Google apps can replace Microsoft Exchange at a price

by Jason Davies on October 7, 2010

Google Apps

Google Apps (c) google 2010

This past week, I helped an organization transition from Microsoft Small Business Server 2003. The transition was brought on by the need to upgrade equipment and improve dependability within the environment.  The system used was an Intel Server with featuring a Hexa-Core processor, 12 GB of ram, and 6 solid-state hard drives configured as RAID10.   

During the planning stages it was obvious the organization did not need Microsoft Exchange. The plan called for a transition to Google Apps Premier. This idea would provide all types of access necessary to communicate anywhere at any time. The other idea was that the transition would be straight forward and simple. The reality of it all was that; Google Apps can replace Microsoft Exchange … at a price.

During our transition the first and most noted problem we ran into was the lack of contact sharing. Google Apps Premier will not allow you to share contacts outside of your local users. What this means is that your public folders in Exchange that have your huge list of contacts is worthless. Luckily for us, we met a group called Promevo.  http://www.promevo.com/ . Through the use of their program gPanel for Google Apps, users can quickly and easily do some neat tricks with Google Apps.

Promevo allowed the organization to import their list of contacts into Google Apps. The program did require some getting used to, but the interface is straightforward and easy to use.  The folks at Promevo went out of their way to help us with the transition too. I would like to mention, Aaron who assisted us while he was at home in the middle of dinner – great dedication, thank you!

The one issue we would like to see addressed in the future would be the ability to see a list of contacts. Presently, you have to search for what you are looking for, and then you can modify it. This slows down searches just a bit, but the ability to have shared contacts without the over head of Exchange may be worthwhile for some organizations.

In the end, Google Apps is not ready for the Enterprise, but if you are willing to spend a few extra dollars for some add-ons, it certainly beats the price of an Exchange administrator. In the long run, the ability to utilize a smaller server and off load heavy administrative tasks to Google is good for many small to medium sized organizations. 

If you are considering a transition to Google Apps from your existing server application, please consider TechRx, Inc. to help with your upgrade. TechRx, Inc. offers solutions and technical support for the whole family of Google apps.  You can find TechRx on the phone at 920.884.1195 or click on our contact form to touch base the high tech email way! 

This past week, I helped an organization transition from Microsoft Small Business Server 2003. The transition was brought on by the need to upgrade equipment and improve dependability within the environment.  The system used was an Intel Server with featuring a Hexa-Core processor, 12 GB of ram, and 6 solid-state hard drives configured as RAID10.   

During the planning stages it was obvious the organization did not need Microsoft Exchange. The plan called for a transition to Google Apps Premier. This idea would provide all types of access necessary to communicate anywhere at any time. The other idea was that the transition would be straight forward and simple. The reality of it all was that; Google Apps can replace Microsoft Exchange … at a price.

During our transition the first and most noted problem we ran into was the lack of contact sharing. Google Apps Premier will not allow you to share contacts outside of your local users. What this means is that your public folders in Exchange that have your huge list of contacts is worthless. Luckily for us, we met a group called Promevo.  http://www.promevo.com/ . Through the use of their program gPanel for Google Apps, users can quickly and easily do some neat tricks with Google Apps.

Promevo allowed the organization to import their list of contacts into Google Apps. The program did require some getting used to, but the interface is straightforward and easy to use.  The folks at Promevo went out of their way to help us with the transition too. I would like to mention, Aaron who assisted us while he was at home in the middle of dinner – great dedication, thank you!

The one issue we would like to see addressed in the future would be the ability to see a list of contacts. Presently, you have to search for what you are looking for, and then you can modify it. This slows down searches just a bit, but the ability to have shared contacts without the over head of Exchange may be worthwhile for some organizations.

In the end, Google Apps is not ready for the Enterprise, but if you are willing to spend a few extra dollars for some add-ons, it certainly beats the price of an Exchange administrator. In the long run, the ability to utilize a smaller server and off load heavy administrative tasks to Google is good for many small to medium sized organizations. 

If you are considering a transition to Google Apps from your existing server application, please consider TechRx, Inc. to help with your upgrade. TechRx, Inc. offers solutions and technical support for the whole family of Google apps.  You can find TechRx on the phone at 920.884.1195 or click on our contact form to touch base the high tech email way!

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October 8, 2010 at 8:54 am

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Bob Dickson November 8, 2010 at 3:15 pm

great article on a well needed feature for exchange replacement.

Do you know if user can view,use,add or edit a shared contact at the android device level using this product?

Also how long does it take to update changes to the shared contacts across the domain?

admin November 8, 2010 at 7:16 pm

Promevo offers mobile version of the product for Android which allows you to edit Shared Contacts from the device http://www.promevo.com/google/gpanel/android/index.html

Creating new shared contacts takes 24 hrs for Google to index them so they appear in type ahead and contact search. This is a Google delay and not a Promevo issue. No matter what product you create Shared Contacts with, it will take this long. Once the contact is created updates to the Shared Contact are instant as long as you do not change the primary email used in the type ahead for that Shared Contact.

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