Google Apps: Just a good thought?

October 25th, 2010 at 9:24 PM  1 Comment

Modifying a phrase that @johnobeto uses “They Who Must Be Obeyed” at my company (Upper Management) is always looking for ways to cut how much we spend on IT services.  This can be a nuisance but every once in a while it opens the door to allow me to look for new companies that can provide more functionality while lowering the cost.  A few months ago I was tasked with looking into new email providers to move our email into the cloud.

Being a avid Google Apps user for my personal email it was the first place I thought to look.  All the functionality and services Google offers could do more then give our users 400x the online storage they currently “enjoy”.  It would allow us to explore Google’s other offerings like Google Docs, Google Chat and Google Wave and at the same time making my techs happy because they no longer have to deal with PST files.  There were two huge downfalls that stopped us from moving forward.

  1. It is not possible to selectively disable Google Features, it is either all or nothing.
  2. There is no way to selectively disable users from sending or recieving email from the outside world.  Again all or nothing.

If Google wants to really compete with Microsoft, they need to be able to handle more customization, instead of the all or nothing approach.  We would love managers to have the access to create small website for their users but don’t want every call center agent have access to Google Chat.

With Microsoft firming up their BPOS offerings I am wondering if  Google will continue to innovate with their Google Apps accounts, or if they will under estimate the big MS.  Only time will tell.