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Posted by on Dec 11, 2012 in Guides / Tips |

Alternatives to Google Apps for Business

Alternatives to Google Apps for Business

A few days ago, announced it would stop offering free accounts for users of Google Apps. Now, each new account will cost $ 50 per month per user. While Google Apps for Business is not for everyone, it can be an integral part of how we work every day: we not only email, but also have calendar, cloud storage, contacts, editing documents collaboratively, and more. But U $ S50 can be a major coup for any budget, especially if we look to expand our business and hire more people to work with us. So today we will talk about some alternatives to Google Apps that can help us to find the ideal replacement without opening your wallet.

Zoho

The first option that we present is quite obvious, and is about Zoho . Many have begun to postulate it as the perfect replacement for Google Apps, and with just cause. Zoho allows us to integrate our Google account to not miss the most commonly used features, but not necessarily replicate. With Zoho Office, for example, we have a web office suite with word processing, spreadsheets and presentations, among other things. There is also a mail client called, you guessed it, Zoho Mail, which although not as powerful as Gmail can be a respectable alternative. What about costs? For individual users use is free, while a custom domain can have up to 3 users. Each of these boxes has a 5GB limit, which means you may have to adjust a bit in terms of space.

Besides being free in these cases, Zoho offers competitive prices if we are interested in hiring the service. Depending provided, the number of email users in a given domain. I think the features are worth it, and is a nice change if we were accustomed to Gmail due to similarities in the interface. In the same way that email from Google, Zoho can access folders and subfolders, filters, labels, drag and drop functions to save time selecting things in bulk selection, display-filters, for example, see nothing more than unread-mails, and view tabs to save space and have more clarity when it comes to check our emails. It is one of the most serious now that many small businesses are considering moving to another platform.

Microsoft Office 365

We move to the side of the direct competitor to Google Apps, which is the Microsoft suite impromptu created specifically to deal with them. Now, we have at our disposal Outlook.com, one of the strongest cards that the company has brought to the table in recent months, in addition to SkyDrive, a more than interesting, and many additional features that can tip the balance for that side. Although the price may be relatively similar, actually depends on the amount of features that we hire, so we can actually customize what we want. For example, if you only want to have email hosting, we have a plan of $4 per user per month, integration with Outlook, emails stored in the cloud, shared calendars, mailboxes with 25GB space and the ability to access Web Apps as the office suite.

On the other hand, we have other more specialized plans for larger companies who want to have a custom domain. We also have shared calendars, but also added functionality of instant messaging, PC-to-PC calls, video conferencing, viewing Office documents online, a public website and other smaller features. This plan is aimed at small businesses and has a cost of $ 6 per user per month, if we try it has a free trial period where we can judge whether what we’re looking for. In this case, although we are not free we would expect from Google, what we do have is the support of Microsoft, the possibility of stable technical support 24 hours a day, in the vast majority of these plans, and a product more interesting as SkyDrive, which poses a serious competition to Google Drive, a platform in many ways leaves a bitter taste in the mouth, especially in regard to storage capacity without having to pay.

Alternatives combined

Now if you are looking for an easy solution we will find very difficult to find exactly the service we are looking to replace Google Apps. Remember that free accounts that were created before December 6 will remain that way, and that at all affect individual users who have an account @ gmail: we will still be able to use services such as Drive, Calendar and Gmail without having to pay anything. But if we want a custom domain, then we have to seriously consider if this is something that we should . At the time, I have some tips to consider before hiring Google Apps.

What we can do is find a way to bypass this collection. For example, hiring a server where we can get the mail and then automatically migrate a Gmail account, and then delete them from the server so we do not consume space. This can be done with most of the services that we provide hosting and email accounts. But, of course, would have to hire a hosting service that is often not what we’re looking for. If we can not, however, leave the domain, it is a good idea to save $ 50 per month. We can also choose to use Outlook, that does not give us too many problems when set starting our own domain.

On the other hand, we have a range of products that would have to replace. We have a huge amount of online calendars that can be used-to Zoho is a respectable replacement and are completely free. We may also use the Calendar of our own staff, or other suppliers. Calendar service is one of the most difficult to replace, but Zoho is a good alternative. Moreover, we also have the issue of storage of Drive: We can always choose as Dropbox, but other services like MegaCloud, ideal for backup, SugarSync or Box, a more professional but it’s a little more expensive than we’re shuffling.

As we can see, Google Apps is not irreplaceable. But we have to consider if it is really worth to pay it. If we are just a couple of users, it’s a shame not to enjoy the free accounts, but will not be too big a blow the budget. So, all these issues have to put in the balance before taking the decision. Fortunately, thanks to the internet gives us options, we will not be empty handed.

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