Google Apps for the Enterprise (Week 10)

February this year the City of Los Angeles began their pilot project of Google Apps, and by May they had migrated over 10,000 users from their existing Microsoft and Novell products and services to Google Apps.

Government departments is definitely one of the target markets that Google Apps wants to focus on, on the Apps website there is a product they have put together specifically for governments to find information about implementation.

Google Apps is a online product package created and managed by tech giant Google Inc. It is a cloud computing service that seeks to replace existing business software packages, such as those owned by companies like Microsoft and IBM. Google Apps basically takes all of Google’s popular services (and so many more!) and puts them into a single package. It not familiar with what Google has to offer, they have email (Gmail), Calendars, Contacts, Docs (collaborative document sharing), Groups, Sites (web hosting), video and voice. On top of this, Google offers an Apps Marketplace, where customers can obtain (mix of free and paid) additional applications to suit their business needs. A good thing to keep in mind is that all of this is in the cloud, so it doesn’t matter where you are or what device you’re using, you can access all of your data.

There are a few different types of Apps subscriptions available to customers, but the two that I want to focus on are, the Standard and Premier Editions. The Premier Edition is the version that costs and this is what most companies that are considering Google Apps will want to look at. The Premier Edition includes all of the features that I’ve listed above, without forgetting the Marketplace of apps available for all types of businesses as well. From what I understand, Apps is sold to customers for a flat rate $50 per user a year. The Standard Edition is basically a cut down version of the Premier, and it’s free! Have a look at the comparison table here.

Off the top of my head, one thing that would need to be taken into consideration (particularly for large organisations) is that everything is going to be happening over the internet, so appropriate network+ISP upgrades will need to be made to allow large amounts of data to be transferred and FAST.

Oh yeah, back where I started, the city of LA.. as stated on their implementation website, ‘has approximately 3000 locations, with 34,000 email accounts and 40 Departments in this project’, all of which they plan to move across to Apps by the end of next month! Check out this video from their site:

So I’ve covered just one product that is available for businesses and governments, do you think Google Apps is a worthy package, or do you think that it still doesn’t offer the power that other suites offer?

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About higginsbass

I live in sunny Brisbane, Australia and I'm studying Information Technology at QUT. Love my amazing girlfriend Jasmine, love my family, love people, and love my church.
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6 Responses to Google Apps for the Enterprise (Week 10)

  1. calvynpark says:

    I think for such a big department or organization, it is crucial for them to use the enterprise 2.0 tools such as Google Apps in this case. There will be millions of data and files that are confidential that needs high security. Google Apps also being proven to be cost effective. Google Sites looks pretty much essential for a big company to use where employees can add their profile and also post edit what they want.

    Right now, I haven’t really get use to Google Apps yet. But I’m sure I will need to use it as I will start working professionally.

  2. mattjohnstone says:

    The marketplace is certainly impressive, and if I were considering a cloud solution it would probably be the deal-maker. The sheer number of apps and niche functions that some of them perform is impressive, and it looks like there are a lot of good ones that are completely free as well, which makes it even easier to justify for small businesses and in relation to the post, small government or even a local council level.

    Shifting to the cloud is excellent for small businesses, but I wonder what the risks are for privatising a system that would no doubt contain a wealth of sensitive information, and where governments draw the line between what is sensitive enough to be outsourced and what isn’t.

  3. higginsbass says:

    Yeah totally, security is and will continue to be a major decision factor for governments when looking at cloud based software.
    One thing I didn’t mention in the post is that Google Apps has obtained Federal Information Security Management Act (FISMA) certification & accreditation, which I believe is a security standard in the United States. You can read more about Apps Government security here, there’s a fair bit of info there.

    On the other hand, I don’t think a cloud based system could ever be as secure as storing information on a local network, from both reasons, that of a risk of hacking, and also that of who’s hands the data is in. But from here, Google Apps looks promising.

  4. A number of departments within Queensland Government are also looking towards Google Apps for future use. It is my understanding that we already have an agreement with Google and some staff are already using the system. I think it’s an excellent initiative, and may one day eliminate the need for large organisations to spend huge amounts of money and resources on developing and maintain their own corporate email servers, etc…

    Griffith University has also just moved all of their students to Gmail to allow for future Google Apps integration http://app.griffith.edu.au/03/lib-blog/?p=436

  5. howedan says:

    Having used Google Docs for the first time this semester, i like it.. i really do. Being an iWork fan i can understand and appreciate the attempt by Google to slim down the word processing world, in my opinion MS Word is now too feature packed and it isnt as easy to use as it was 5 years ago. Im sure with these large organisations like the City of Los Angeles using the apps, its only a matter of time before cloud computing really takes off. I guess from an Australian perspective the national broadband network cant come soon enough.

    • higginsbass says:

      Yeah I’ve found Google Docs really useful lately, especially for group uni assignments, like when my team is working late on shared documents, we don’t need to be together to work, we can just do it from home and see other’s changes instantly. And even with ADSL2 I haven’t had any speed problems.

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