Google Apps has been widely recognized by business owners. It is commonly used for video and text messaging, slide show presentation, and collaborative document writing in the clouds. Introduced some 6 years ago, it was designed for tech start-ups and small enterprises. Google didn’t expect that large businesses will take notice of the software.
Recent Google Apps clients include the US Interior Department and Hoffman-La Roche. Each of these companies has at least 80,000 Google Apps users. Experts believe that the software’s popularity is primarily due to the movement of businesses toward the clouds and its competitive price. According to International Data Corporation analyst Melissa Webster, Google will gain momentum this year because there’ll be a lot of collaboration and content in the clouds.
Google Apps is less expensive than Office 365. The Google software only costs $50 each user while Office 365 costs $72 per user. It even has more features added since Google started offering the application to the public. Office 365 even charges more if a user adds other options. Aside from its competitive price, Google Apps is also effective in online collaboration. Team workers can work on a project simultaneously, even when they’re somewhere else. Because the data is stored in the cloud, different team players can create one document even when they’re far apart.
Medium-sized enterprises can use Google Apps only if these businesses had evaluated the security features of the software. A lot of these firms fear that their data and communications aren’t safe in the clouds and that these businesses still prefer to store their sensitive information in their local computers. If security is really an issue, Office 365 is capable of storing data in the client’s local server and the clouds. However, a business organization must be ready to pay for this expensive feature.
Cloud computing is very popular because program fixes and new features can be distributed automatically. There is no need for the user to update his local computer. Once he logs online, the updates are already installed and ready to use. Office 365, however, provides for delayed updates for at most a year. This feature is offered to those users who don’t want automatic updates. Google Apps has no feature like it.
In 2012, Google had 23 contracts with the federal government while Microsoft had only 10. A close third is VMware with 9. VMware’s Zimbra is becoming to be a more practical alternative to Google Apps and Office 365.