As the title suggests, this article will teach you how to set up Google Apps for Business on your domain.
Hundreds of millions of people use Google products and services every day. Chances are, you probably found this article through a Google search; or even better, you may have even seen this in Developer Shedís Weekly Newsletter, which you read from your Gmail account. One thing is for sure, though--you probably use Google services at least once per day. Whether you are searching the web, checking your email, researching stock prices, or watching online videos, Google has the products to keep information, entertainment, and productivity at your fingertips.
One Google product you may not have heard of yet is Google Apps for Business, or simply Google Apps. This product packages many Google services--including Gmail, Docs, Calendar, Chat, Sites, Groups, and Contacts--into a single, collaborative service which can be used to easily manage users, communication, and collaboration at an affordable, low yearly price. In fact, depending on your needs, you may even be able to use it for free.
At a minimum, you will have access to the following core Google services:
1. Messaging applications: Gmail (7 GB inbox), Google Talk, Google Calendar 2. Collaboration applications: Google Docs (1 GB of storage), Google Sites 3. Additional Google applications: YouTube, Blogger, Reader, Picasa Web Albums, etc. 4. Mobile access: Android, Blackberry, iPhone and Windows Mobile phones
Paying Google Apps customers will have access to the following extra features:
1. Additional business application: Google Video (mini YouTube), Google Groups, Postini (spam filtering, message archival) 2. Additional features: 25 GB Gmail inbox, Outlook and Blackberry connectors 3. Administrator controls: Single-Sign-On, SSL, password strength, and more 4. Support and reliability: guaranteed 99.9% uptime, 24/7 phone support
So what exactly is Google Apps? It is Googleís online collaboration suite designed to compete with larger enterprise players such as Microsoft Exchange and Lotus Notes, but it does so by offering an exceptional service at a low price. With Google Apps, you are no longer at the mercy of your @gmail.com address--you can use it with your own domain! This functionality allows businesses and organizations to use their own domains with the Gmail service. So if you own www.mycompany.com, you can now use your email address, firstname.lastname@example.org, with Gmail. You no longer need to set up complicated forwarding rules or use the outdated IMAP protocol--you get the full power of Gmail (and the other services) with your own domain. And since Google Apps was designed for business users, you get a full back-end for managing your users, services, and other organization-specific functionality.
Google Apps is available in four different versions:
1. Standard Google Apps, which is free. 2. Google Apps for Education, which is free for all educational institutions and 501(C)(3) non-profits. 3. Google Apps for Business, which is $50 per user, per year. 4. Google Apps for Government, which is $50 per user, per year, and is certified by the U.S. government.
Google Apps for Business, Education, and Government are essentially the same product with the same features, except educational and non-profit institutions are free. Google Apps Standard includes the core Google productivity services, but lacks the additional space, reporting, and back-end management provided by the Business edition. You can find a full comparison of features among all editions here.
In this tutorial, we will be setting up a free Google Apps account. The setup process is very easy and straightforward, and with any luck, you should be up and running in about an hour. Before you begin, you will need to make sure you have access to a domain (it can be a sub domain if you do not want to disrupt your current mail flow), and you will also need the ability to edit the domainís current DNS records. If you do not know what DNS records are, then this tutorial may be too complicated for you. If you make the wrong change, you can severely inhibit your domainís visibility on the Internet.
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