I know many smaller businesses think that it’s a great idea to work with Google. Low/Free pricing, and great experiences as consumers will always cause people to gravitate to them. Personally, I have had a wonderful experience with Google’s email, maps and other services…but I would never use them for my own business.
Why? I was thinking about this the other day, and wanted to explain it in a blog post to everyone…but I noticed today that my friends over at TechRepublic were riding the same wavelength as I was. Worth the short read for you. Here’s a bit shorter version with my own spin.
1) Google’s app environment isn’t stable. Outside of Gmail and Maps, the sheer amount of things that Google introduces and then pulls is massive. This to me always shows that their products aren’t really that well thought out or tested…and if you’re a business, why would you want to be using an advanced beta product in your environment? There’s already rampant changes to Gmail coming…and that’s messing with an established product that works.
2) Google could care less about you. I think the folks at TechRepublic hit the nail on the head. They don’t have a SLA for their users. That alone would be a deal breaker for me. Those of you who’ve worked with any company that has a warranty, or response time added into it have expectations. If your whole system relies on them, and they don’t get back to you, how much money are you bleeding out during that time? That should horrify any businessman or IT person.
3) They’re collecting your information. Yup, when you click their search engine, and use their apps, you’re generating them income…and they’re finding better ways to sell to you. Other companies out there who sell you the software you need, only collect information if you let them…and that’s how it should be. Google really wants your data to sell…and that’s all you’re worth to them.
I brought this up to a friend who owns a small business that uses Google a while back, and he laughed at me, calling me biased because I sell solutions. Unlike some people, I do get it…that some businesses may not have the capital to start with enterprise level products…but there are answers that are much better than a free service who sells your information. Heck, $5/month an email box for hosted services is what PC Mall and Microsoft charge…that takes the workload off of you, and keeps things safe.
In the end, you always get what you pay for. Either do your own laundry, or hire a laundry service to do it for you. Don’t let the neighborhood kids paw through your clothes and wash them for you. 🙂