Google Apps for Business is a cost-effective solution for email, calendar, contacts, and productivity applications. All of the Google Apps are cloud-based, so you’re always using the latest version. While iCloud offers email, calendar, and contacts in the cloud, iCloud is not suited as a business solution. The Google Apps infrastructure is extremely reliable, and offers business-friendly collaboration features. It also has extensive centralized administrative management, something that iCloud doesn’t even attempt.
Google email is particularly compelling for many offices. While there are plenty of inexpensive web hosts that offer email accounts, virtually none can compare to Google’s feature set. More importantly, Google has a 99% uptime guarantee. With standard web hosting, you’ll usually get one server to host your mail services. If that server should fail, so will your office email. Gmail has robust, redundant infrastructure. So you’ll almost certainly see greater than 99% uptime. Gmail for Business uses the same intuitive web interface as personal Gmail. Alternatively, the Mac and iOS mail apps can be used.
The contacts manager provides an address book for each employee as well as a shared directory. The contacts can be managed using a CardDAV client, namely the Mac and iOS Contacts application.
Google calendar has business functionality which would be familiar to anyone who uses Outlook in an office. Meeting invitations can be sent to co-workers. The meeting organizer can see the availability times of all the invitees before sending the invitation. Calendars can be shared with co-workers. The Mac and iOS calendar application integrates seamlessly with Google calendars using CalDAV.
Google Apps for Business costs $50 per year per user. MacMaven Consulting can set up any of the Google Apps services for your office. We’ll configure your employees’ Macs, iPhones, and iPads so you can be up-and-running quickly.