Google Apps – Coming Soon to Holland-Mark

by Rob Waldeck | December 16, 2009

We are making the switch to Google Apps on Friday. By next week we’ll be floating toward the cloud. By next year we’ll be immersed in it.

In the course of discussing the transition today I realized, as a small business, how difficult managing and syncing email and calendar has been. Years ago we suffered along with Now Up To Date. Even within the walls of the organization it never really worked. I could manage my own schedule but couldn’t effectively connect with co-workers to schedule group meetings — and there was zero connectivity to my handheld or with the outside world. Then we migrated to iCal. I love Apple and the system worked for a while. But slowly we overwhelmed our server. And we never had success importing invite files from clients. It worked OK inside the biz but not with those outside.

Over the past few months we’ve been half-assing it with Google. Every employee used a personal Gmail account to create a shared business calendar. Then we linked our existing Holland-Mark email account to the personal Gmail account with the hope that we could continue using our Apple Mail browser and our current email hosting service alongside Google calendar. It worked kinda sometimes. For those of us that began to use the Google interface to grab our email (instead of Apple Mail), it worked better than kinda sometimes but not awesome always. Friday we transition to Google Apps as we seek awesome always.

Here’s awesome always defined, and why we are making the move to Google:
• Seamless email and calendar integration
• Real time, built-in, communications (chat, video)
• Access and mobility: anywhere, any device
• Secure & stable platform, no hardware or support headaches
• New features regularly — no need to wait for new releases or software upgrades

We are excited. We believe we’ll save money, save time and be far more productive. We’ll keep you posted as to what we learn along the way.

In the meantime, if your organization has made the move to Google Apps, please let us know what worked and what didn’t. Any and all advice is appreciated.

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