Posts Tagged ‘google apps’

Wow, so less than a week after my last post commented on how Google Apps was a good alternative for startups such as Dayak, Microsoft announces a new initiative called BizSpark.

BizSpark is an innovative new program that unites Startups with entrepreneurial and technology resources in a global community with a common goal of supporting and accelerating the success of a new generation of high-potential Startups.

This certainly mixes things up for startups but I don’t believe this changes much for a SMB. For a startup you know have access to Microsoft Exchange, Microsoft Sharepoint and Microsoft Development and Server software for 3 years for a mere $100 up front fee. If you have someone that can administer the various products, it would be hard pressed for a startup to not try to qualify for this offering –

http://download.microsoft.com/download/4/d/4/4d41081a-d8d9-407a-9bae-5127e6e931ca/BizSpark%20Startup%20Program%20Guide.pdf

Does this make me think about moving Dayak to Microsoft products and trying to qualify Dayak? No, the minimal administration needs and no hardware benefit of Google Apps is still a compelling reason for Dayak to remain with our current setup. Could we make a switch later? Sure, anything is possible but a big unknown is how difficult it is to get approved.

Outside of the internal use of Microsoft’s offering, there is a more compelling reason to use Microsoft for development and production environment. By deferring the cost of Microsoft Server products, this initiative offers a startup enough runway to validate their business model without incurring the heavy upfront cost of software licensing. This may prove useful to many startups.

Who doesn’t know about Google Apps? Steve Ballmer recently dismissed Google Apps. I do agree with him to a certain degree that Google Apps can’t fight Microsoft alone BUT the combination of OpenOffice and Google Apps must have Steve Ballmer sweating.

Its hard to deny that Google Apps and OpenOffice isn’t a compelling option. Steve Ballmer’s response shows a bit of arrogance that Microsoft could perhaps have afforded 10 years ago but not anymore. At Dayak we have people that use Microsoft Office and some that use OpenOffice. Why don’t we have it standardized? The reasons range from Operating Systems (Mac, Linux and Windows), costs and comfort level of the user them self. We are ok with that due to what Google Apps provides.

Where Google Apps comes into play is the ability to share, collaborate and view files without installing converters. So not only does it save us money on Microsoft licenses and Microsoft Sharepoint but also on administration costs of the same.

We also get 7GB email accounts and calendaring that don’t require us to have an Admin for an in house Microsoft Exchange or equivalent system. Our employees get a great web interface or the comfort of using Outlook Express or Outlook or Thunderbird. I know there are great options like Zimbra or Spicebird but those do incur administration costs. For Dayak we have no in house server for any of this and Google Apps takes care of all of our needs including Email backup for a nominal per user fee. We used to run our own email server using Postfix but the features we get bundled with Google Apps and with no Administration overhead, I couldn’t be happier.

Got Intranet? Yes, we do with Google Sites. Another benefit of Google apps that allows us to have an wiki style intranet with no cost of a in house hardware or administration.

So Dayak like probably many startups are following a recent trend. A trend that will save us a lot of money in the long run. Just notch us up as a Google Apps fan and avid user. I hope Steve Ballmer opens his eyes to what is really going on and acknowledge that this compelling option of Google Apps and OpenOffice is something Microsoft will have to compete with.

So… Do you “Google Apps”?

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