Thoughts on what businesses actually need from the Cloud, not what vendors wish they needed.

Chris Bliss

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Confessions of an Office Worker, or why Google Apps Rules and Outlook Sucks

Having worked in corporate America, I have first hand experience with the misguided corporate obsession with Microsoft products. I also have first hand experience of surpassing my mailbox capacity and having all incoming and outgoing emails bounce. I spent probably 15 mornings in three years waiting for our “IT guys” to give me more storage space on our server while I worked to delete or archive large emails. Not a fun or productive way to start the work day.

Unsurprisingly, everyone hated our IT guys and the IT guys hated us. If I knew then what I know now, I would have campaigned my ass off to move the company away from Microsoft Outlook and into the cloud-based, cheaper, and all-around superior Google Apps for Business. Alas, hindsight is 20/20…

Why do I love Google Apps? How is it superior? Oh, let me count the ways:

  • It all starts with infrastructure — Microsoft Outlook email accounts are hosted on internal office servers. These servers cost tons of money to setup and even more money to maintain and upgrade as time moves on. Migrating your email to web-based servers (like Google’s) eliminates the need to keep one at the office. That’s time and money saved.
  • Microsoft Exchange servers are, put simply, awful to deal with. Accessing email outside the office is a headache, the website is slow to load, it’s impossible to quickly search for a specific email, and you regularly lose access to contacts and calendars. Not cool.
  • On the flip side, accessing my emails, contacts, and calendar from Google Apps is a breeze. Doesn’t matter where I am, what device I’m using, or whether or not the office server is up: it just works.
  • It seems so obvious now, but storage space is never an issue. It was always an issue before.
  • Google Apps has powerful integrations with tons of awesome cloud-based software solutions. Outlook doesn’t. Once you move to Google Apps, a whole world of new business productivity software becomes available. I’m using task management software contextualized alongside emails – before, I was assigning myself tasks to manage my emails.

The superiority of Google Apps over Microsoft Outlook is just one (potent) example of how web-based applications are fundamentally changing business software. In this office worker’s opinion, the change is for the better. Better business is just a few clicks away.

Interested in Google Apps? Shoot us an email and let’s talk.

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Chris Bliss works at VM Associates, an end-user consultancy for businesses looking to move to the cloud from pre-existing legacy systems.