October 3, 2007
The battle among online apps for the hearts and minds ï¿¼ and IT departments ï¿¼ of the business world continues.Coming on the heels of Microsoft's Office Live Workspaces, Google throws its latest punch with its announcement that it is increasing the security and storage capacity of its online suite of office tools.
"The company is increasing the storage limit of the Apps' email service to 25 gigabytes and has added anti-spam tools acquired from the recently-completed purchase of security firm Postini," writes Vnunet. This means, according to InformationWeek, that IT departments that use Google Apps Premier Edition, can create and manage "corporate policies for individuals or groups. It means that organizations can add footers to every outgoing message, for example, or block messages with certain keywords from being sent out. It provides IT administrators with access to e-mail records for auditing and compliance purposes. The message recovery feature allows administrators to recover messages that have been deleted in the past 90 days." IW adds that IT administrators will also be able to "add customized spam and virus filtering on top of the protection that's already a part Gmail." What does this mean to IT managers in small and midsize businesses? You guys have a lot fewer reasons not to use Google, which will still charge $50 per user per year for its Premier Apps. As Ben Worthen writes in the Wall Street Journal, because Google's software has its roots in the consumer world, it's easier to use, something to think about the next time you have a bunch of calls from the users in your company who are having problems figuring out how to access old email messages. Worthen explains what is stopping some IT people from hopping on the Google express: "Many IT people see software from companies like Google (and Salesforce.com, Netsuite, and anyone selling business software that doesnï¿¼t require a lot of IT to install it) as a threat. A company that uses this kind of software doesnï¿¼t need IT guys who write incredible code ï¿¼ the historical measure of IT machismo ï¿¼ as much as they need IT guys who understand what exactly the business does." He notes that Google's software has even more of a stigma than the other online apps, "because it comes from a company thatï¿¼s primarily a consumer-tech company. So IT guys point to the fact that Googleï¿¼s software doesnï¿¼t do any of the things that traditional business software does. Well now it does." Are there still reasons why you won't let Google into your company's office suite? What are they? We want to know.
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