Google Tools for Business

Google Maps

If your website is for a local business, you might want to consider integrating it with Google Maps. Google Maps uses query string parameters to pass information to the servers to change the information you see on the webpage. For example, you could have a map show directions to your business from wherever the browser is located, by gathering the information and passing it on to Google.

Google Apps

It’s out of beta and you need not be scared of the cloud anymore. While you still may want to have local backups, Google Apps is a great alternative to Microsoft Exchange and Outlook. But for those who still want to use Outlook, the beauty of it all is that you still can because Google Apps has POP access.  It even has IMAP access for use with Blackberrys.  Google Docs is a great feature too, but is not as robust as Microsoft Office.

Google AdWords

If you are tired of waiting for SEO to kick in, Google AdWords is a great way to get your website to the top of the pile nearly instantly. You’ll pay money up front, but the goal is to get more visitors – which you will do – so be prepared by having a website that is optimized for conversions, gets to the point right away, and clearly directs the user to the action you want them to take. Once that is in place, AdWords can only help.

Using Google Apps with Microsoft Outlook

One of our clients wanted all of their staff to have email access through Microsoft Outlook on each PC, but they didn’t have the need for a Microsoft Exchange server.  Instead, we configured their domain to install Google Apps, created email accounts and distribution groups for the staff members, then configured Microsoft Outlook on each staff member’s PC to allow them to have access.

“The difference between Exchange and Google Apps is transparent to the user, ” said Erich Stauffer, Business Consultant at Erich Stauffer, Inc.  “They don’t know and they don’t care – as long as it works.”  And it usually does.  Google Apps sports a 5-nine’s uptime which means they are up 99.999% of the year.  This means they can statistically be down for up to 8 hours a year, but uptime is significantly higher with Google than with your own standalone Exchange server.

However, cloud computing like this is not for every customer.  Some would not be able to keep secure data on remote servers and Microsoft Exchange does offer the ability to keep all email stored locally, but even so, only the email kept internally stays secure.  Once it leaves your organization, unless the email is encrypted, it is prone to eavesdropping.  Another reason for an Exchange server would be for backup’s, but with Outlook, you can download Google Apps mail as a PST, then store the PST as your back-up.

What unique, money-saving technology can Erich Stauffer help you with today?