Google Apps for Business is a cloud storage service, along with a “stable” of business apps, many of which you will already be familiar with. Billed as “web applications that increase productivity”, it’s also part of a growing trend of services offering small and micro businesses the potential to appear more established – company addressGmail is a relatively new addition by Google that offers this kind of potential. Google Apps for Business is tailored towards a modern, mobile way of working, and Google cites the Telegraph Media group:
“Employees are 2.8x more productive while mobile”
It’s a paid service; at £3.30 a month per user, it’s not a bad deal at all if you consider that it includes cloud storage. In total, you get around 40GB of storage per user. The business apps include Google Docs, which lets you edit and collaborate on Office-style documents online, along with Picasa photo management. Google Video handles the business video production and storage side of things. Furthermore, there’s Google calendar – an automatically syncing calendar that you can share – anyone who’s used this for work or personal appointments will know how useful it can be to have an online shared calendar app. It basically avoids you having to constantly update or remind errant spouses or colleagues of appointments. There’s no dedicated app to store files outside of these, but a workaround is to save things as file attachments in Gmail. (Which has a 25gb storage capacity by itself).
See Also: Best Google Apps for Project Management
Benefits of Google Apps for Business
A good plus side of using the service is that with all the business apps being web based, there’s no worries about forgetting files or leaving data sticks or discs at home. Also, Google guarantees 99.9% uptime, which as many people who have worked with office based LAN networks will know, is bound to increase potential productive time.
Cloud computing and mobile apps bring new security concerns, but the service uses advanced file encryption and of course, password protection, to keep data safe. Google Business Apps platforms are verified in third-party SAS70 Type II audit.
Google Apps for Business Downsides
There are a couple of downsides to Google Business Apps- the first is a lack of integration between some of the apps. The 2nd downside is that there is no desktop app – which means that if you can’t get online, you’re limited as to what you have to work with. It does, however have mobile apps – you can use Google Business Apps from your Android, iPhone, Blackberry, or Windows mobile. The only restriction here is music – you’ll need to use either a desktop or Android device to stream tracks.
Overall, Google Apps for Business seems to be a strong service at a very affordable price, which aims to liberate business tech practice for everyone from the one-person micro biz to the biggest enterprises.