Monday, May 19, 2008

How To Set Up Google Apps For Your Small Business

I recently set up Google Apps at my business for email and calendar. Its a great set of tools that Google provides businesses free of charge. Here are a few of the features that you will get with Google Apps.

Overall, its very easy to set up. I moved my company email over to the Google mail server because of the cheap storage and all of the great features included in Gmail, particularly Imap which lets you sync your email account with either a mobile device (Google app iphone) or outlook, rather than download multiple copies like a POP server. If you send a message on your mobile device, it will automatically update and show in your gmail account.
  • Gmail with customer email addresses using your domain and almost 7 GB of storage per user. Plus, mobile access, integrated contacts and calendar, virus and spam protection, and IMAP, POP, and email forwarding.
  • Google Calendar - Share events with other employees.
  • Google Talk - IM contacts
  • Google Docs - Create and share word processing documents, spreadsheet, and presentations.
An administrator can create accounts for users, set privalages and reset passwords. Setting up your domain name requires you to create user accounts and then change the MX records with your domain host. Instructions for changing your MX records on Google Apps varies depending on who your host is, so be sure to look at the specific instructions.

Imap or POP can easily be set up by logging into your new gmail account and clicking settings. Simply, enable IMAP and then set it up on whatever client you will use it with such as Microsoft Outlook. If you want to know, how to setup an smtp for email forwarding or IMAP for outlook, visit the Google help center for specific instructions related to your email client.

Calendar is a great feature that allows you to share meetings and appointments with other employees. Anytime someone updates a calendar, you can see it on your own calendar. Great feature, especially for free.

Google docs allows you to share documents and spreadsheets with other employees. You can start a spreadsheet and select who you want to share the document with. Then another employee can make changes or finish the document.

For a small business, these are great tools that would cost hundreds to thousands of dollars to purchase software for. Its easy to set up and manage and will give your employees great flexibility.

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