Google Apps vs Exchange server ?
May 28, 2010 12:31 PM   Subscribe

Looking for someone to summarize the key advantages and disadvantages of going with a premier Google Apps account versus Hosted Exchange Service versus in-house Exchange (where we are now). We are a small non-profit 150 users with 1.2 FTE IT support. Why the desire to move? Recent experiences with worm have brought the cots of in-house to the fore in downtime and support time to fix things..
posted by dougiedd to Computers & Internet (6 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Non-profits of your size are eligible for the free Education edition. I administer Google Apps for an educational institution. I love it. Can't say enough good things about it. New features all the time. Easy to administer. Most of the time we just don't have to think about it.
posted by idb at 12:42 PM on May 28, 2010

We use Outlook / Exchange for Calendaring, and I switched my organization to Google Basic Apps for e-mail, set up IMAP so that they can access their Gmail through Outlook as well. I've been pushing hard for them to switch Calendars to Google's instead, I think it would just be simpler for me, and I have an Android-based phone so it integrates much better with Google's Calendar.

I think the main advantage of the web interface is accessibility from anywhere, the premier version also has like 99.9% uptime... I don't think Google's Calendar is quite as feature-rich or as pretty as Outlook's... and Google Docs is not going to replace MS Office anytime soon, but I like their e-mail setup. Viruses and worms like you mentioned are another great reason to keep e-mail and calendars in the cloud. If you ever have problems with internet access though, then you have a problem.
posted by banished at 12:43 PM on May 28, 2010

Good article here. I've migrated a few small/med (sub 100 users) business from in-house Exchange to Google Apps and after a couple of months of familiarization they are very happy. Also, the cost reduction was a big issue, especially when you figure in the required IT support for in-house Exchange.
posted by white_devil at 12:53 PM on May 28, 2010

While I will call shenanigans on their claim of 99.9% up time, I do prefer Google Apps to the Exchange set-up we had before I convinced my higher-ups to make the change. Google claims 99.9% up time, but we have experienced periods where our email will flow, but our contacts are inaccessible... stuff like that. Never for extended periods of time, but often enough that it hasn't gone unnoticed.

All-In-All, having administered both set-ups I'll stick with Google Apps. While there is a small misconception about some kind of Google-based infallibility, the pros far, far outweigh the cons in my opinion. The potential for an increase in successful collaboration is high. I'm sure you would be satisfied if you made the switch.
posted by Gainesvillain at 12:54 PM on May 28, 2010

I'm happy with google apps- the $50 / year / seat is way cheaper than the hours involved in managing a mail server; the exchange license and hardware costs alone can exceed that for a 100 person network.
posted by jenkinsEar at 1:01 PM on May 28, 2010

wow! Thank you all for the help. I was a bit surprised to learn that archiving and encryption (both HIPAA requirements) add considerably to the cost/
posted by dougiedd at 11:41 PM on May 28, 2010

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