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:
- 25gb of emails per person!
- I can ditch AIM and be 100% gChat (No, awkward high school acquaintance, I am not available to talk)
- I can use coworkers' work email for Google Docs, instead of their personal gmail
- Calendars for everyone! We previously mixed users between Exchange and POP accounts.
- As you might expect, gmail's Search is amazing
- Labels and filters are easy and powerful
- Google rolls out new features regularly. Exchange remains relatively stagnant.
- 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:
- 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.
- 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.