The switch to Google Enterprise

Last week, during our break, we switched from a hosted Exchange service to Google Enterprise. The main driver to change was lack of space - some of us have emails going back 7 years and have accrued many gigabytes of data. Adding more available space was getting too costly.

In passed years we've discounted Google Enterprise due to lack of coherent syncing: Email, Calendars and Contacts. Now, however, they seemed to have the process down, including (!) a migration strategy.

I'm a few days in, and I love Google Enterprise. Here's why:

  1. 25gb of emails per person!
  2. I can ditch AIM and be 100% gChat (No, awkward high school acquaintance, I am not available to talk)
  3. I can use coworkers' work email for Google Docs, instead of their personal gmail
  4. Calendars for everyone! We previously mixed users between Exchange and POP accounts.
  5. As you might expect, gmail's Search is amazing
  6. Labels and filters are easy and powerful
  7. Google rolls out new features regularly. Exchange remains relatively stagnant.
  8. I can work completely in my browser. For a MacBook Air, avoiding mail, calendar and contact apps helps save battery and memory.

What I wasn't a fan of:

  1. Migration. Granted, this is a tough engineering challenge, but this required some finessing, multiple attempts and constant attention. Luckily, the provided migration tool (Which needs to run on Windows :/ ) picks up where it leaves off. Beware: You may need to manually migrate your calendar items and contacts.
  2. iOS: To get smooth syncing (email, calendar, contacts) you need to setup an Exchange account for Mail and Calendars, and should setup a CardDav account for contacts. I personally use the gmail app, so I end up with: gMail app, Gmail mail account for calendars, and CardDav account for calendars.

Here is some useful information on sorting through the mess of getting setup with Google Enterprise.