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CIO - What is Google Apps and how does it work?
Google Apps is a suite of cloud-based productivity applications that you can access from any computer with an Internet connection, at any time. The data and the applications themselves are run from Google's data centers. Several versions of Google Apps are available: free, standard, education, non-profits and government (see below for more information).
Which tools are included are included in Google Apps and what do they do?
The Google Apps Suite includes six tools.
-Gmail is Google's e-mail platform, and allows you 25GB of storage. (For more, read: Google Docs Quick Tip: Uploads and Storage Basics.)
-Google Calendar, an agenda management tool, lets you schedule and share online calendars, and synchs to your mobile device. (Also see: Gmail and Calendar: How to do cool stuff)
-Google Docs is a group of tools that lets you create documents, spreadsheets, drawings and presentations.
-Google Groups are user-created groups where you can generate and manage mailing lists, enable content sharing and create searchable archives.
-Google Sites is a tool that creates webpages for intranets and team-managed sites. These webpages are secure and coding-free.
-Google Video is a private, secure hosted video sharing tool.
[Take a look at "5 Things You Didn't Know You Could Do With Google Apps"--a look at some of Google Apps' coolest hidden features.]
How is Google Apps different from Gmail tools?
If you have a free Gmail account, you're probably familiar with many of the tools listed above. The Google Apps Premier Edition, however, has a few differences.
1. Because Google Apps is for your business, you will sign up with your own company domain instead of the firstname.lastname@example.org address. There is an IT administrative control panel built into Google Apps for your business where an IT admin can manage and control the user accounts across your domain.
2. A few business-oriented features are available only to Premier Edition customers. These include increased access controls so your company is in charge of how your information is shared outside of your domain; increased Gmail thresholds and improved mailing list capabilities; higher storage quotas; scheduling of conference rooms and other shared resources in your office through Google Calendar; and the ability to share internal videos with your company.
Which Google Apps edition is right for me?
Google Apps Premier Edition is the version intended for businesses. With the Premier Edition, businesses have:
-A 30-day free trial period
-A 99.9% uptime guarantee as a service level agreement
-Enhanced technical support through expedited e-mail and 24/7 phone assistance for critical issues
-Advanced spam and virus filtering beyond what you see in standard Gmail filtering
-Outgoing message policy enforcement
-Message archiving and compliance
-Integration APIs so you can integrate Google Apps with your existing IT environment
-Professional service partners for deployments and custom solutions.