My email inbox is empty…FINALLY!
Well, we finally made the move. I resisted it just like I resisted the iPhone. (I didn’t realize what I was missing out on.)
Last week our recruiting and software business switched from Outlook to Google Apps email. I was so worried I would miss my folders and the interface I grew so accustomed to. Once I realized the goal was to have an empty inbox and my time spent digging for old emails had come to an end, I was excited.
You know those emails that you try to locate at a moment’s notice (where your client committed to something important) that often seemed impossible to find in Outlook?
For companies trying to cut costs and become more efficient with fewer resources, this is a no-brainer.
While Google Apps Email is very similar to Gmail in most ways, there are a few key differences between the two services:
- Google Apps email addresses are issued by an IT admin, not created by individual users. They use the format username@your_domain.com rather than firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Google Apps Premier Edition provides built-in disaster recovery, a 99.9% uptime SLA, global scalability, and world-class security. No more maintenance, upgrades, or hassles.
The capabilities are very impressive. With Gmail, each message is grouped with all the responses you receive. This will save you a LOT of time since Gmail saves all your messages in conversations.
With a click, you can chat in Gmail with the people you already email or reply to emails by chat. You are also able to talk face-to-face with Gmail voice and video chat if you have a webcam, and download the free software. Since we started using Google Apps our Spam has disappeared and the fact that it houses all the essential communications with clients makes our team very efficient.
The labels are very cool. They provide much more flexibility than folders. A conversation can have more than one label which is nice. You can create filters to automatically manage mail. You can use Gmail on your mobile device to access your email from anywhere without having to set up a sync.
It’s not just small businesses making the switch, large enterprise companies like Diversey Lever and SC Johnson Wax and Valeo to name a few have done so for reasons related to cost and also to reduce their global footprint by reducing servers, travel, etc., taking advantage of Google Apps tools like video chat and instant messaging.
Last but not least, by far the coolest stuff in Google apps is “Labs,” a little green icon with some magical experimental tools that offer some pretty slick capabilities like canned responses, Got the wrong Bob (for when you address the email to the wrong recipient) and my favorite of all favorites, the Forgotten Attachments Detector prevents you from accidentally sending messages without the relevant attachments. Prompts you if you mention attaching a file, but forgot to do so.
Google Apps Enterprise Edition costs $50 per user, per year.