Q

Gmail in the enterprise?

What is the feasibilty of Gmail for an organization?
I love Gmail and though I have (too) many Email addresses, the one I use most often and rely on the most is my Gmail. Though I've never used it in an organization, it is being done and Google is really pushing this. With Google Apps, you can have an integrated email, calendar and an instant messaging service, using your own domain name. There are different editions including the Google Apps Premier Edition (for the enterprise). You can actually have up to 10GB of storage per custom email account and there is a 99.0% uptime guarantee.

Depending upon the level of support that you require, you can even purchase 24/7 support ($50 per year, per user) and extended business hour phone support as well. While Google is not really competing with Microsoft Office, this product is seen by many as a nice supplement, especially for small businesses that may not require everyone to have an email client.

To answer your question directly, yes, organizations have been using Gmail for business. Is it the right solution for your organization? I can't make that decision for you. Why not test it out in a lab with a pilot of users, taking advantage of the free trial offered by Google. Understand that Google apps (with Gmail) are not mature products like Office, and while they has incredible potential, no one is suggesting at this time that they will replace Microsoft's offerings anytime soon.

This was first published in September 2007

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