Gmail becoming a monopoly?
I read a rather sensational post this morning. Not sensational in the good way, either. Let me explain – sensational can mean “arousing or intended to arouse strong curiosity, interest, or reaction, especially by exaggerated or lurid details” (answers.com). The author essentially proposed that Gmail could become the de facto standard for business email. He cites several examples of organizations (incidentally, both colleges, not businesses) that are intending to use Gmail’s business email program for their student email.
This is a great example of how cloud computing can be useful. I’ve been a Gmail user for about four years, and I like it. That said, I don’t use their Web client except on rare occasions. I dislike web clients. But with the business class service, as well as with the personal email, users can access Gmail via either POP3 or IMAP. No Web client required.
I can see this as a viable solution for colleges and small businesses, but frankly, I don’t see this as an enterprise solution unless Gmail 1) guarantees uptime and 2) provides personalized, 24-7 enterprise support solutions. Their support, from what I understand, is pathetic at present. However, I think it could work for small businesses. Google does have a good reputation as a progressive and professional company (unlike another prominent hosting company, whose salacious Super Bowl advertising became an instant bar from use in my business).
So back to the point. Great idea? Yep. But did this author stretch the truth? Yes. However, there’s still an important point in there – if you’re running a small business and need business email services (your own domain name and hosted email services with high uptime) it’s definitely worth considering. Honestly, I’d consider going that route for a small business, even though I’m capable of hosting my own email server. The price point is great too ($50 per user per year).
Bottom line: it’s not going to take over the world, but it’s a great idea for a smaller business who needs professional email services from a reputable company.