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Google Apps?

Discussion in 'Technology' started by Innovativethinker, Oct 11, 2009.

  1. Innovativethinker

    Innovativethinker F1 Veteran
    Silver Subscribed

    Aug 8, 2009
    5,584
    Bear Creek, Ca.
    Full Name:
    Mark Jones
    For those of us that maintain mail servers:

    I've been playing around with Google Apps Premier version, primarily for the 25 gig email boxes, instant searching, group and individual contacts, group and individual calendars, and built in spam and virus checking – with mobile apps for the iphone and BB. At $50 per user per year, it is not a bad deal.

    So far it is working pretty well, although to really make it look and act like Outlook you need firefox and a few add-ons.

    Anyone else using this?

    Troubles?

    Suggestions?
     
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  3. Innovativethinker

    Innovativethinker F1 Veteran
    Silver Subscribed

    Aug 8, 2009
    5,584
    Bear Creek, Ca.
    Full Name:
    Mark Jones
    I thought I would update the board with my progress, so far we have migrated 30 users off of Outlook onto Google Apps, we brought over all emails, contacts, and calendar data. The average number of emails per user was 22k, with the largest being 57k emails. It would take 3 - 24 hours to upload each user's old emails (you can use your google account, but not your Outlook client while this is going on).

    The migration tools are pretty easy for Outlook, with no real issues. To get the calendar data over you run a sync, then shut it off once it syncs up.

    The mobile app for blackberries work great. I have not tried any others.

    We still have to resolve spell check, as Google Apps is browser based. We know of solutions, just trying some out to see what works best.

    We have not found a solution for desktop scanners that scan to email using the same user's email, since there is no direct tie to the browser. We had used smaller Xerox scanners to scan documents directly to clients from Outlook. Handy because it would come from a user and keep it in the sent folder. The work around was scan to file, then use Google Apps to send that file (two additional steps).

    We were able to figure out how to send from the equipment that had email clients in it (like an MFP) which ended up using port 587. Once we migrate everyone, we can shut down port 25 on the firewall.

    It works best in Firefox, since there are more add-ons available.

    It does not use folders, it uses labels, and it won't nest them without a firefox add-on. If you have a ton of Outlook Folders this can be an issue for IE. During migration it takes your emails and converts them to labels.

    It does "group" your emails into "conversations" so an email going back and forth is strung together.

    The most powerful feature, IMHO, is the searching, you can search for a text string in 50k emails and it will find it in about 3 seconds.

    The 25 gig mail box size is also nice.

    Unless you have more than 50 users, tech support is via email or the user based help forums.

    Being able to log on from anywhere is very handy.

    Adding and managing users and aliases is a snap.

    Sharing calendars is a snap, and you can also make them public (viewable on the web) with a click.

    So far, I like it much better than maintaining our own Unix Mail server, and it cuts down a bunch on bandwidth coming to you.

    We did make one miss-step that is not documented, we activated Postini Services, which is their advanced spam and virus service, without upgrading to Message Discovery/Archiving. Once you activate it, you cannot upgrade. Since we wanted to test things first, we started with the basics. sigh....
     
  4. Ricambi America

    Ricambi America F1 World Champ
    Sponsor Owner

    #3 Ricambi America, Jan 4, 2010
    Last edited: Jan 4, 2010
    Mark -

    I should send you a bottle of wine as a Thank You for your original post in October. It got me off the fence, and we at Ricambi also switched all of our mail services to Google Premier. Absolutely, a wonderful transition in terms of reliability and uptime.

    Changing to the 'threaded conversations' takes a bit of mental adjustment, but it has been worth it. The storage capacity is 25gig, I think -- per mailbox. The feature-set is adequate for our needs, and with a few Firefox add-ons, it does just about everything. The spam filters and virus control are without equal. We now have 100% portability of our mail between platforms, and the value of my netbook skyrocketed! What used to be a cluster-f%#k of Thunderbird Portable and/or RDP sessions has now become simple URL. (Mike uses his Gmail through the MacMail application, but obviously can still run the HTML client when he choses)

    We ran in Beta for about 30 days before switching over the MX records. During that time, a bunch of forwarding rules kept everything straight. The switchover was on a Friday evening during Thanksgiving weekend, so we didn't have much email traffic to risk.

    Again, A+ recommendation.


    -Daniel
     
  5. Ricambi America

    Ricambi America F1 World Champ
    Sponsor Owner

    Seems faster than that (to me), but maybe the performance drops more significantly toward 50k mails. I have around 19.5 on mine, and the search moves about as quickly as the browser can react.
     
  6. DMC

    DMC Formula 3

    Nov 15, 2002
    2,360
    WI/IL
    Full Name:
    Dean
    I switched my (and my families') personal mail over to Google Apps, standard edition last month. Uploading old mails from a Thunderbird local cache was a little slow but everything came over fine. I like the Gmail blackberry client. Overall my experience has been very positive and would recommend it.
     
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