Google Apps And The School Reunion

The School Reunion has provided the basis for many a Hollywood movie. The ugly duckling who couldn’t find a boyfriend or girlfriend at school returns having blossomed into something truly amazing, and is fought over by those who had rejected them years before.

It’s classic block-buster material, and I am reminded of it every day when we speak to clients who say:

“We looked at Google Apps a couple of years ago and….”

– It wasn’t business grade
– It didn’t have XYZ feature

The great thing about the school reunion is that people change, they grow up and evolve, and the person you meet over a glass of wine is a very different person to that we knew at school. We drop our preconceptions and hopefully look at the person in a new light.

The Cloud is very similar, it is constantly changing and evolving. No more do you buy a ‘solution’ having chosen your right time to dive in, and have to stick with the same solution for the next 5 years. When you sign up to a solution like Google Apps you are immediately immersed in this world of constant innovation, and for some it can be a culture shock.

The best way to get a feel for this, either as a Google Apps customer, or someone just trying to understand what constant innovation means, is to sign up for the Google Apps update blog.

Google Apps tends to post two to three updates a week. I for one really enjoy seeing the new developments come through, and because they are small iterative changes none of them change the user experience too much as to harm productivity.

This week for example there are some additions to formulas in Spreadsheets, and the ability to add images into Spreadsheets. A few weeks ago there was an update to revision tracking of documents. By subscribing to the blog you get an idea of the pace of innovation and understand that you don’t need to pick a ‘right time’ to join Google Apps. You don’t need to worry about Google Apps 2008, or Google Apps 2010. The innovation keeps coming and its delivered into your service just by refreshing your browser.

So keep the school reunion in mind. If you played with Google Docs a couple of years ago, or tinkered with a Presentation and went back to Powerpoint, I would urge you to look again, and fall in love with the current and constantly evolving business grade Google Apps.

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Charlie Cowan inspires and enables partners at NewVoiceMedia, a Salesforce Appexchange partner routing inbound calls based on CRM data. Unusually for someone in the IT industry, Charlie holds a degree in Rural Land Management from The Royal Agricultural College. He lives and works in Cirencester, Gloucestershire, with his wife and three children.