As anyone who reads this blog already knows, I’m a big proponent of using Google Apps to run your small business. Every business needs their core business applications like Email, Calendars, Documents, Contact Management and of course phones. There is no other suite of tools out there that are as powerful, cost effective and beneficial to your business than Google Apps. That being said, the majority of businesses out there still use Microsoft products (Outlook, Word, Excel, etc…). The primary reason being of course that they are the incumbent. People are just used to working with these products and simply don’t know there is another option out there.
Well, whether you know of Google Apps or not, I’m here to give you the top 10 reasons why you should ditch Microsoft and move to Google today.
Bryan’s Top 10 Reason’s to Use Google Apps instead of Microsoft
- No Hardware to Install – If you have a computer with a web browser, you have everything you need to deploy Google Apps for your business. You won’t need any additional hardware or software of any kind. No expensive servers, no SQL database licenses, no IT guy to install everything on your domain and make it all work together.
- No Large Capital Investment – Because the Google Apps suite is primarily web based, everything runs in “the cloud”. That means everything is delivered to you over the internet. Because you don’t need expensive hardware or software to run Google Apps, you don’t need to spend the money associated with those things. In fact, setup is free if you are technically savvy and want to do it yourself. Or you can hire someone like me to get you up and running for as little as $249.
- No IT Staff to hire & Manage – Again, everything is hosted remotely in the cloud so there is no need to hire a full time IT person to run everything for you. You can have all of the benefits of the tools and systems you need to run your business, without needing an in house person to support it all. Talk about saving money!
- Mobile Device Integration – Ever wanted to sync your email with your blackberry or iPhone? Yes, it definitely can be done and it gets easier every day. However, with Google Apps it “Just works” right out of the box. If you have an iPhone or Blackberry, its as easy as downloading a free app and signing in to your account. Email & calendars just sync. No need to setup a separate blackberry server or similar. If you have an Android powered phone like a Droid, an Incredible or any other number of Android phones, it is even easier. The Android operating system is designed from the ground up to work with Google Apps. The integration is simply amazing and easier than you could imagine. When I recently purchased my Droid2, I had all of my Google accounts (contacts, emails, calendar, etc…) synced to my phone in under 5 minutes. That isn’t an exaggeration.
- Anytime, Anywhere Access – Unlike Microsoft, Google Apps is web based and can work anywhere with an internet connection. Including your phone that we covered in number 4 above. Over at aunt Mae’s house and need to update that sales spreadsheet that is due in 30 minutes? No problem. Hop on her computer, make the necessary adjustments and email it out with time to spare. No more leaving prematurely just so you can get home to your computer. And you thought you were going to have to skip dessert!
- Google Gears – Don’t like the idea of always needing an internet connection to do work? Maybe you travel a lot and need to use your applications while on the plane? No problem at all. Google Gears is a small app you install on your computer that allows you to use all of the Google Apps in offline mode! Create and reply to emails. Setup new appointments with invitations to others. Create documents or modify spreadsheets. Google will save all the information on your local computer and sync everything back up once it has an internet connection again. Sweet!
- Google Voice – In my opinion, this tool in itself is enough reason to ditch Microsoft and never look back. Google Voice has got to be one of the coolest inventions in the past 5 years. For more details on why I LOVE Google Voice, see my last blog post on the subject. In short, Google Voice gives you a phone number that you can advertise for your business. When someone dials that phone number, it will ring any number of phones you have setup with it. Your cell phone, home phone, business phone, or even cabin phone will all ring simultaneously when someone calls and route the call to whatever phone you pickup first. That is only scratching the surface of what it can do for your business. Again, check out this blog post for all the awesome details.
- A Focus on Collaboration – All of the Google Apps tools have a huge focus on Collaboration among teams. The future of the workplace will be location independent employees working from home offices or different locations. The tools Google provides really help to enable this. For example, instead of creating a Microsoft Word document, emailing it to your team, asking for revisions and then receiving all those separate documents back, Google takes a different approach. With Google Docs, you create your document and invite colleagues to collaborate in real time. You can even chat with collaborators online while working on the document together. Watch as they change text or add to it. Don’t like what they changed? Easily revert back to a previous version or compare versions to decide which one you want to go with. You can even publish the document as a web page when you are done, or convert it to a Word or PDF file for emailing to a client. Check out this handy little video for a simple explanation of how it works.
- Google Apps Marketplace – Of course most companies have a need for industry or job specific software platforms in addition to their core apps. Most companies have some sort of CRM (Customer Relationship Management) or Invoicing & Billing Application they use. Others also need Project Management or Inventory Management type applications. With Google Apps, there is an entire marketplace filled with thousands of applications just like these (and many more)! Every specialty application you find on the marketplace specifically integrates with Google Apps. This means that if you get a new CRM tool, your contacts might automatically sync with your contacts inside of Google. At the same time, your CRM integrates with your accounting & invoicing application so all customer interactions are centralized. The Apps Marketplace is truly awesome and will only continue to grow and add more and more value to your Google Apps service.
- Android Operating System – Last and certainly not least is the Android Operating system. The Android OS is a completely open source Operating System that is optimized to work on mobile devices in addition to your web browser. Open standards are the future of the internet and indeed our society as a whole. Companies that are choosing to keep closed systems are increasingly loosing the foothold they once had. Because the Android OS is open, there are thousands upon thousands of individuals and companies investing their resources in the use of this platform. As your business grows, you want to make sure you are positioned to take advantage of all that has to offer. Stick with Microsoft and you’ll fall farther and farther behind.
All in all, Google is hands down the easiest, cheapest AND most powerful suite of Core Business Applications on the market. There simply isn’t a better choice. That being said, if you have a different opinion or know something I don’t, please feel free to leave a comment below. I’m always open to learn new things!
If you liked this article, please use the links below to share on Facebook, Twitter or Stumble Upon. It really means a lot to me. Thanks so much. – Bryan