Curator’s Choice: Google Apps for BusinessCloud Communication Systems


Google Apps for Business tops our cloud communication systems list. This is due to a number of factors which we appreciate:

  • breadth of integrated services
  • up-time guarantee of 99.9%
  • focus on accessibility, availability & security
  • its built-in ability to integrate with other service offerings (Google Apps Marketplace)


Google Apps – Work in the future


Components of Google Apps

Google Apps consists of the following services:

  • Gmail [email]
  • Google Calendar [Calendar]
  • Google Docs & Google Drive [Collaboration & File Storage]
  • GoogleTalk & Gmail Chat [Chat (text, voice & video)]
  • Google Sites [intranet & basic webpage]
  • Vault [message security, -discovery & -encryption]



gmail logo

Gmail is Google’s interpretation of email and a key component of the Google Apps for Business suite of services. Key features of Gmail are its combination of simple archiving and power search capabilities. You will never keep looking for your email over and over again. Its filters and labels can be combined to achieve things like auto-filing and since labels are more flexible than folders you can attach as many labels to an email address as you require – you will continue to only have one copy of the email (& its related thread), but make it available via all the different labels.

Gmail is accessible via any browser, on any operating system and device (laptop/desktop/handheld/mobile, Windows/Linux/Mac OSX/…, Chrome/IE/Firefox/…) as well as through email clients such as MS Outlook/ Mozilla Thunderbird / Apple Mail and more.

We have curated more info regarding Gmail and cloud email in general.


Google Calendar

Google’s web-based calendar is taking your calendar into the cloud. It synchronises with calendar applications like MS Outlook, Apple iCal, Mozilla Sunbird and more as well as enabling you to manage your calendar via any web browser. It includes nifty features such as a daily schedule via email (giving you an overview of the day ahead) and pop-up-, email- and SMS notifications for upcoming meetings.

More curated info regarding Google Calendar and cloud calendars in general.


Google Docs & Google Drive

Collaborating on Google Docs (documents,spreadsheets and presentations) has never been easier. Powerful features such as real-time editing, integrated commenting & chat functionality allows for fast and effective collaboration. You will wonder why you ever went through the hassle of drafting a document, emailing it back and forth just to find the final result resemble the intial version pretty closely. Integrated version control allows for easy and fast roll-backs.

More on Google Docs and online collaboration in general.


Google Drive is Google’s implementation for synchronising files from your computer with the cloud. It stores them together with your Google Docs and is able to convert them into Google’s formats should you want to work on them with your colleagues. Google Drive integrates with a number of web-based services of other companies to allow cloud-editing and/or viewing of these locally created files.

Google Drive Info and general online file storage info.


GoogleTalk & Gmail Chat

Instant messaging is basically pervasive today. People use WhatsApp, iMessage & BBM on their phones, and there are way more intstant messaging clients to name all of them. Google’s jabber-based implementation of chat combines text, voice & video. GoogleTalk is a standalone, Windows-only application that you can download here. It offers instant messaging (text), video- and voice chat.

Gmail Chat is Google’s implementation of instant messaging (text) chats from within Gmail. Via a plug-in video & voice chats can also be facillitated via Gmail Chat.

Google Voice gives you a phone number that rings you anywhere, online voicemail that you can receive as transcribed messages in your inbox and it allows you to make cheap calls & text messages (free to the U.S. & Canada – low rates for the rest of the world).

Combined with GoogleVoice, Gmail Chat will allow you to make those calls and send those text messages from within Gmail as well.

More on Google Voice, Gmail Chat & GoogleTalk. We also have more info on instant messaging, voice– & video calls.


Google Sites

Google Sites is a basic website (hence the name) creation tool. It’s main limitation is that it does not allow for uploading and hosting of html pages  created outside of Google Sites. Apart from this (major) limitation in terms of hosting, Google Sites is a great tool for intranet sites and websites if you can work with the structures and layouts Google provides. That’s why we consider it a great tool for your internal network, facilitating a one stop shop where all the different services you use are linked, easy to find and allow you to communicate with your employees and empower them to access the correct documentation etc on their own. Google’s underlying power of search, makes this even easier.

More on Google Sites.



Google Apps Vault adds advanced data management & information governance capabilities to your cloud communications systems Google Apps. It includes archive-, retention-, and discovery solutions which can lower the risk from litigation, investigation, and compliance.  With Google Apps Vault you get domain-wide search of Gmail and on-the-record Gmail chat. Vault also makes it easy to set data management policies, and even has a legal hold functionality to preserve relevant information (overwriting any retention expiration rule etc).

More about Google Apps Vault here




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