Google Apps For My Domian, No Thank You

22 Comments

A few weeks ago, GigaOM got an invite for the beta version of what would eventually become Google Apps for Your Domain offering. It seems like such a great idea for early stage companies like ours or small and medium sized businesses. A free email and scheduling package with Google’s backing, how could you go wrong. I was pretty excited about signing up, and it was a painless process. All that remained was changing our MX records to point to Google’s servers.

At the very last minute, a red flag popped up that made us change our mind: the privacy disclosure. Of course there was the whole issue of getting email on the go; many on our team wanted to use BlackBerries, while I wanted to use my Nokia E61 with Good (by far the best push mail offering on Symbian), so instead we decided to go the traditional route. Okay, perhaps I was being a bit too paranoid, but given the recent AOL DataGate, it is prudent to be wary of the big guys.

Reading between the lines, our good friend Dan Farber says that this is Google Office version 1.0, and the search engine giant will add Writely and Spreadsheets to the package and poke Microsoft in the eye. Kent Newsome offers a strong counterpoint. Our readers in response to a previous post are involved in a hot, intelligent, educational and a rather enjoyable debate.

[Update: just to clarify again – the beta invite we got was for Mail and Calendar, and there wasn’t called Google Apps for Your Domain.]

22 Comments

adam lark

man i stuffed up oneday big time, we were moving & office & the DSL droped & the original sight but didn’t move across (& wasn’t going to for a week!), i used googleapps to get us out of the stinky stuff, that was 3 months ago… now i really need to roll back to horde & qmail & well the backward path is not as clear as it should be

Tariq Adel Ebrahim

I don’t see the problem with google apps, I mean you can use it for free for your domain, and they will give you 100’s of email addresses for free, allow your users to collaborate in decent environment and if you go for premium they’ll chuck in support among other things.

One more thing Google are not AOL, they are Data Miners to end all data miners, they have experience dealing with the largest data sets in the work for years, I think they’re reliable and I think they will probably be much better at handling your data than you are.

As for privacy you can always encrypt mails are use an alternative gate way.

Long live Google Apps!

tuan_takur

yes !! Google Apps Is F**k !!

what they thing about google Page Creator. It’s Sh*t !

i’ve been trapped by google.

i hate me ! for trusting google apps

Adil

Tao Takashi is right–the perfect thing would be a full-featured email/gmail application available for installation on web hosting servers. Even if it were ad-supported we would probably still use it b/c they write such good-quality programs.

praveen kumar

hi
In my office blocked url list is Anonymizers/translators,chat,webmail,dating. so i could not open my orkut and other webmails. can someone suggest me a way to crack it?

Pooran

I would strongly beleive what you are saying OM. When a company is developing its IP, usual talk over it will happen over email / chat / document sharing etc. Why would one compromise that data just because it costs something.

Frankly, how much a mail server costs? and how much outlook/office suite license costs? What google has that is not offered by what Microsoft is offering. Leave Microsoft products apart, there are wide range of tools like eventsherpa for calendar, thunderbird for mail, jabber for chat. Though they are not linked like google apps do, they solve the purpose right?

Honestly, I would not trust anybody for my enterprise data. Though costly would like to go for personal mail server and outlook than Google apps for domains.

All that Google provides like mail, chat, personal homepage, online word, spreadsheet, notepad etc are good for personal use. Not for enterprise world.

Google apps for domains will work for building sites like orkut, additional to your services, you want to give mail, calender, chat services for free to users.

miles

yep. this is a concern in the business domain since Google will be hosting private documents and could have an AOL-style malfunction. In our small business (~50 staff) we can’t expose that risk.

Although, for my personal email I joined the google beta a few months ago, and have had a great experience

Tao Takashi

Seems really I am the only one worried of giving all my company data to whomever. Ok, your ISP can already read that data but it’s maybe still a difference to give that data to them or to give it to Google who can match it with loads of other data sources about you.

I’d rather see a nice gmail application which I can install on my own server to have that gmail like functionality instead of putting everything on foreign servers.

(besides I am also more flexible in setting up my own email server the way I want it. Just what’s missing is really just a nice web UI module).

Gaurav

I think the real issue would be the risk of using a beta service for your enterprise needs. Its OK to get an occasional “oops something went wrong” on Gmail Beta but clearly that is not acceptable when you are running your enterprise email on top of it. Besides, since its free right now, you can only hope for getting support, you can not demand it.

BTW, yahoo has been running Yahoo Small Business for years now and provides mail, messeenger, web hosting etc on your domain for very economical prices. Howcome nobody calls it “MS Office killer” ;-)

Convergence.In

Its really cool if you are in love with gmail. I am glad I got one though I seldom use gTalk or any chat clients, but their mail on Convergence.In works fine.

Diego Barros

I agree with Alex and Ken. On first reading that was my take on the privacy policy. Your “domain administrator” can already access your email or anything you do that goes through the ISP pipe. Doesn’t sound so bad.

Ken

I’m with Alex above. In most organisation the mail administrator typical have the ability to access the user’s mail.

The AOL saga on the other hand made us weary of what kind of usage data is collected. This I believe is what is not fully disclosed.

Ahwei

We do try out the products and it is good, initially it was our plan to have all our members to use gmail as a standard platform of communication as nowaday, a lot of e-mail are being block here and there.. when we tested out everything and plan to get all the 200,000 members move into this.. Wait a minutes.. few things come into our mind..

  1. It is great platform, but there’s no saving on our end, since they are using their own e-mail anyway..

  2. Our members will become their members

  3. What are we getting out from there, if there’s no saving..

I think it missed out one great features in their adsense.. If they can allowed us or anyone who have certain level of audience to move there and share out the ads revenue, then we don’t mind.., they should have consider this… allowing people to share out part of the revenue generated under the domain, for site with lots of members…That’s why as of today, even though we try out the best, we reluctant to let members move over. Just our view from another angle..

Alex

I’m not sure if I follow what’s scary about that privacy disclosure. Isn’t the domain administrator just the owner of the domain that’s hosted with Google?

I’m still trying to follow all the implications of the terms of service, but the thing you link to doesn’t seem scary at all since traditional IT organizations can already do these things.

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