After using Google Apps, you wonder why any company (especially any small company) would use anything else. The power and endless storage of Gmail, the simultaneous editing capabilities of Google Docs, the integrated group scheduling of Google Calendar (when it’s working, which would not include most of today)–these are amazing products, and work really well in a business setting. But those few products were pretty much where Google Apps stopped. You’re paying for normally free Google services–shouldn’t you have access to everything Google offers? Starting soon, you will.
Not all of Google’s other services have obvious business uses, but Google managed to explain how the expansion could still be beneficial for enterprise users:
For example, coworkers will be able to publish their organization’s blog on Blogger, share project images with Picasa Web Albums, track industry news in Google Reader, advertise online with AdWords and much more, all without switching back and forth between multiple accounts.
One big benefit of paying for Google Apps is actual support from Google, which will, according to Google, be a little slow to roll out. But by this fall, Google hopes to have the expanded suite available for all Standard, Premier, and Education Edition customers. If you want it earlier, there’ll be an option sometime this summer to manually add services.
It’s a big change for Google Apps. I’m not sure it’ll entice new customers–a blogging network, even one as good as Blogger, is of questionable business use–but it’ll definitely make existing customers happy. The best part of using Google services is the interplay between them all, and Apps users deserve to take part in that.