Practically Speaking About Cloud Computing: Google Apps Part III

Google Apps Part III – Google Apps Applications:

The default applications available in Google Apps, in addition to mail, are Calendar, Documents and Sites. About 6 months back, Google launched Google Apps Marketplace. The Google Apps Marketplace offers web-based applications that work seamlessly with Google Apps.

Email = Gmail

No doubt that many of us had a chance to have our private (free) emails with a couple of service providers! Personally speaking about myself, I have experienced usa.net, lycos, hotmail, yahoomail etc., and now with Gmail. There is no second thought that the Gmail experience is the best among all. The way Gmail entered into the scene is with a big bang! At the time when only several hundred MBs were the storage space, Gmail started with GB storage; with POP and IMAP access; with an attractive user interface that has evolved a lot over a period of time! From the date Gmail was announced in the year 2004 with 1 GB storage space, on invitation basis, till now Gmail is great and evolving.

For many reasons, Gmail remains as a favorite choice of many. In a recent survey by Lifehacker, Gmail web interface won the choice as best with a whopping margin. While Gmail remains free with ad support, Google Apps Mail in Premier Edition is the same without ads. The real attraction is that it is ever evolving! The recently introduced Priority Inbox! A Call Phone link introduced a few months back!

Gmail for business in Google Apps:

Gmail for business included in the Google Apps offers 25 GB of storage per user, powerful spam filtering, Mobile and Outlook connectivity and a 99.9% uptime SLA. The spam filtering with Postini services is giving the one of the best results in controlling spam. Businesses prefer this email service because:

  • Get control of spam – Advanced filters keep spam from your inbox so you can focus on messages that matter.
  • Keep all your important email – 25 GB of storage per user lets you keep just about anything you think may be important down the road.
  • Unified communications – Email, instant message, and make high-quality voice and video communication without launching a separate application.
  • Find old messages instantly – Google search technology is built in, so you can find emails and instant message conversations quickly.
  • Prevent data leaks – Create custom inbound and outbound policies to keep sensitive information safe with Email Security.
  • Interoperability – Sync your Microsoft Outlook inbox with Gmail.

Google Calendar

A web-based calendar application that enables employees to work together efficiently and helps minimize costs and IT hassles.

  • Easily schedule appointments. Overlay multiple calendars to see when people are available. Google Calendar sends invitations and manages RSVPs.
  • Integrate with your email system. Google Calendar is integrated into Gmail and interoperable with popular calendar applications.
  • Share project calendars. Calendars can be shared company-wide or with select co-workers. A range of sharing permission controls help maintain security and privacy.
  • Access with your mobile device. View and edit event details, add new events, and invite guests on mobile devices like the BlackBerry and iPhone. Even receive calendar notifications via SMS.
  • Publish calendars. Publicize external company events by publishing a calendar to make it searchable in the Google Calendar gallery. Easily embed calendars into web pages.

Google Sites:

Google Sites is an easy way to create secure web pages for intranets and team projects. No coding or HTML required.

  • Organize information in a central place. Use Google Sites to centralize documents, spreadsheets, presentations, videos, slideshows and more to help keep teams organized.
  • New! Build collaborative sites faster with templates for project workspaces, team sites, intranets and more.
  • Anytime, anywhere access. Google Sites is securely powered by the web, so you can access company pages from your desk, on the road, at home and on your mobile phone.
  • Works across operating systems. Google Sites works in the browser on PC, Mac and Linux computers.
  • System and site-level security controls. Administrators can manage site sharing permissions across the business, and authors can share and revoke file access at any time.

By Glenn Blake

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