If you're like many schools, your email system is being strained by constant use. Email has become an essential tool in our lives, and education is no exception. Google apps offers a lot of benefits to school, with only a few drawbacks to consider. Let's examine Google Apps and how it might fit into your organization.
What is Google Apps?
Google apps is a suite of online applications. It's a way for you to have gmail, google calendar, contacts, docs and more under your domain name. You keep the same email addresses, and get the familiar gmail interface you're used to.
You'll have all of the features of google's top-notch applications under your domain name, totally free. You can stop subscribing to a spam filtering service, maintaining a email server (or paying someone else to), and possibly support many more users and offer many features you simply couldn't afford before.
Everything has to have a downside, right? The two biggest downsides are giving Google access to your email and a slight lack of control.
There are serious concerns with giving Google total access to your organization's email. And while Google's moto is to "do no evil" and they have been fairly successful at living up to that moto. But legal issues exist whenever you outsource email. Personally, we'd rather have one of the biggest companies in the world handling our email than a mom and pop shop down the street. Which is more likely to be secure and protect our data?
Lack of control
The other issue most heard is that you're now under Google's control. While this is true whenever you outsource something, people get very worked up when email goes down when its out of your control. Google has had a few notable outages lately, but it's hard to find another email provider that has a better record of uptime than gmail.
Google Apps is a great solution for most schools. Look for posts coming soon on the successfully migrating to Google Apps!