlook if you are checking your gmail account through it. Everything else syncs from your calendar to your contacts.
In fact, I sync all three, outlook, google apps and my blackberry. (I’m on BIS)
It’s free and it’s efficient so try out Google Apps!