Google is adding round-the-clock telephone support for business subscribers of its Google Apps service, and is making a strong pitch for Microsoft’s cloud customers. Speaking at the Google Atmosphere conference, Google Enterprise Vice President Amit Singh said that the company was already outperforming its 99.9 per cent uptime …
The less money in the pockets of M$, the better.
LOL - for what it's worth
Two years ago we had a Google paid Apps account - despite a major problem causing thousands of customers to need to contact us over the course of a week, Google told us that our account had hit outgoing mail limits, and so we couldn't reply to the incoming mails (yes, replies, not new mails!)
Google couldn't care less about the SME.
Thats why I won't move our Email to the cloud anytime soon.
I'm could be accused of being out of date, or trying to drag my feet.. its not the case, its just there is no accountability with things like Google Apps. I'm not convinced that it is mature enough, If one is to have responsibility for something, then its needs to be accountable them - I don't see that with Google Apps.
Gimp - Cause once you sign the contract, prepare to be shafted!
Google just are not a 'proper' software house. OK, you can argue MS is not either, but Google bugger about with things and don't bother fixing stuff to an even greater degree. Their attitude seems to follow that of their main (and best) service - offer searching for 'free' and as it is not paid for, users just take it or leave it. Except Apps are paid for.
For example, we do software and found to our irritation we could not send emails with a ZIP'd .exe due to 'security concerns' but even as admin of our app suite, we can do bugger all about it. The reply from Google help was basically 'post it to a forum and someone might do something about it'. OK that can be worked around by renaming the .zip file but that is not the point of this rant.
Then you get the problem of lack of control of the user's experience - Google will push out changes whether you want it or not. Sometimes you get a preview period, but eventually you users have to change and in a big company with lots of staff that are not geeks, it is a pain in the arse to be forced in to extra support/training.
Finally you get to the overall system, and find a lack of planning such as they don't properly support multiple accounts so you can have users with personal gmail accounts and company accounts logged in together. Sure, most apps now offer account switching but not in a consistent or very efficient manner.
Now I know that is a questionable practice to allow user email on a corporate system, but even for our developers/testers it is a pain.
Elsewhere in our organisation they are deploying MS' alternative, it is not going terribly well either I believe...
I am open about the idea of hosted services but we are still far from in a stable situation where the needs of stability, security, and data sovereignty have been satisfactorily addressed.
Google apps .. one year in
We use Google Apps and I heartily agree with the above post. My impression of Google is that it still has a 'develop in a garage' attitude .. no roadmaps, no problem management and features are spat out if they are sexy and don't necessarily seem to be in response to customer request.
The statement 'post your problems on a forum' is so true .. and so infuriating. Getting help is also a problem. You find you can't do something. You search the forums; you see lots of replies along the lines of "No it can't do that". You then find that the feature has been implemented but that the forums haven't been cleaned out. That is what I mean by lack of problem management.
Google Docs is nice in very small doses. And I mean 'small'. I created a 50 page document with tables on each page. It ran like a dog and then crashed. I couldn't recover it. Google doesn't keep back copies. Scrap several days work. To me the lack of archive recovery and scaleability is a major issue, which is why I don't use Google Docs for anything serious. In a way this is a pity, because the collaborative support is pretty good, allowing a number of people to contribute to a document online.
Google sites is not too bad but occasionally tries too hard. For example, we have legacy Lotus Notes. To point to an old notes document you use a URL prefaced by 'notes://'. Google helpfully assumes this is wrong and changes it. You can't override it. Post something on the forum and hope they get round to it
In short, Google Apps is Googles play area, but it is not enterprise ready and neither is the company.
(AC cause .. well someone senior in my company obviously decided Google was a good idea)