run hard, or go home
run hard, or go home

Google Apps – Gmail and the real value chain.

As I was setting up my own domain, my hosting provider (DreamHost — they are awesome!), offered something that I was not aware about.   I could use Google to manage my email.  Really?

Having been a trusted user of Gmail when it came out years ago, I was ecstatic at the notion.  But to run it from my own domain?  Yep.  You can have and have it managed through Google using Google Apps.

Corporate IT executives I believe are missing a huge opportunity to outsource their entire email infrastructure.

Email has become one of the most vital pieces of an organizations capabilities.  If you had a choice, why would you:

1.  Buy your own hardware:  lots of money spent on equipment that depreciates like a car the minute you buy it.  

2.  Pay staff to support it.  Resources to manage your email infrastructure are going to be sizable.  A single engineer with the necessary system administrative background is going to be around $75K for a mid-level resource.

3.  Risk a disaster and recovery nightmare.  Email servers routinely die and run into corruption issues with their information on the disk drive.

These hardware failures and recovery sessions turn into nail-biting, high intensity adrenaline jumps for the tech professionals having to manage the experience.  God forbid you lose the CEO or President’s mailbox.  Keep your resume updated.

Using Gmail/Google Apps you get:

1.  System Stability

2.  Universal Access: if you have an internet connection – you can get your email.  Think about that disaster recovery plan.

3.  Massive Storage – for free!  7 GB of disk storage for email; 25 GB for $50/user.  Think about all the political nightmares avoided by being able to successfully sustain an almost limitless amount of storage for a given user.

4.  Fast Search Capabilities. Looking for an old email in exchange can take forever if you are performing a search across your entire mailbox.  

5.  Google Ads: timely placed information from vendors based upon the subject of your email.

I recently found a logo design company,, because I was sending an email about that type of subject to a colleague.  You could never dream of that kind of functionality through exchange.

Clearly this is the way to go for the small firm but I believe that even the larger enterprises are missing out on a key cost containment strategy.  The premier edition of the service provides additional features which address security and integration issues that would normally prevent you from making such a decision. The capabilities are there for a clearly defined annual subscription price per-user.  So what are you waiting for?

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