Over time all those drawing attachments started clogging up his email server, so we got our own email server with our own domain name. The cool factor balanced out the costs and hid the fact that we were stepping out on a slippery slope.
It took a few years for the real aggravation to set in. Server upgrade with new software licenses (per user), occasional mysterious downtimes that usually meant a bill for $400-$600 to fix it. Modest but consistent annoyances became part of being connected.
Finally everybody on the planet got email. That meant that a whole lot of jackasses now had email. A jackass plus email equals spam. By 2008 each of us were receiving 200 emails a day - 95% spam. I was spending a half hour per day sorting and deleting - and that was after developing special tactics for efficiently sorting and deleting. Mondays were a nightmare.
There was a solution. Buy a spam filter for just $15/user/month. If it wasn't 2008 and the start of the great recession, I might have done it.
Instead I found Google Apps.
Here’s what I like about Google Apps:
- Cost - $5/user/mo. Period. Zero additional cost.
- Image - A new custom domain is included. Now you can look like a business. Or use your old domain.
- Storage - 30 GB of cloud storage for email and files. Share files.
- Backups - Automatic backups.
- Anywhere Access - Log on from anything that has Internet access.
- Finding stuff - Add Labels, more than one if you like. Search for a name, domain, phrase, whatever - it's Google! Use filters to file, forward, tag, etc.
- Always On - 99.9% uptime and 99.9% aggravation-free time.
- Drive is a storage area where you can use folders like any server, and share those folder if you wish. The 30 GB you start with is often adequate, but Google offers the lowest cost for additional storage.
- Calendars integrate with email and can also be shared. Create a shared office calendar.
- Docs is Google's answer to Word. It is free and has all the features that I ever used, so it's bloat-free. Easily export to other file formats even while making the document an attachment.
- Sheets is an Excel-lookalike.
- Sites is the ability to create in-house websites for projects, intranet, etc.
- AddOns! There are some really amazing third party apps that extend the use of Docs and Sheets. Merging or splitting cell contents. Bulk email merges. Sorting by color. Gantt charts. And on and on.
Google Apps For Work Is A Solution For So Much More Than Just Email.
Get out of the IT business.