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Making Google Apps Better in 2013

Google is always making updates and improving the applications that make up Google Apps.  In 2013, updates to Google Apps have mostly centered around Google Drive.   Here are the updates and changes that have taken place this year that you should check out:

Simplifying Your Migration to Cloud Email - Are Your Ready?

Based on our success with current and potential Google Apps clients, this approach has proven to be very beneficial.

Exoprise CloudReady is an easy-to-use, automated solution that delivers deep insights into on-premises applications and infrastructure as well as comparisons against cloud-based alternatives.  A unique combination of analytics and light-weight, downloadable data collection software, CloudReady gives IT leaders hard to obtain information in critical areas including Total Cost of Ownership, End-user Readiness, Application Usage and Enterprise Collaboration.

Google Apps at the Tyler Tech Expo

It has been a month now since we had the privilege of participating in the first annual Tyler Tech Expo.  This event was extremely well done and well attended.  I spoke with several companies in East Texas who are looking for ways to optimize their infrastructure and management thereof.  All while trying to meet the demands of daily functional enhancement requests from various departments.  Oh, and throw a shrinking IT budget on top of all that.

Look to Google for your Office Continuity Plan

This week has been an interesting one in the question of "To Cloud or Not to Cloud?" I have had several conversations with clients who are on both sides of this argument. A few clients have said that they do not see how they could move any data to the cloud based on state and federal regulations. Others have said that they are more confident with their data in the confines of a cloud service provider. A local City Manager I met with summed it up well, "Google does this for a living, we serve our Town. Shouldn't I expect that Google can do this better than my IT staff of 1?".

Google Apps - The Six Degrees of Collaboration

I have met with hundreds of Google Apps prospects over the past few months. I continue to be amazed with the varying degrees of knowledge and opinion on this offering. Here is a summary of the camps that most people fall into along with advice for each:

"Come for the Messaging...stay for the Docs"

When we deployed Google Apps two years ago, we did so for the sole purpose of minimizing costs related to our internal email solution.  Exchange alone was expensive, not to mention the costs associated with managing the environment with our otherwise BILLABLE consultants.  We were instantly delighted with the functionality associated with the search criteria in Gmail, the instant messaging and the calendars.  With all that comes in a Google Apps deployment, we never intended to utilize Google Docs.

Deloitte doesn’t hold back on Cloud outlook at CIO Symposium

On Tuesday evening I had the opportunity to attend the Dallas Regional Chamber's quarterly CIO Symposium. This is the second one I have attended. The turnout of CIOs in both cases has been significant. The discussion has been excellent.

Cloud is driving integration, not limiting it

I have read several articles recently that spell out the pros and cons associated with Software as a Service Cloud based offerings. In most cases, they will call out the challenge of integrating applications as a major con. Last week, I was witness to an example that spells out the ADVANTAGES of integration within a cloud model. For those not familiar with salesforce.com, it is a multi-tenet SAAS based CRM application. It includes contact management, opportunity management, and other marketing features. Recently they acquired Jigsaw.

Bridging the gap between realization and execution of TCO savings.

This past month I've had the opportunity to create various Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) models for our prospective clients.  In creating them, I realized that the gap between learning about the potential in savings versus the gap in executing is a function of where the project lies in the priorities of the organization.  In other words, yeah the savings look great but there are more compelling projects ahead of it.  Nothing new here, it has always been that way.

Cloudy Skies at the Texas Technology Forum

I had the opportunity to attend the Government focused Texas Technology Forum in Fort Worth last week. While the big hit was definitely the brilliance of Dan Thurmon juggling swords on a 10 foot unicycle, the true buzz of the event was around Cloud Computing in Government. The majority of the breakout and keynote sessions revolved around this topic in some form or fashion. The technology leaders in our public sector for the majority, are open to leveraging cloud to more effectively utilize their budget and reduce IT expenses.