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Google Apps for Business: Small Firm in a (large) Box

Starting a new firm?  Looking to cut overhead? You may want to take a closer look at the company whose name has become synonymous with internet based search.  With their suite of integrated web based office applications, “Google Apps for Business”  is positioning themselves to take over the world IT management of your small business.  Here’s how they plan on replacing a few law office staples:

  • Phone and Answering Service = Google Voice (FREE) provides users with a local phone number that can ring you anywhere, and  voice messaging which delivers messages to your email (complete with a transcription of the message).
  • Email Server = Gmail for Business ($50/user/year) provides users with customized email addresses, Mobile email and calendar, 25 GB of email and IM storage, and 24/7 email and phone support.
  • Microsoft Office/Corel WordPerfect Office = Google Docs (FREE) works in the browser on your PC or Mac and provides web based applications for word processing, spreadsheet and presentation development. It also supports popular formats such as .doc, .xls, .ppt, and .pdf.
  • Marketing Consultant = Google Analytics, Google AdWords, Google Webmaster Tools, and Google Website Optimizer (FREE) together offer the ability to monitor traffic patterns to your site (who’s visiting, from where, during what time, and even what operating system and browser their running), the ability to see how your site is indexed on search engines, and design and run your own marketing ad campaigns.
  • Westlaw/Lexis-Nexis **GASP** = Google Scholar (OMG also FREE). I wouldn’t cancel my subscription to either of the above, but Google Scholar’s ability to search legal opinions (federal and state) and legal journals definitely makes this a tempting option.

These are only a handful of the free applications offered by Google.  For more on their products visit . . . well you know where to go.

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