Google Apps

A short presentation on Google Apps. By Tom Worthington.


Google Apps is a service from Google for using custom domain names with several Google products. It features several known Web applications, including Gmail, Google Calendar, Talk, Page Creator, and Docs & Spreadsheets. ...

From Google Apps, Wikipedia, 10:52, 24 May 2007

Google Apps provides bundles several web based office applications, plus data storage on Google servers, for organisations. The idea is that an organisation can use this service in place of their own computer network. The servicess provided include web page creation, Calendar, email, word processing and spreadsheets. There is a free version of the service supported by advertising and for-fee versions for business.

Example: Google Apps for Tomw Communications Pty Ltd

Google Apps can operate using an existing domain name, but is simpler to set up using a new one acquired as part of the registration process. Google Apps will then configure web and email access for the domain name, providing public and staff only web pages. Accounts and email can then be established for each staff member.

Google Applications Provided

Google Apps provides storage space for email and documents, plus web based applications to create, read and edit documents and email. The web applications provided are the same ones available individually to users, but allow easier collaboration between those registered for the organisation.

The provision of Voice over IP and instant messaging in the bundle of applications provides for the creation of a virtual organisation, using on-line communications to keep the members in touch around the world.

Advantages of Google

  1. Fast and inexpensive way to set up IT services
  2. Suitable for organisations with from one to hundreds of staff
  3. Utilises Google's international network of servers
  4. Provides easy to use applications providing the essential services
  5. Requires minimal maintenance

Google Apps is very fast and inexpensive to set up: Tomw Commutations site was established in ten minutes at a cost of $US10 PA, providing services for up to 200 staff.

The service makes use of Google's servers, which have high capacity and are connected to high speed networks globally.

Google provides simplified versions of common office application. These provide the essential functions, without confusing the user with complex features. Because the software is provided by Google, there is no maintenance of the software required.

Limitations with Google Apps

  1. Requires Web access
  2. Requires Google Server
  3. Limited Office Applications
  4. In built Google Marketing

Google Apps depends on the user having a sufficiently fast Internet connection (64 kbps works well), the Google server to be operating (where the applications are hosted). There is no option (currently) for running the Google applications on a local server under the control of another organisation. The organisation is entirely dependent on Google to provide the service.

Also the Google applications are limited. The Google word processor and spreadsheets have only a subset of the features found in other office packages. The web page creation tool is limited in the page designs which can be created.

The free and low cost versions of Google Apps depend on in built Google advertising to pay for the service. This may not be appropriate for some organisations, as it will display advertisements for rival products and services. Even with the for-fee versions where advertisements are removed, some of the "Googleness" shows through at times and the association with Google with be evident. This may be a benefit for some organisations, but a disadvantage for others.

More Information

Slides for these notes are also available.

Copyright © 30 May 2007 Tom Worthington

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