The advent of the Cloud has freed us up from complex, self managed / hosted email solutions.
Here, we pay our respects to our old mail client: Outlook, and welcome with open arms Gmail for Business, which has removed the need for back-ups, lost folders, difficult archiving procedures and nominal mailbox sizes. (It’s also given our CEO the freedom to sleep better at night!)
We farewell Outlook, while we welcome Gmail for Business
Like many companies, large and small, since we opened the doors to business in 2002, IRM had used Microsoft Exchange on our own SBS server, with Outlook as a mail client. To help escape from the office, there was a web browser version of Outlook, or we could access mailboxes via the VPN.
We suffered all the usual limitations of this environment. Central control of mailboxes, security, file size limitations, archived emails loitering around on individual desktop / C drives in obscure folders, complex backup processes, and heavy demand on IT support people to keep it all running.
The concept of moving email to the cloud meant that we would need to be happy to work in an always connected world, and deal with the functionality supported by web browsers for mail. The outlook die-hards were difficult to persuade.
We looked at cloud solutions, particularly Gmail for Business and Microsoft Exchange 365. After careful consideration, we decided that the more open world of Google and Gmail was better for our business.
Gmail for Business offers small companies virtually the same control over their company email accounts as Microsoft Exchange. When running on Chrome as the browser, it offers a mail experience which has almost all the functionality of Outlook, and in some areas, a better set of features.
Yes there are limits – for example a Gmail mailbox can’t exceed a paltry 30 Gb. Well, for now anyway, but no doubt later for more money this can change.
On the upside, we’ve removed the need for backups, don’t require software upgrades, and don’t need to worry about lost archived folders. Gmail for Business works everywhere without different interfaces. No IT support people. No in-house servers and expensive Microsoft server software.
And in the future – not very far away – we will integrate with more cloud applications right there through Chrome. We’ve already implemented Collabspot to integrate our Gmail accounts with Sugar CRM, and soon we will be integrating with our Xero accounting system. It’s a brave new world out there, and we’re glad to be part of it!