Why Software as a Service and Why Google Apps?

What are the benefits of Software as a Service (SaaS)?

User benefits include: 
IT user benefits include: 
Business benefits include: 

How much money can I save with Google Apps?

Most companies have a cost model for provisioning email and productivity applications to employees - usually somewhere between $300 and $1000 per employee. 

Why Gmail?

Gmail has over 10 million business users and growing.  With Gmail, your inbox has substantial storage to minimize the need to delete email. Furthermore, there's powerful Google search functionality and email/IM threading. Instant messaging is embedded in Gmail so you can respond to an email in real-time. Also, your Gmail is available from any computer so you're no longer limited to answering email at your desk. Gmail is simple to use, but not simplistic in its functionality, which means less time required for user training.  You can also use Gmail offline after enabling the offline feature in Gmail Labs.

Why Google Calendar?

With Google Calendar, you can view the calendars of co-workers and colleagues from one online calendar. Their appointments are viewable right next to yours which streamlines event planning. Google Calendar also can be integrated with other components of Google Apps. You can communicate, share and collaborate via Gmail, Talk and Calendar to reduce duplicate work and improve output efficiency. Additionally, you decide who can see your calendar details. 

Why Google Talk?

Google Talk enables you to communicate more effectively and efficiently using text chat, video chat, and audio chat. You can see your contacts' presence and respond to an email via chat; this allows you to truly have real-time communication and increase the productivity of you and your work force. Because it is integrated with Gmail, a client provider is not required. Also, the chronological email/IM discussion thread enables you to comprehend the full conversation history and context.

Why Google Docs?

Google Docs improves the quality of output by enabling collaboration and discussion of the document simultaneously-- multiple people in multiple locations can view, discuss, and edit the same document from anywhere at any time. It also reduces duplicate work and confusing document tracking and version control issues while simultaneously eliminating the concern of exceeding disk space and inbox quotas with the standard back and forth emailing procedure. Furthermore, Google Docs has secure sharing. Each Google Doc requires a login so you don't have to worry about information getting into the wrong hands.  All of your Docs are always available online within the Doclist.  You are no longer restricted by access to your My Documents folder.

Why Google Video?

Video sharing makes important communications like internal trainings and corporate announcements more personal, engaging and effective. Employees can securely share videos with select coworkers or everyone at the company without making confidential information public. Google securely hosts and streams your videos, so employees don't need to share videos over email, or burden IT for a video solution. Employees can share videos instantly. Viewing and annotating doesn't require any special software, just a standard browser.

Why Google Sites?

Businesses use Google Sites to make useful information accessible. Employees can create an intranet or let project teams build sites to capture and share departmental knowledge. File versioning is done automatically, so it's easy for people to make updates and get the latest version. Supported formats include .doc, .xls, .csv, .ppt, .txt, .pdf and more. Users can display Google Documents, Spreadsheets, Presentations, YouTube videos, Picasa slideshows and gadgets without any programming skills. Google search technology is built-in, so employees can find useful company information as easily as searching the Internet. No coding or system expertise is required to update pages or create new internal sites, so anyone can add to shared knowledge.  All of this is hosted by Google allowing users to drive innovation without the concern of justifying hardware and administration expenses.


Businesses Using Google Apps


How many businesses use Google Apps?

We launched Google Apps for Business in February of 2007 and now (11/2008) have more than 1 million businesses with over 10 million active users on Apps, while signing up 3,000 businesses per day. The infrastructure is mature, having been available since April of 2004 when Gmail was launched. Large companies such as Genentech are using Google Apps, and Google uses Google Apps for its own 20,000 employees. Businesses understand that software-as-a-service (SaaS) is the future and they realize they need to start heading down that path.

Are there any particular industries where Google Apps makes more sense?

Google Apps provides fundamental communication and collaboration capabilities that are essential to every business user. Having said that, we're seeing rapid adoption in industries with mobile workforces, regionally disparate teams separated by timezones and great distances, and companies where IT is challenged with scaling at the speed required by its users.  Specific industries include retail, real estate, manufacturing, technology and media.

Google Apps Compatibility and Coexistence


Is Google Apps compatible with Microsoft products?


Google Docs: Yes, Docs is compatible with Microsoft Office file formats and many other standards such as PDF, OpenOffice, and ODF. Standard Microsoft file formats are supported for import/export from and to all these popular formats. Our products are designed to open standards and are compatible with many other products.  Gmail also allows you to read your Microsoft Word, Microsoft PowerPoint, and PDF documents directly from your inbox -- no additional software required.

Messaging and Collaboration: Google Apps are built on an open and extensible platform with extensibility and integration in mind. Google's open API standard, Gdata, provides easy and secure programmatic access to data within applications such as Google Docs, Google Calendar, Gmail, etc. In addition, Google's popular Gadget development platform is ideal for creating enterprise mashups and workflow integrations to serve business needs in a fraction of the time and cost of traditional development environments (e.g., .NET, SOAP). Over 50,000 gadgets have been developed on this platform, many of them are enterprise specific applications such as CRM and ERP integrations as well as workflow management. 

Can you migrate all my mail and calendar events from MSFT Exchange and/or Lotus Notes?

Yes. Google Apps for Business has a set of migration utilities and APIs to pull data from your existing systems and migrate that data to Google Apps. In addition, Google has a growing number of partners who specialize in Google Apps roll out, system migration, implementation and co-existence. 

When will Google Apps support all the features of Microsoft Office/Exchange?

It's not our intention to try to match those products feature for feature. Our goal is to create a better overall experience and to enable new capabilities based on the unique nature of the Web. While there will always be some level of user uncertainty in moving from last-generation products, we believe that the user experience will be exceptionally strong overall.  Additionally, it is likely that pockets of users within an organization such as Finance or Legal may choose to keep Office but we believe Apps meets the needs of a vast majority of users.

Google Apps Usability


What about offline capability?

We recognize that offline capabilities are still critical in today's business world. Although broadband connectivity is becoming more ubiquitous, there are still scenarios where users need to be offline (e.g., airplanes). Google has released Google Gears, an industry standard and open-source toolkit to offline-enable Web 2.0, browser-based applications. Google's applications are based on open, industry standards. Gmail can be used offline after enabling the feature in Gmail Labs, as well as in popular client applications such as Outlook, Thunderbird, and Mac Mail through the use of POP3 or IMAP. Similarly, Google Calendar is available offline in any client application that supports the standard iCal format (e.g., Outlook, iCal, etc.). Google Docs supports export to and import from all popular desktop file formats including Word, Excel, PowerPoint, PDF, HTML, OpenOffice, CSV, TXT, and many more. 

If I decide to stop using Google Apps, can I get my data back?

Yes our solution has open APIs to all applications and you can get email, calendars, and documents back in other industry formats (IMAP, iCal, MS Office) for migration purposes. 


Google Apps: Data Security and Reliability


Do I get dedicated servers?

No. Google operates what is called a "multi-tenant" environment. While there is logical separation between users and corporations, storage and compute power are shared across a vast computing array. This is at the heart of Google's architecture and it's what provides the scalability, reliability, and cost effectiveness for which Google is known.

What are security advantages to Software-as-a-service?

With traditional software, employees save data to insecure USB drives, discs and laptops for easy access. With Google Apps, because employees can access information securely from anywhere, they're less likely to save sensitive data locally. And with Google Apps' 99.9% uptime guarantee, you can be confident that employees will have access whenever they need it. The 99.9% uptime SLA for Google Apps is offered to organizations using Google Apps for Business, as described in the Google Apps for Business Terms of Service and covers the full range of application services as specified there.

Why is Google Apps secure? 

Google operates one of the largest networks of distributed data centers in the world, and we go to great lengths to protect the data and intellectual property on these servers. These facilities are protected around the clock and we have a dedicated security operations team which focuses specifically on maintaining the security of our environment. The controls, processes and policies that protect these data have successfully completed a SAS 70 Type II audit. There are three main components to our security practices: 
  • People – Google employs a full-time information security team including some of the world’s foremost experts in information, application, and network security. This team is responsible for the company’s perimeter defense systems, security review processes, and customized security infrastructure, as well as for developing, documenting, and implementing Google’s security policies and standards.
  • Process – Security is part of the Google DNA. Each application is built from the ground up with security in mind. Google applications go through multiple security reviews as part of the Secure Code development process. The application development environment is closely restricted and carefully monitored to maximize security. External security audits are also regularly conducted to provide additional assurance.
  • Technology – Google Apps data is fractured and obfuscated across multiple servers and disks, making it human-unreadable. Data is replicated in multiple data centers for redundancy and consistent availability. To reduce exploit risks, each Google server is custom-built with only the necessary software components, and the homogeneous server architecture enables rapid updates and configuration changes across the entire network when necessary.
We rely on Google Apps ourselves.  We trust our own data to the products available to you. Google employees use Gmail for all corporate email, Google Calendar to schedule all meetings and events, and Google Talk to instant message among project teams. We use Google Docs for sensitive content like product design specs, and Google Sites to manage team projects. 

Who owns the data in Google Docs?

You retain copyright and any other rights you already hold in content which you submit, post or display. As stated in our terms of service, we don't claim ownership or control over your content in Google Docs. For documents you expressly choose to share with others, we have the proper license to display those documents to the selected users and format documents properly for different displays.