By J. Nick Augustine, J.D., Communications Master
The night Whitney Houston died; I also suffered a great loss – my BlackBerry!
My last call: I was on my patio talking to a friend who was in Beverly Hills at the time and was telling me about all the Whitney fuss – that was the last time I saw my BlackBerry.
I looked everywhere, was so glad I had password protected the device, and didn’t have a data breach because I called Sprint ASAP. What was I going to do?
After searching for a while and living off other phones, Skype and Google Voice for missed calls, I decided to stop searching and adopt a new master, the Samsung Epic 4G, with the acclaimed Android Operating System.
Ok, learning a new phone can be a real pain, and my first experience was scary. I had a 1:00 phone call with a lawyer in NYC who I know is busy and at 12:45, I was still at the Sprint store. “It might take a few hours for the data to work,” says the Sprint rep., and I almost died right on the spot because I obviously did not have the number on me and could not look it up! I suppose I should have blocked off more than the 2 hours it took to get the new phone.
Luckily, my call was only 15 minutes late, things went well, and I scored a series of radio shows from the nice conversation with someone whom I hope will be a good friend and colleague as we get to know each other. Next, I started the arduous task of setting up the phone (computer) and took the Google Apps Plunge!
Google Apps for Business is the best! I left my Microsoft Online Business Productivity Suite ($80/mo) for a more robust and ridiculously easy to use Google Apps ($5/mo) system with loads of free Apps in its marketplace. You can have fun in the cloud on any budget. It is safe too! I backup my files and data and always have, since I had a data loss when I lived in Seattle in 2007 – not a fun experience.
It took a while to mess with all the settings and integrate all the sites, but once you tie everything to the Google tree, life is seamless and the tech support is almost pleasurable to engage. This morning a nice British man was very helpful (this is a nice compliment from an Irishman) with some silly mistakes I made when integrating Gmail settings. Having not been a Gmail user I was a bit daft at first.
Google Apps made it easy to move my site and e-mail domains, MX records, CNAMES, etc., from Go Daddy to Google Apps. After “dealing” with Microsoft, I had expected a bigger headache. With everything set, I started checking out the Google Apps Marketplace.
I found several great Apps (all for free license because I am a Google Apps purchaser) in the following categories:
- Accounting & Finance – Wave Accounting; Expensify.
- Customer Management – Insightly
- Project Management – Mavenlink
- Sales & Marketing – Survey Monkey; Mailchimp
- Education – Open Class; AnyMeeting
Now that everything is set up and I have more open source software which appears to do a better job than the more expensive “industry standards” I was using. Earlier this week I adopted RockMelt as my new web browser and now with my new fly Google system I am feeling very 2012.
I hope people who have concerns about Google throwing you under the bus or selling you out should do more research and understand the competitive technology market and how demanding and finicky consumers have become in our digital age – there’s nothing to worry about so long as you are diligent and don’t run afoul of basic rules of reason. I often think the same people who complain about Google security are the loud talkers on trains, openly discussing litigation strategy, their clients’ private details, and more at a very audible level. Don’t be that person!
What do you think about Google Business Apps? Did you already move to the cloud? I am eager to hear from you. Please share your comments and experiences.