Bitstream Consulting is a Google Apps for Work Partner.
What is Google Apps?
Email with Google-powered search, 30GB of storage, offline support, custom email addresses, and much more.
Easily schedule meetings at times that work for everyone, get meeting reminders, and share calendars.
Google Drive allows you to store your files in the cloud, share them, and have access to them from anywhere.
Docs and Sheets
Create, share and work on documents with your whole team in real-time.
Vault is optional and adds archiving, e-discovery and information governance capabilities for an additional $5/user/month.
What are the alternatives? What makes Google Apps
better than the alternatives?
Hosted POP/IMAP with SMTP
POP and IMAP may still be the most prevalent Internet standards for email retrieval. Introduced in 1984 and 1986, respectively, these standards worked well and served their purpose for decades.
There are two parts that make up a POP/IMAP email configuration – a client and a server which communicate and pass messages; the most popular clients being Microsoft Outlook, Thunderbird, and Apple’s Mail.app.
The limitations of these protocols have become more visible to the average user in recent years for several reasons:
- the rise of mobile computing devices like smart phones and tablets – these protocols, especially POP, weren’t engineered in a time when users accessed their data with multiple devices
- they support email only, whereas users now expect their contacts, calendars, tasks, and document data to also be managed by a single solution
- they do not have support for either collaboration or sharing of data
Microsoft Exchange – on-premises server
Exchange is an enterprise class solution; a fully featured mail server that many businesses house on premise. It addresses the limitations that are found in the POP/IMAP standards. But with its power comes the costs of the expertise required to manage it, and that makes it a comparatively expensive solution.
In addition to its expense, another downside is the long period of latency between versions. Many years can pass between versions, and so upgrades and innovations arrive in large, infrequent batches instead of continuously.
Finally, an on-premise Exchange server will only be as secure and reliable as the talent managing it and the building infrastructure. And no business has the redundancies in electric power, security, and connectivity that are found in a modern data center.
Microsoft Exchange – hosted
Having a professional third party with expertise in Exchange host it for you in a data center does alleviate some of the problems indicated above, but you are still using a product that only receives rare, bulk updates instead of being the beneficiary of constant innovation.
Microsoft has begun to respond to Google’s cloud suite with a cloud-based incarnation of their Office and Exchange products, but they maintain legacy roots and were not architected explicitly for the cloud; the legacy products seem to have been shoehorned into a new environment in a way that just can’t match the elegance of Google Apps.
Google Apps Advantages
Google Apps has a distinct advantage over the alternatives. It was designed after most of the Internet’s infrastructure we know today was already in place. High-speed broadband Internet connections, modern browsers, web programming languages and techniques already existed when some very smart people decided to build it. The result is is a final product with an architecture which is distinctly different from competing products that were built 10 years earlier, with a fit and finish that is perfectly married to modern infrastructure. An important consequence of this modern architecture built solely with web DNA, so to speak, is that it can both be in production and development at the same time, all the time. Google Apps is never a finished product, and you will never have to install or upgrade it. Google is improving it, behind the scenes, at all times. You can track their innovations at the Google Apps Blog.
It gets better. The modern architecture not only allows Google to improve it. It also allows for thousands of third party developers worldwide to improve it. As a Google Apps user, you have access to thousands of add-on applications that have been developed to integrate with Google Apps via the Google Apps Marketplace.
This is a powerful position to be in. Not only are you the beneficiary of daily innovation to the core suite of products by Google, but you also have thousands of other products that work with it to choose from, that are also built with the same architecture and so conferring the same benefits.
A final advantage – what is Google better at than anyone else in the world? Search. With Google Apps, you leverage the power of Google search technology over your own data. All of your data will be searchable – emails, contacts, calendars, and documents; with the same speed and accuracy you’ve experienced with web searches.
Migration to Google Apps
Bitstream can manage the migration of your business from most any other email platform to Google Apps. It is possible to transfer all currently existing emails, contacts, calendar items, and documents to Google Apps. Even major migrations can occur over just a weekend, so let us schedule a review of your specific scenario and generate a proposal for a migration.