Ever since it first launched in 2004, Google’s free email service Gmail has become the public’s top choice for their private and business email needs. Two years later, Google introduced Google Docs as the first of the free Google Apps tools for data organization and collaboration. The reception for Google Docs was very positive: people quickly realized the advantages of an online document processor that brought the core functions of Microsoft Word from offline to online.
Google then followed up Docs with Sheets and Slides in 2007. Together with Gmail, this trio (which would later be grouped with other apps under Google Drive) has since become some of the most-used online applications for both personal and professional use.
As a business owner, you might have started with Gmail accounts when you first set upshop. They are, after all, accessible, easy to create, and highly usable. Google has also listened to its users’ requests for larger storage capacity, so users now enjoy 15 gigabytes of combined storage space for Gmail and Google Drive. We’ve already mentioned this twice, too, but it bears repeating a third time: they’re free.
Free G-Suite gives you access to tools like Docs, Sheets, Slides, Calendar, and Drive, with collaboration features already integrated. This is great if you’re still starting out in your business.
So, why should you switch to a paid version when the free-for-use is impressive enough as is? We’re with you on this one: you don’t have to pay for more… if the free apps are indeed enough for your needs.
If you want to expand your operations and reach, you need to upgrade to a basic, business, or enterprise plan. Know the great features that these advanced plans offer, and how they benefit your business in the long run.
With a paid subscription, you gain access to premium enterprise services that make your business data more secure. Here are some features you will enjoy from an upgraded plan.
- Increased Storage – An upgrade to a basic scheme gives you 30 GB of space, compared to the free version’s 15 GB. Business and Enterprise, on the other hand, provide unlimited storage.
- Advanced Archiving – Business and enterprise plans feature archiving and eDiscovery. These let you maintain, find, and access secure records of every message you and your employees send on G-Suite.
- Enterprise-Grade Security – G-Suite has advanced security features such as data loss prevention, a security center, and advanced encryption.
G-Suite’s basic, business, and enterprise schemes all have advanced features that the free version lacks. But what do they actually mean for your company?
- Back-Up Files Without Worries – If your company deals with large files such as videos and high-resolution photos, you need unlimited storage from G-Suite’s Business and Enterprise plans. Apart from eliminating the need to buy more physical storage drives, Google’s cloud storage solution lets you get rid of difficult-to-maintain in-house servers.
- Compliance is a Breeze – Regulations like the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) Regulatory Notice 17-18 and the Health Insurance Portability Accountability Act (HIPAA) requires businesses to retain copies of their business communications for a few years.
G-Suite’s archiving tool automatically acquires and stores your company emails and instant messages. Its eDiscovery platform, on the other hand, offers a quick and comprehensive way to find and access these records. Compliance with your industry and government regulators is a breeze.
- Keep Your Data Completely Safe – Data loss from outages and breaches can be minimized with an Enterprise plan. It features data loss prevention that automatically creates copies of the files you upload. Its security center gives you a full view of the emails and files shared in your system. This allows you to stop unauthorized external data sharing and get rid of malicious email in bulk.
The More Your Business Grows, the Greater Your Needs Become
The free Google Apps are logical and cost-effective if your business is small enough that your communications, data entry and management, data security, and cloud storage requirementsdon’t exceed the apps’ limitations. As your operation grows, however, so willyour needs.
To sustain your business’ growth, you need to invest in infrastructure that will support your expanding needs. You risk stunting the growth of your operations otherwise.
G Suite is an excellent example. If you’ve already used the free apps extensively, upgrading to the paid version will be more seamless than purchasing a third-party integrated software that you’re unfamiliar with.
On top of the usability factor, you also get more benefits, which can justify the cost of the upgrade. Here are four excellent reasons to pay for G Suite:
- Clients and customers are more likely to trust youbecause of your branded email account.
GoDaddy, the world’s largest domain registrar, discovered in 2016 that 75% of consumers are more likely to trust branded email addresses or customized emails that bear a company’s name rather than a generic @google.com.
This is especially true when the said emails are from a small company. Branded emails have a higher trust value because they are clearly for professional use. Generic email addresses, on the other hand, are regarded as personal accounts. Consumers, according to the survey, doubt the credibility and trustworthiness of a professional or an enterprise that uses personal emails for business communications.
Here are other findings that are worth noting:
- Twenty-three percent of respondents think twice about sending their credit information to a personal/generic email address.
- Twenty-four percent of respondents hesitate to share their personal information with sellers who have personal/generic email addresses.
- Business email is the fourth highest trust factor for customers of web-based businesses.
- Real-time data sharing and remote collaboration is easier with G Suite’s range of file sharing, document processing, and chat platforms.
If you’re a longtime Gmail user, you might have already used Google Hangouts to create chat groups and make video calls. With G Suite, you’ll enjoy their extended features even more.
Hangouts in G Suite expands the number of possible video chat participants to 30, and people can easily join one through a shared link. You’ll eliminate the need to download plug-ins or for external participants to create a Gmail account. As for Hangouts Chat, G Suite allows users to access chatrooms through the mobile app. You’ll also be able to attach files from your G Suite cloud, allowing for a more seamless collaboration even when you’re on the go.
What about document creation, sharing, and editing? You’ll be pleased to know that Google Drive in G Suite gives you better collaboration features:
- Companies can create customized group email addresses. Instead of manually entering individual addresses in the recipients’ box, users only need to type the group email address. Everyone in the distribution list will then receive the email. It is extremely useful for sending out memos and announcements when you’re a company of more than fifty people.
- Teams can have a centralized drive (Shared Drive) where members can store files thateveryone in the team can access. Instead of one member owning a file and giving access to everyone else, files in Shared Drive belong to the entire team. This feature ensures that you have access to critical business files,even if the individuals who created them are no longer associated with your organization.
- Users with access to a document can view, edit, and comment on it together in real-time.
- Users can view, edit, and comment on Docs, Sheets, and Slides offline. It’s a relatively new feature that ensures users can continue working despite having a weak or nonexistent Internet connection. G Drive automatically syncs or updates the changes once users go back online.
- Users may archive documents and closed accounts in Google Vault. This G Suite application can give you peace of mind regarding data security and accessibility.
- Google has an ISO27001 certification, which means it has passed the international standard for web security. It is also FedRAMP certified, making Google an approved secure platform for government agencies.
- Vault can automatically purge or delete archived data based on a schedule. Administrators can easily change the deletion schedule or decide to keep the data.
- Administrators can audit archived documents and track activities like searches, exports, and document views within the vault.
- Users can quickly find archived documents thanks to eDiscovery. The function is especially helpful during legal proceedings and investigations that require business information from years back.
- You can have unlimited cloud storage (plus an extra perk) with G Suite.
Cloud storage is integral to G Suite’s online-based applications and one of its biggest draws. Each registered user gets a largerstorage capacity for Gmail and Drive as G Suite’s Basic editionoffers 30 gigabytes of storage instead of the free 15. If that’s still not enough, you can upgrade to unlimited storage by adding $10 per month for each user.
It’s a cost-effective offer: you can keep your subscription costs at a minimum by granting unlimited storage only to the individuals in your company who need them. It beats buying unlimited storage for everyone from a third-party provider at an astronomical price.
For companies that do require unlimited storage across the board, the G Suite Business and Enterprise editions offer unlimited storage for all registered users.
Google further improved its cloud storage service by implementing Cloud Search, a powerful search tool that allows users to find documents and folders across the entire range of G Suite applications. It can even pull up relevant results from emails and exchanges on Hangouts Chat.
- You can take advantage of Google’s superior machine-learning technology and apply it to your daily operations.
Google has developed advanced AI (artificial intelligence) and machine learning technologies in recent years. More impressively, the company has made them available to the public through its products and services. G Suite carries these technologies and enables businesses of all industries and sizes to enjoy their benefits:
- Intuitive scheduling–Google Calendar can do “smart scheduling” and suggest meeting times and dates when team members are available.
- Formula assistant in Sheets –Google Sheets has a Natural Language Processing feature thatprovides the appropriate formula when you type the data you needin plain language (e.g., What is the sum of Thursday expenses).
- Quick access to documents– G Suite generates a list of documents thatit deems relevant to your work for the day based on your calendar, collaborations, and recent document views.
These conveniences save you time and help you work efficiently. More importantly, machine learning can have a significant impact on your business. For instance, the intuitive scheduling does more than book participants fora meeting; it helps you make sure everyone in your team is aware of and are aligned with the company’s goals.
You Reap What You Invest
Let this be your takeaway from this article: G Suite is an investment that pays off as increased efficiency, improved data security, better team collaboration, and brand equity growth. All of these indirectly contribute to lowercosts and higher net income.
Upgrade your Google Apps with G Suite as soon as your needs outgrow the former’s limited offerings. And if you want the benefit of a responsive and accommodating customer service team, complete your upgrade through Business Cloud Deals. We offer Business and Enterprise level subscriptions for G Suite. Explore our website to learn more or contact us for an assessment of your cloud storage and business productivity needs.