Google is firing up a Google Apps campaign to try to convince small and medium-sized businesses in four metropolitan areas (New York, San Francisco, Boston, and Chicago) to "go Google." They've set up a special site called "Apps At Work" for the campaign.
Most people have used Gmail so they have an idea of what Google Apps is all about (which is great for migrations). Google Apps offers a clean, Web version of what Microsoft Exchange and Lotus Notes offer but at a fraction of the cost. For those who love Outlook, Google has made Apps look like an Exchange Server behind the scenes so that users can stick with Outlook until they become comfortable with the web interface.
Google expands that offering to allow free Google Docs, Google Video, and Google Sites to the offering. New services come out all the time and features are added a few times/week. Google puts it like this:
The IT people at these companies and organizations don't waste time or money buying, installing or managing email servers. They focus on the smart, innovative stuff they want to work on, because they never have to bother with expensive and painful software upgrades, hardware compatibility issues or managing data centers. They have left many IT frustrations and costs behind and moved on to something better.
The gist is that businesses shouldn't have to spend money on maintaining email servers, backups to email servers and archives. That's a competitive advantage unless your competitors have moved to Google Apps and no longer pay for or worry about those things as well.
In short, outsource a large chuck of your IT to the cloud.
They've got a billboard placed on thoroughfares for the campaign that will change every day for a month. The campaign follows an anonymous IT guy's journey to Google Apps.
It is great that Google is getting the word out. If people can get over trusting their corporate data to the cloud, they'll see cost savings that are hard to pass up.
This story, "Why You Should Consider 'Going Google'" was originally published by Computerworld.