Chapter 10. Putting Google Apps to Work

So far, you’ve read about individual Google programs, like Docs, Gmail, and Calendar. Wouldn’t it be great if everyone in your company or that charity you volunteer at could do more than simply use these programs in a haphazard, use-at-your-leisure manner? Sure, it’s great that Carla in accounting uses Google Doc’s spreadsheet program, Phil in sales uses the presentation app, and a few folks use Gmail. But consider what happens when you get everyone in the organization using Google Apps (with a capital A), the whole suite of programs and services from Google:

  • Avoid the “Microsoft tax.” Most companies spend a whole lotta money on software, and a lot of time keeping it up to date. Google Apps accounts range from free to not-very-expensive-when-you-think-about-it, and Google takes care of updates for you.

  • Customize your apps. You can add your logo to each app, and control how people can use them (like whether they can share documents outside your organization).

  • Instant intranet. You can customize your company’s Start Page (Setting Up Your Domain’s Start Page), which is like an iGoogle page for your whole organization. You can add stuff to it like news from your central office, links to commonly downloaded files, a calendar of company events, and so on (in other words, turn Start Page into the much vaunted intranets that are beyond the reach of most small firms).

Google Apps comes in a few different flavors, including one that’s free (Standard Edition—see ...

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