A little while ago I signed up to have Google manage my email accounts because I wanted to take advantage of their excellent spam filtering. It looks like they are beginning to go beyond managing your business’s emails and want to do much more.
As you can see in the screenshot above there are a few other services available to me now: chat, calendar, and domain web pages. The real question is where are the collaborative services that Google currently offers such as Spreadsheets and Writely? I think some smaller businesses would really find those useful being integrated into the new list of services. Larger businesses, however, probably wouldn’t want to risk having their information located on a server that they don’t own.
Google really needs to be on top of things because other companies, like Zoho, could step in and offer features that would be appealing to large corporations. Maybe Zoho would sell a server with their whole productivity suite on it. That way you could have full control of the server and the documents all while giving the entire office access to a planner, chat, word processor, spreadsheet, and presentation applications.
I also believe that Zoho’s services are beyond what Google has to offer for Online Office alternatives. Google Spreadsheets couldn’t even open one of my documents because it said the file used more than 50,000 cells (which it definitely has less than that) but Zoho had no problem. Google should be worried that a company, like Yahoo, will snatch Zoho up and then be way ahead of them in an instant. This competition is good for us because it just means we will see better products at little to no cost. :)
Thanks for the tip Ed!
Google Apps For Your Domain Homepage