I'm excited to announce that OsageFood.com, an ingredient supply company located in Washington, Mo, with a primary focus in the dairy industry, is 5 Star Net's latest company to transform from Microsoft Office / Exchange to Google Apps. I use Microsoft Office / Exchange, but what I don't like is the reoccurring upgrades, feature incapability between versions, overly complicated interface, file-contention in a multi-user environment, slow loading in outlook, and, most of all, how expensive it is. Google Apps is only $50 per user, per year and you get email - 25 gigs worth. If you need more storage, that can be purchased for a fee, as well. Best of all, there's no long download and software to install. Just open Google Apps in your browser.
Installing Google Apps was a snap. After we were able to login to the client's DNS provider, and using our Google Apps Reseller Tools, we were able to stage and stack up to 6 MX records for a painless switch-over. After a training session with the entire OsageFood.com staff, we began eating lunch so I took the opportunity to switch MX records. Knowing how DNS records can take hours to update was not a concern as it switched over instantly. Following the switch-over, we were able to login as each employee, reset the password, and get all the mobile devices setup, too. Part of the setup required us to migrate data from existing outlook users. Google provides a simple Google Apps Outlook Migration Tool that make the process of storing old outlook data in Google Apps, very simple.
By the time I left the building, the entire staff at OsageFood.com was able to use Google Apps on their desktop computers, laptop computers, tablet computers, and smartphones. It's like the devices were made for Google Apps. In fact, there were so many devices in the building that network services had to provision 50 more ip addresses so we could all communicate. Bill Dickenson, owner of OsageFood.com, sent me this note just a few days after starting with Google Apps, "Everyone seems to be getting the hang of the Google Apps. Some bugs to work out and still need to learn all the features but everyone seems to think it will be better."
There are many neat features in Google Apps, but my favorite isn't a feature. It's how Google designed Google Apps to be extensible with the Google Apps Marketplace. There are so many additional products that can be turned on in minutes. Pro Athlete uses the Mojo Help Desk solution for a help desk system and it works great. There are so many others like, Run My Process. It's got 200 connectors, and counting, that allow workflow. For example, workflows to connect to an api, execute a command, retrieve the results, could be automated and setup within a few clicks.
I'll be sure to provide an update as to how Bill and OsageFood.com are doing in a few months of using Google Apps.