Recent upgrades make its apps more competitive.Even though Google recently removed the free tier for Google Apps, it continues to represent one of the best bargains for office productivity software at just $50 per employee per year (or just $5 a month per employee). Here are five reasons to seriously consider integrating or converting to the Google Apps environment.
Usable, “Grown-Up” Applications
If you experimented with Google Docs a few years ago and have formed your opinion of Google Apps based on that, you have the wrong impression. Today’s Apps are complete, full-functioning office applications that offer 80 to 90 percent of the functionality of their Microsoft Office counterpoints while adding functionality that isn’t present in Word, Excel and Powerpoint. Hundreds of features have been added to Apps.
Real-Time, Multi-User Editing
Another compelling reason is the productivity boost from collaborative creation of documents, spreadsheets and presentations. Very few workers exist on a creative island, and the old model of “passing around” a Word or Powerpoint file so that others can edit or comment is wasteful in today’s highly connected environments.
With Google Apps, several team members can open and edit the work all at the same time.
It’s the “Cloud”
Google Apps were designed from the beginning to operate in the cloud, and this cloud is Google’s set of data centers around the planet. Inside the centers, your data is segmented across multiple servers that are constantly backed up and monitored for potential hardware failures.
Being in the cloud also means that the file you created at work can be edited at home or on your laptop, smartphone or tablet. Google Apps auto-save your work constantly, so you are always backed up. Google even stores past revisions of a file, allowing you to jump back to yesterday or last week with a few clicks of the mouse.
Integration with Google+
Yes, it’s a social network, but you also can think of it as a communications network for departments and teams inside (and outside) your company. Google+ Circles, Communities and Hangouts allow you to quickly group together all of the people who are working on anything from a mission-critical project to planning the company picnic.
Use It for Your Whole Business
There are countless ways to put Google Apps to work. Create your website with Google Sites. Announce a new product to thousands on the Web with Google Hangouts. Host support and training forums using Google Groups. Upgrade your disaster recovery plan by using Google Drive. And—as many of you already do—run your email and calendar through Google’s mature Gmail and Calendar applications.