Web-based email and productivity solutions such as Gmail and Google Apps have become a welcome option for companies, especially small businesses, who can easily ramp up with email and communications with no upfront cost. However, businesses may find that additional business capabilities are not often easy to add to these systems. While not as robust and feature rich as some of the support and service solutions designed for systems such as Microsoft Exchange, Shared Inbox for Gmail does provide a good base system for organizations to handle support questions and other customer communications and make sure that these requests are assigned to proper staff and addressed in a timely manner.
For many SMBs, a big enterprise email program like Microsoft Exchange is overkill. That's why many have turned to Google Apps for business applications and specifically to Gmail as their main email and communications tool. Yet, while Google Gmail is an effective tool for many types of common email tasks, there are a lot of other business tasks it doesn't do, such as help desk and service tickets and some forms of business collaboration. Third-party developers are stepping up to fill the void with add-ons and modules. One useful tool is for Google Apps is Shared Inbox for Gmail, which adds improved help desk and customer support ticket features to Gmail.