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The Google Apps Option for Small Business

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By Gina Smith, Freelance Technology Writer

A growing number of small businesses, universities and even large corporations are choosing to implement Google Apps for Business (Google Apps) into their IT mix. In fact, some estimates indicate over 5 million businesses have now implemented Google’s innovative, cloud-based technology. There are significant advantages to using Google Apps.

A Complete Suite: Google Apps offer a compatible and complete suite of office applications. Gmail (e-mail), Docs (create, share and edit/compose documents with others), Sheets (spreadsheet), Slides (presentation), Calendar, Talk (chat and video chat) Drive (cloud storage) and Picasa (photo storage and sharing) are among Google’s advanced tools designed for business productivity. Docs, Sheets and Slides even convert into Microsoft Office formats.

Collaboration: Now, your Vice President in Los Angeles, Marketing Consultant in Orlando and Sales Manager in New York can all work together on that big proposal from the comfort of their own offices. Google Apps allow everyone to write and edit together “live” in the cloud.

Easy Access and Backup: Google Apps allow for easy access, sharing and editing of documents, presentations and information. And, because editing and revisions are composed in “real time”, your work is instantly backed up and stored in the cloud (more specifically, in Google Drive). You can also upload new documents, files and projects for you (and anyone you give sharing permissions to) to access.

Chrome: Google’s Chrome browser is one of the most highly rated, fastest browsers currently available. Additionally, rather than outfitting your staff with expensive laptops, you now can consider the less expensive Chromebook option. Chromebooks boot up almost instantly and have a user interface designed specifically and optimized for Google Apps.

Google Apps is easy to manage and designed with the user in mind. It can be integrated with all of your mobile devices, including phones and tablets. Apple users sometimes shy away from Google Apps because they fear it will not integrate. However, I have found no compatibility issues with my Apple products.

Although Google Apps stores your information in the cloud, some IT experts recommend considering additional backup, “just in case”. There are companies such as spanning.com which offer qualified cloud backup and restoration services. If you plan to go this route, be sure to use a provider which specifically specializes in the backup and restoration Google Apps.

Not only is Google Apps easy to use and manage, but many companies even report an impressive cost-savings after implementing Google Apps. Don’t be afraid to log on to the Google Apps for Business website and take advantage of the free trial.

Gina Smith writes freelance articles for magazines, online outlets and publications. Smith covers the latest topics in the business, golf, tourism, technology and entertainment industries.