And you maintain your own email server, why again?

Google Apps host email and documents | Admin Arsenal

We’re not cooking in Grandma’s oven anymore. As such it’s important to stand on your desk (YouTube video) and look at the room from a different angle.

Are you spending IT money maintaining email servers? How many users do you have? What are your email security requirements? Are you hosting your own servers or co-locating?

Our company recently made the move from co-hosting email to an all-out move to Google Apps Premiere Edition. You keep your domain name but get the power of Google availability. We love it. You get 25GB storage per user and the email service is as good as our co-host (better actually) and we never have maintenance to worry about. The cost is $50 per user per year. That covers everything that premiere edition has to offer, including their word processor, spreadsheet, and presentation apps. Google Apps works well with mobile computing too.

One valid concern is security, and Google hasn’t left this to chance. You have the option of using Postini for security and archival.

We weren’t too sure about using Google’s word processor, but it turned out to be a better collaboration tool than 37 Signals Writeboards. The savings from canceling our basecamp account more than covered the annual cost of the Google Apps. What really sold us was the Firefox tool for creating and editing Google Apps docs offline (Google Gears).

We were surprised at how easy Google Apps was to setup. Just taking a couple of hours to familiarize yourself with the look ‘n feel was valuable. Google provides a 30 day trial and we used it for about two weeks before we were sold.

If you need to save money, headache, or regular (time-consuming) maintenance, I suggest taking a hard look at Google Apps Premiere Edition. You may be surprised at which companies have made the switch.