Trying to find an integrated system that can link email and apps for businesses are surprisingly hard to come by. There are few systems out offer a wide range of options to a variety of different businesses in lots of different fields, but Google seem to have adapted a range of apps and email to make them suitable for business instead of p
Taking Gmail to the office
The Gmail for business app offers users a customised email address so instead of emails appear from johnFisheries@gmail.com they come from email@example.com. You can use integrated calendar functions as well as experience a 99.9% guaranteed uptime with more powerful search capabilities. Though the most valuable aspect of the Gmail service is the customised email address, as it not only presents a more professional image to potential customers but helps to build up a sense of trust between you and your clientele. You can also create company mailing lists that can be used such as firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com.
Using the Cloud of business
Sending documents between different parties and having to merge documents when edits are made by those collaborating is something that can take up unnecessary time that you need to spend on other aspects of your business, with the Google Drive cloud app, you can save time by sharing files through drive that are automatically synced, so if someone updates a shared spreadsheet in google drive, it updates for everyone it’s shared with in realtime.
You can also access your files from any device you have authorised meaning you can work when taking transport between meetings, or carry on working if you have problems with your laptop or one of your devices. There is also the option of syncing some or all of the files on your computer with Google Drive.
Hangouts to Video Meeting Forum
When it comes to video conferencing, technology has moved on to make them much more accessible and easier to conduct, with Google Hangouts, you can no video conference on your phone, tablet or laptop using the app and have up to 15 people in on a video or voice call.
The hangouts app for business also comes with screen share so that you can conduct a presentation during the call, share what you are working on, or use Google Slides to present different ideas you have had.
The integrated Google Calendar app lets you set up a calendar that can be shared with others or have elements kept private. It means that you can have a community calendar that can be updated by any one of your users but all the details show up in your personal calendar, but your private appointments and events don’t appear on theirs.
Google Docs and other Apps
There are four different categories of apps that are included in the Google Apps for work. These are Communicate, Store, Collaborate and Manage.
The Communicate apps included Gmail, hangouts, calendar and Google+, the Store app is Google Drive, the Collaborate Apps are Google Docs, Google Sheets, Google Forms, Google Slides and Google Sites and the Manage Apps are Admin and Vault.
Big Business that uses Google Apps and Email
There are over 5 million different businesses in a wide range of fields that have opted to use Google’s Business packages to help run their businesses including Ocado, Whirpool, bluezoo, EAT and hummus bros.
Trial and Charges
You can try Google Apps for business free for 30 days to see whether what they have to offer is the right solution for you. The 30 day free trial doesn’t need any credit card details to take advantage of or any additional software to be downloaded.
There are two different plans that are offered, the standard plan at £3.30 a month of £33 a year or the professional package that costs £6.60 a month of £79 a year. The plans are charged per user, so if you have ten users in your business then it will cost £33 a month of £330 a year for the standard package, with tax being payable on top of each charge.
The two different plans come with two different ways to pay that make it much more flexible for businesses to use. If you are a small business that takes on lots of temporary staff then you will have different user needs to a big business which offers long term contracts.
The flexible price plan charges on a monthly basis and in the long run it is much more expensive than the annual package, however, with the flexible package you can cancel at any time and will only be charged for the month that you are using the services for, unlike the annual package where you are locked in for a year. You can also add and delete users very easily with the flexible package, whereas with the annual package you can add users very easily, but it’s harder to delete users and there is a charge.
Whichever package that you choose, you will be billed on a monthly basis, at the start of each calendar month. Payments can be made by credit card, although some debit cards are accepted depending on the debit card type and the location of the customer. There is an option of prepaying for services by adding funds to your Google account which the charges can be taken from, but you will need to change your settings to allow for it.
There are no ads on the apps and email when you start using Google Apps for business. You can also create, edit and store files on your phone, tablet, laptop or desktop so that you can make your business work more efficiently. The apps are also suitable for iOS as well as Android users. You can also user the apps offline, such as crafting emails and updating documents on drive that will automatically update when you reconnect to the internet.
Though there are some great apps offered by Google Apps for business, there are features that they don’t offer such as CrashPlan, a complete system backup should your laptop or devices be lost or stolen, or tailored apps that are created to help businesses in niche markets. The limits of the standard package mean that any growing business will need to buy the professional package and the costs of this can quickly add up, making it a very expensive integrated system solution.