As one of the most recognizable brands in the world, it’s no surprise that businesses of all sizes utilize Google’s services in a multitude of ways. Catering to both the big and small business, Google has made it possible for companies to streamline their processes and create even better products for their direct consumers. If you haven’t already jumped on board with Google’s small business products, there are a few ways in which you can get up to speed and start making the most of your time and your business’ potential.
Providing 5GB of storage for free, “Google Apps is already the top choice for small business webmail” a recent Forbes article revealed. There are a myriad of reasons, in addition to the free storage, that businesses use Gmail over any other mail provider. Google is constantly improving their Gmail platform, both in the desktop and cell phone application versions to ensure that you receive the most important emails quickly and easily. Most recently, Google has separated all Gmail accounts into three tabs of your “Primary” emails, “Promotional” emails, and “Social” emails. With Google’s technology, Gmail has the capability to automatically determine the category each of your emails fall into, typically with no assistance necessary. If that’s not enough, Gmail is also often considered to have one of the best filtering systems for spam and junk mail- something no business has time to deal with.
Maintaining information on a cloud-based system is vastly more economical than using an in-house exchange server. Due to Google’s low percentage of downtime and automatic user-friendly upgrades, businesses are able to cut their equipment and software costs that incur long term. In addition, Google Apps is known to be cheaper than the commonly used Microsoft Office 365. Google Apps costs only $50 per user per year while Office 365 comes out to $72 per user annually. With Google Apps, you also get the latest in technology at the same price. You always know you will have the latest features Google has to offer without being stuck with a specific version.
One of the most popular applications used by small business within the Gmail platform is theGoogle Drive (formerly Google Docs) which allows multiple individuals to create and edit documents simultaneously from a cloud based system. This system is ideal when you have multiple employees working on one project from different locations- or simply different desks within the same office. Google Drive ensures everyone who has permission to your documents has access to the most recent information pertinent to your business’ operations. Google’s completely public cloud- based solution means that the entire Google Apps platform is housed within your web browser – there is no hardware or software to manage which creates a seamless experience across multiple platforms (computer, tablet, phone.)
Reliability and Accessibility
Perhaps the most compelling reason to convert to Google Apps is its reliability. Research conducted by the Radicati Group revealed that “Gmail is 32 times more reliable than average email systems and 46 times more reliable than on-site Microsoft Exchange.” Availability is also something Google has down. Gmail is reported to be available 99.9 percent of the time. In addition, Google Apps allows information to be accessible from any computer, smartphone, or tablet – making it easier for your employees to get their work done from wherever they may be.
Platform for Growth
In addition to email and document creation and sharing tools, a feature most businesses are praising is the scalable platform provided by Google Apps. Creating an email system isn’t exactly reinventing the wheel, but Google Apps’ ability to allow businesses to build and run apps on its infrastructure with social plugins and APIs gives businesses the ability to use their service in an extremely scalable manner. Google’s App engine allows businesses to create the apps they need to help their business grow. The more customized the system, the more it synergistically aligns with a business’ needs to help them down the road.
In addition to customized apps, the Gmail app provides calendars, reminders, photos and Google+ that all sync to your email platform, to keep all your information and schedules in the same place. Also synced with your Gmail platform is the popular instant messaging service, Google Talk. Google Talk can be used as a desktop or cell phone application, online through your Gmail platform, or even through AOL’s AIM service. Constant communication and a cohesive work environment are also byproducts of the system Google provides.
CRM Integration with Google Apps
More recently, Google Apps has allowed outside companies to integrate Google products within CRM management systems. Bringing together the best of both worlds, these CRM systems seamlessly integrated the user experience into a business’ workflow. With this capability, business owners can enter data directly from a Gmail application on their cellphone into their CRM management system. In addition, some CRM systems have developed algorithms to analyze customer data, communications, and social networks to help business owners decide on the next step to develop their business. As a customized option, a CRM with Google product integration truly is the best way to go.
By Alex Chan of ProsperWorks, a CRM Software for individuals and nimble organizations.