Only a three short months ago I was a happy user of Google Apps for Business at a company which shall remain nameless. Unfortunately, many (if not all) good things must come to an end, and we went through a transition to Microsoft Exchange. Needless to say, this left some scars that are yet to heal!
These days, more and more businesses are choosing to rely on outside-hosted email services rather than their own internal email systems. The reasons for doing this can be varied, but it usually boils down to an effort to cut costs, saving the business money as well as reducing the need for the internal support of email service by employees or management.
The selection of outside email providers often boils down to a choice between two leaders in the field: Google Gmail, or the hosted version of Microsoft Exchange.
The first and most undeniable “plus” that Google Gmail has over Microsoft Exchange is cost. While Microsoft Exchange costs an average of about $140 per year per user, Gmail costs only about $50 per year per user. That’s a savings of about $90 per person for Gmail users. Multiply that by the size of your staff, and the cost savings escalate exponentially. Cost is definitely a big motivator in choosing Gmail over Microsoft Exchange.
Another thing to consider is the innovation factor. Google is well known for being an almost obsessively innovative company. They project a vibe and ethos of always wanting to be first, always wanting to be the best, and pushing the envelope of what is possible technologically. For example, in 2011, Google added over 40 brand new, innovative features to its Premier Gmail product. This was in addition to 45 new updates added to the Docs and Sites apps. By comparison, hosted Microsoft Exchange had three year lapse in enhancements to its platform. Now that there have finally been upgrades to hosted Exchange, Microsoft users are scrambling to update their mail systems.
One argument that Microsoft Exchange advocates put forward is that Google Gmail simply does not have as many features as Exchange. They also claim that Gmail is lacking in easy ways of getting support from Google. They also point out Gmail is not usable on a full range of mobile devices.
However, these claims turn out to be little more than outdated myths; perhaps they were true at one time, but no longer. A support phone number for Gmail and other Google products is available by simply clicking the “Support” tab in the Google Apps control panel. These days, Google’s email, Contacts and Calendar can be easily synced with native or easily-installed apps on the vast majority of the smartphones that are available today.
As far as features go, Gmail is steadily gaining on Microsoft Exchange all of the time, rolling out new and innovative add-ons on a regular basis. Outside companies have also created apps that can backup Gmail email accounts, further adding to security and peace of mind.
Innovation, ease of use, minimal cost and quality support all add up to making Google Gmail the smart choice for your business. Combining it with a Gmail backup app will ensure that your data is safe and protected, helping your business to get the very most out of its email service.