What is “Google Apps”?

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July 28, 2011

If you are unfamiliar with Google it would be assumed that you are from Mars. However, if you are unfamiliar with the Google Apps platform, it could be assumed that you are operating out of Microsoft Exchange, Lotus Notes, Novell GroupWise, or a myriad of other legacy platforms. When I first learned of Google Apps I was, in short, confused. “I already have Gmail for my personal use, why would I need to pay for things?” I asked myself this question multiple times, but then, finally, the answer was explained to me. 

There are different versions of Google Apps, such as Google Apps for Business, Google Apps for Government, Google Apps for Education, and Google Apps for Non-Profit Organizations. They are all essentially the same platform with a few differences. For example, Google Apps for Government’s main difference is that the information receives government level security over mail and other information stored upon Google Apps. The servers that store the information for the government organizations will also be stored on servers located in the United States.

While there are certain differences, the Google Apps platform entails, for the most part, the exact same apps. The apps listed in the Google Apps suite are as follows: Gmail, Google Docs, Google Calendar, Google Video, Google Sites, Google Video, and Google Message Security powered by Postini. Here’s a simple breakdown of the products and some of the benefits:

  1. Gmail: Email…No shocker here really, however the amount of space offered by Google Apps for Business in your email is larger than you could fathom using. Each user receives 25 GB of message space which is 50 times the industry average.
  2. Google Docs: Google’s version of a word processor. The main benefit is that Google Docs allows complete control over who you share the document with. You can not only share the document with anyone on the Google Apps platform, but also you can allow those users to edit the document as well. Simply put, Google Docs is the pentacle of document collaboration.
  3. Google Calendar: Very aesthetically pleasing and clean so it’s easy to read. Also it is very easy to share calendars among users, as well as schedule events very specifically and pass them along to users in your organization.
  4. Google Message Security: In the past months there has been this fear that Google Apps is not a secure platform, or that the security of the cloud is risky at best. These fears are simply not true. Not only are all messages encrypted so that they can only be read by the account they were sent to, but also Google Apps features Two Step Authentication.
  5. 2 Step Authentication: This is the backup security system that Google Apps has created. The way it works is as such: You have your normal password, but once you enter that password you have another screen. The way the next screen works is that you have your phone number stored on your account so when you get to this screen Google sends you a pin number that changes every time you log in. Once you receive this pin you will then have access to your account. The main benefit of this system is that even if your password is stolen, only you are able to get past the second layer of security. Pretty helpful right?

Whether your business is small, medium, or large in size Google Apps is a useful platform that you might want to explore. It certainly isn’t for everybody, but how exactly do you know unless you do the research and testing?

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  • Michelle Lee

    Fantastic post. Here’s a tool that lets you build web and mobile apps fast and without coding! http://www.caspio.com/