NOTEPAD

Achieving Email Enlightenment

By Ashley Clarke
21 Nov

You probably got the person who made your website to give you an email address as well, but there will come a time in the life of your business when you want to upgrade and give yourself something a bit more professional and reliable. Migrating your emails to a new system can be a messy affair if you go about it the wrong way. This usually comes with expensive ongoing costs and a less than perfect service. Cloud computing has enabled more affordable and reliable email systems and it because of new cloud solutions for email, you shouldn’t be paying nearly as much as you might otherwise have done in the past.

Having worked in IT support roles myself, most of the frustrations and problems come from having to deal with unruly and inconvenient email systems. Your email program will start slowing down as your email starts to accumulate over the years. If your computer breaks, there’s significant down-time to you as you try to configure your email again on the new computer and download years of old messages again. If you need your IT support to do this, it becomes an expensive task.

The bread and butter that your IT support feeds on is made up of fixing broken things, upgrading hardware and software, putting bandaids on unstable things, making backups and supporting users. This is how IT support has worked for and this is how IT support earns money to stay in business. The rise of cloud computing has mostly addressed the problems inherent in managing servers and the associated costs passed on to you. All of those tasks that your IT support might bill you for can now be done centrally. Instead of one IT department having to perform individual tasks on each server, hoping that nothing goes wrong, cloud systems achieve these tasks en masse. These centralised tasks is what’s really impressive. You end up with a much more stable and affordable system.

Google Apps for Business is a complete cloud collaboration and communication suite of tools. Generally this would completely replace whatever you’re using to send emails, and create content such as documents and spreadsheets. Never mind that Google Apps offers an effective way of creating, collaborating and sharing documents. Never mind that Google Apps will synchronise all your office data with almost any mobile device. Forget for a moment that Google Apps offers you a method of backup all your desktop files to the cloud automatically so you’ll never have to worry about your computer crashing. It’s the ubiquitous email offered by Google that will really be a benefit to almost any business.

Having to rely on a traditional IT service company to manage your emails leaves you in a rather vulnerable position. It’s easy for the costs to rise and you’ll be locked in to a contract with no way to manage your own systems if required. Google Apps offers you a way to easily gain control of your email system and do a lot of the tasks you may have otherwise relied on your IT support to do for you. You can easily add new users, change passwords, edit account and change settings. Being able to do these things gives you the freedom to break the reliance on expensive external support.

A lot of large companies insist on having their own expensive internally managed email systems. This can work well, but the features and functionality to accommodate staff this way comes at a huge financial cost. Google Apps costs $50 per user per year. You get the same features no matter how many staff you have using the system. This is great because the cost scales consistently as your company grows. A lot of large companies are now using Google Apps, recently Woolworths have rolled it out. It’s a good feeling knowing that you’re using the same system as a company. Now is an excellent time to make the switch.

Ashley Clarke is the Director of Appscript, a Google Apps specialist company based in Brisbane.

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