End of support for Google Apps

End of support for Google Apps

Today, MyDigitalMedia have announced to our customers that we will not be supporting Google Apps for Business going forwards. This has been a difficult decision, and not one we have reached lightly, so let us put you in the picture as to why we have come to this conclusion.

What's so good about Google Apps for Business

Let us first explain what Google Apps for Business offers you, and why we have been promoting it's use for our small business customers over the last few years. 

Google Apps for Business offers 25GB e-mail mailboxes, for a number of users, with instant search, a fast, web interface, and full support for mobile devices including push mail, which delivers e-mails to your device as they are received rather than by you manually 'checking' for e-mail. Perhaps the lesser used features, Google Apps for Business also includes calendar, very basic website building, and online file storage through Google Drive. 

What's changed?

All of these features sound perfect for small businesses like yours right? Well up until the last 2 years, that was the case, and that was exactly why they placed themselves firmly at the top of the list of cloud services that we recommended each of our customers use. However, over the last 2 years, we've seen the service that Google Apps offers small businesses change, initially dropping from 100 free mailboxes, to 25, then to 10, and now none at all. That's right, there is no longer a free Google Apps for Business product. 

We have however continued to support our existing customers with Google Apps, but have been recommending Microsoft's far superior Office 365 range of products, which as well as offering the same functionality, can actually cost less for our new customers. 

Features such as shared mailboxes and shared calendars are included as standard, without the need to purchase additional licenses, as well as the ability to fine-tune permissions and retention options. Features which simply don't exist in the current Google Apps product. 

So why, make this decision now, you may be asking yourselves? Well, as if the restrictions haven't been enough for new customers, Google have then started to degrade the service of our existing customers. This has started with the announcement than pushmail for mobile devices is being withdrawn for users of free accounts. This is a serious game changer for business users, who in our opinion need to know that they have new e-mail straight away, whether than be an e-mail for a potential new customer, or a colleague regarding a timely decision that needs your input, and to top things off in just the last few days, Google service has been out causing users of the completely web based system to be unable to read their already received e-mails, let alone new ones. 

With this in mind, we feel that this is no longer a service that we would want to put up with ourselves (and we don't), and not one that we think our customers should put up with either. We don't feel that we can continue to offer support to our customer for a service that is not doing their business any good.

What do we do going fowards?

We will continue to support our customers with the use of other Google services such as YouTube, Google Analytics, and Google AdWords - as standalone products, but we will no longer be offering support for Google Apps for Business. 

This doesn't mean that we're turning off your services or anything like that. What it does mean, is that if you need to make any changes to your existing service, such as resetting passwords, or adding/removing accounts. We will provide you with the administration access to do this yourself.

You do not need to do anything. 

We, as a business ourselves, considered whether we wanted to accept this sub-standard service, and decided to switch to Microsoft Office 365, and it honestly hasn't been something that we've regretted, and we've helped other businesses move too.

If you agree with us that the service with Google isn't what you originally signed up for, and is perhaps not the best option for your business going forwards, we do have an option for you. 

We are, offering existing customers only (none of that new customers only mentality around here) the option to migrate to Microsoft Office 365, and we will take care of the migration for you, for free of charge. To put this in perspective, if a typical small business were to move from Google Apps for Business to Microsoft Office 365, a number of Microsoft Partners would jumpt at the chance to charge you in the region of £2,500 - £5,000. Right now, we'll do this for nothing, £0.00, zip, nada. 

There are of course, subscription costs, payable to Microsoft (directly - not us) for Microsoft Office 365, but these start at just £2.60 per month, that's less than you spend on coffee each month, and at £31.20 per year, could you afford to let your competitors respond to enquiries quicker than you?

How can I find out more?

If you have any questions about how this impacts you, or you would like to try Office 365 free for 30 days, please contact a member of the team on support@mydigitalmedia.co.uk or 0843 289 3622. 

Posted: 18/04/2013 18:46:04 by Kurt Farrar | with 0 comments

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MyDigitalMedia are a small business IT consultancy specialising in web design, and web development creating high quality bespoke web solutions, and establishing our client's brands online, without a hefty price tag. Based in Widnes, Cheshire we cover all surround areas including St. Helens, Liverpool, Warrington, and Runcorn and have a number of national clients from throughout North Wales, and as far as Plymouth. Thanks to the internet, and online conferencing, we're never too far away. View our portfolio to view examples or projects that we have undertaken to date.