Is Google for Work really better than traditional IT?

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Over a billion people make use of Google’s Gmail everyday, but something that most people in a business environment might not know, is that Google has made its usual offerings of email, documents and the like available to companies.

Naturally there is a fee attached to that, but according to OpenNetworks‘ co-founder and CEO Hywel Jones, it could very well reduce the average office’s IT spend by moving to the cloud.

Google for Work is conservatively half the cost of what it would be if you had to buy all the servers and everything that goes with it. I dare to say that it is 60% less than traditional IT,” he said.

But why should companies make use of Google for Work, when the plain (and free) Google products will do just fine?

Here in the office we already route almost all of our emails through Gmail, collaborate on document through Google Docs, and share spreadsheets with Google Sheets.

In this case, we see no use for shifting over to a business package just to access existing features, but Jones thinks that we are losing out on some important aspects.

“You get the same experience as the consumer versions, but the paid-for access to Google for Work conforms to legal issues, is PoPI complaint, features eDiscovery, has a certain level of Service Level Agreement, more storage space, no advertising, and better security.”

Clearly we aren’t the target audience… Either that, or we are just way ahead of the curve.

We might have known about all the work-arounds that make our office life easier, but OpenNetworks faces a bit of an uphill battle in convincing others.

“Google for Work is specifically for businesses, but people don’t know about it,” Jones explained. As a Google premier partner, it is OpenNetworks’ job to get more businesses to sign up.

To (literally) drive the point home, the company has opted for a rather unique marketing strategy to promote Google for Work – take potential customers on a ride in a BMW i8.

Jones’ reasoning for buying an i8 is that just like there’s a marked difference between a petrol car and a high-powered hybrid sports car, there’s a difference between having servers, racks and everything that traditional IT requires, and moving everything to the tech giant’s cloud.

The purchase is a metaphor – of sorts.

He believes that in order to know what transformation can do for you, you will need to experience it – and that is where the i8 comes in handy. After the (very expensive) ride, potential buyers will also be given a couple of demonstrations on how Google for Work can help them out.

“Companies shouldn’t have the discussion as to where their servers should be – everything can be moved to the cloud. If you can make that change (from servers to cloud), you will become more productive and better your digital culture, as we are trying to implement the culture of a digital strategy. If you can do things more efficiently, you win,” he concluded.

We are still not convince that we need to make the change to the business package. But the ride in the i8 was nice.

Charlie Fripp

Charlie Fripp

Charlie started his professional life as a motoring journalist for a community newspaper in Mpumalanga, Charlie explored different journalistic angles since his entry into the fast-paced world of publishing in 2006. While fostering a passion for the arts, Charlie developed a love for technology – both which allowed him to serve as Entertainment and Technology Editor for an online publication. Charlie has since been heavily involved in consumer technology for various websites and publications. He thoroughly enjoys World War II films and cerebral documentaries; aviation; photography and indie music. Oh yes, and he also has a rather strange obsession with collecting coffee mugs from his travels.