Traditionally, you’d use Exchange, Groupwise or something in that vein and tie it into Outlook or Lotus Notes. This meant having a server, purchasing licenses for the server and every single workstation that it was installed on. We’re talking $10k+ of expenditures for what most people use to check their email and have a shared office calendar. And now, some web meeting and other collaborative activities. Sounds like a bit much… Especially when you need to pay some IT guy hundreds a month to maintain the thing.
Now, there are alternatives to dumping your cash down the drain. I’ll use Google Apps as the prime example. You can look at the various enterprises and small businesses that have embraced the convenience, simplicity and cost savings of this system and how much more effective it’s made them in their industries. It’s initially setup; there are normally birthing pains of sorts, but it’s relatively pain free, as far a change goes.
With Google Apps, you get not only your email in the familiar Gmail type interface, but shared calendaring which is every bit as simple to use as Outlook; document storage, editing online and some CRM and resource planning plugins that tie directly into it. It also ties in seamlessly to your iPhone or Droid. And your Mac. The only caveat is, for you Windows people out there, you have to get the Google Apps for Business edition if you want it to fully sync everything with Outlook. But that’s not particularly expensive either. Oh, did I mention the base price for all this functionality is….. nothing?
Stop back on Monday for the next part!
If you can’t wait to find out more or for a free technology consultation, contact me!