Whether you have worked for or with a small to medium-sized business, you’ve probably picked up on the fact that SMBs are distinguished from their enterprise counterparts in their energy to continue growing, limited resources, and tighter time frame for internal projects. It turns out that coordinating well within the company is vital to its scalability and future success. According to the Third Annual Small and Medium Business Technology Adoptions Trends survey and report by CompTIA, two-thirds of SMBs have adopted cloud computing technology in some way for its security, ease-of-use, and cost savings, among other reasons.

Over 3 million businesses have made the switch to Google Apps from the day Google introduced an enterprise edition of their popular Gmail product. Now, not only are individuals and large enterprises seeing the benefit of the innovative collaboration suite, small to medium-sized businesses have also found value in the Google Apps for Business product as well. Here are some of the features and characteristics SMBs have discovered to be beneficial in Google Apps for Business:

Real-time Collaboration

One of the most defining characteristics of GAFB is the ability to create and edit documents in real-time with Google Docs, Spreadsheets, and Presentations. Working on a team has never been easier with this functionality, and the people within your organization no longer have to worry about who has the most up-to-date version of a document.

How our company uses it: Content for our website is constantly being generated by multiple people. Before a page goes live, it is seen and edited by various members of the marketing team. We use Google Docs to draft and edit these pages, sharing them in a Collection titled “Page Drafts”. In addition, we use Google Spreadsheets to keep track of which stage these pages are in the pipeline so that everyone with access to this spreadsheet has the most up-to-date information on page progress.

Cost Savings

Google Apps for Business costs $50 per user per year, far less expensive than the absolute least expensive offering of $6 per user per month ($72 per year) for small businesses under 25 employees from Office 365 by Microsoft. This recurring license fee is favorable to the traditional method of purchasing huge on-site servers and hiring teams of IT specialists to maintain them.

Support and Additional Functionality

With Google being one of the most trusted names in the cloud computing industry, hundreds of companies have emerged in the space to join in on the conversation and provide services and products surrounding the Google platform. The primary place to find these is the Google Apps Marketplace where app developers have come together to build applications for CRM, expense reporting, workflow, etc. Our admin tool, SherpaTools, is a #1 install, offering IT management functions for administrators and new features for end-users.

For guidance moving to the cloud, get your Google Apps license from a reseller like Cloud Sherpas. We offer packages specifically designed for SMB cloud migrations.

Author: Angela Sun is on the SMB Marketing team at Cloud Sherpas in Atlanta, GA. Cloud Sherpas is a leading Google Apps cloud service provider. As a Google Apps Authorized Reseller and Google Enterprise partner, we have migrated over one million users across all major industries from legacy, on-premise messaging systems to Google Apps, helping organizations adopt cloud computing to innovate and dramatically reduce their IT expenses. Get to know our company by checking out our Facebook page at www.facebook.com/cloudsherpas.