Gmail Benefits – Most businesses that come to us asking for us to migrate their email exchange to Google apps come from using Microsoft Outlook. A great feature of Google Apps is that it is very versatile allowing users to continue using Microsoft Outlook as their email, calendar and contacts program by installing the Google Apps Sync for Microsoft Outlook (GASMO). GASMO syncs all emails, calendars and contacts with Gmail as well as gives the user additional functionality of seeing or managing other people’s calendars in Outlook. However, the full functionality of Google Apps is not realised with this setup as users are limited to the capabilities of Microsoft Outlook. Using Gmail in a web browser gives a user far more options as well as the benefits of improvements of Gmail with upgrades from Google.
I myself had been long term user of Outlook having used it for close to 10 years. Only within the last 2 months I made the move to Gmail and have never looked back.
Some of the benefits I see Gmail has over Outlook or any other email include:
1. Search feature. Gmail’s search feature is very smart and fast. You can find emails much quicker than any other method just by typing in a few key words from the email you’re looking for. There is no longer the need to move emails into folders to find them as the search tool is powerful enough to find them.
2. Mailbox size. Outlook often runs slow when you have thousands of emails in your inbox. There is also a limit of up to 20GB per Outlook inbox size. Outlook users may need to archive emails into separate data files and there is further the risk of losing data when changing computers or where there is hard drive failure. Gmail has 30GB inbox capacity which you can increase to up to 16,000 GB (16 Terabytes). The brilliant setup of Gmail is that your email never slows down with the increased storage. Further, you will never have to delete or archive email again using Gmail.
3. Gmail labs. There are many additions you can make to customise your Gmail inbox including:
- Setup with multiple inboxes where you can see the top 5 emails of your favorite folders, such as started items or drafts to quickly remind you which email you need to respond to next.
- Undo Send. Oops, hit “Send” too soon? Stop messages from being sent for a few seconds after hitting the send button.
- Canned Responses. Save and then send your common messages using a button next to the compose form. Also automatically send emails using filters.
There are many more Gmail Labs extensions. You can try them out by clicking the Settings icon in gmail. Then click the Labs Tab and enable the features you want.
4. Third Party integrations. Most of the big cloud applications build integrations into Gmail or there are third party companies that can integrate them for you. For example there is a product called Cirus Insights http://www.cirrusinsight.com/ that allows you to run your Salesforce software within Gmail. You can save emails into Salesforce, sync Google Calendars, Contacts and much more. Grexit is another great integration tool I use that enables collaboration of Gmail labels. You can share your labels/folders with other staff and when you drag an email into that folder it will sync to everyone elses folder which have access to it. I use it for assigning tasks to my staff and knowing what’s still outstanding.
With all these integrations you save time in processing information and for email users dealing with high volumes of emails, it also ensures that emails are not missed while allowing you the ease to collaborate with others within your business. Take a look at the Google Apps Marketplace to see the hundreds of integrations out there. www.google.com/enterprise/marketplace/
Next week I will show you how you can move Outlook users to Gmail and give them a similar experience by customising gmail to look and feel like Outlook.