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?