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What are Google Apps?

Google Apps are a suite of web-based messaging and collaboration applications that Google hosts on their own servers. Google provides these applications as a "service," rather than as software to download and install. To access these applications, you simply use a web browser on a computer that's connected to the Internet.  

Why Google Apps?

There are many factors that contributed to our decision to “go Google.” Increasing license fees and the complexities of operating the past Novell GroupWise system meant escalating costs and risk. The recent budget crisis combined with the projected growth of the University required us to find a more effective and cost-efficient solution. Many higher education institutions have proven that Google Apps have been a solution and to a large extent, that has been proven here at Georgia Southern with the successful implementation of students and preliminary testing by staff and faculty volunteers. Based on what we know today, we estimate Google Apps saves the institution more than $200,000 annually while promoting increased collaboration and innovation throughout the University.

More specifically, Google Apps provide:
  • Lower infrastructure costs
  • All your email is stored securely on Google's servers, so we'll no longer need to maintain email servers on-site.
  • Ability to further consolidate email platforms
  • We eliminate duplication of services by moving to one email, calendar and file sharing solution providing students, faculty and staff with state of the art tools.
  • Lower support costs
  • Because Google hosts the email and calendar services, there's no more email client software to maintain on your computer.
  • Innovative solutions -- We can leverage the powerful collaboration tools of the Google Apps platform to provide the University community with easy-to-use tools for sharing information and getting work done efficiently.
  • Highly scalable environment -- With Google Apps, our email capacity continues to grow automatically as Georgia Southern grows, and we avoid many complexities, risks and future costs.
  • Access to services from anywhere, anytime – Google Apps are designed to operate in cyberspace and is functional with any computer or mobile device with an Internet connection, anywhere in the world;
  • Security and Survivability - Google’s security resources are world-class and far outpace the resources that any single higher education institution could ever provide. Google Apps offers a strong and extensive security infrastructure that has passed the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants Statement on Auditing Standard 70. Google data centers provide redundancy of services and duplication of data across large geographical areas making them resilient to common disaster scenarios.
  • State of the Art features -- With Google's next-generation applications, faculty, students and staff operate in an environment of information collaboration. Google is constantly innovating new applications and capabilities. Google also provides a programming interface that allows the University to create our own Google-based applications.

What exactly does Google Apps include?

Your new Google account does include the following services:  

  GMail "Google mail'
Google Calendar GChat "Google Talk" Google Drive Google Sites

  • Lots of storage -- You have a full 25 GB of online storage for your email, so you can archive all of your email online. You do not need to worry about deleting messages or saving them in offline folders.
  • Enhanced message organization and retrieval -- With Google Mail, you spend less time managing folders and searching for messages. For example, you can add one or more tags, or "labels," to your messages to organize and store them more efficiently. And with the Google-powered search feature, you can find any message quickly and easily, whether it's in your Inbox or stored in your message archive.
  • Easier calendar sharing -- Google Calendar lets you and your team members quickly and easily share your calendars with each other and specify the details you want to show. Calendar sharing is a great way for you and your coworkers to keep each other informed about your schedules. Now it's easier than ever to find out if someone is in a meeting, on a business trip, or on vacation.
  • Integrated chat -- With the Google Talk instant messaging application, you can communicate instantly with your coworkers right from the Email interface. In addition, all your chats are automatically saved in your Email application, so you can always retrieve important information.
  • Real-time collaboration -- Using Google Docs, you can create documents, spreadsheets, and presentations, and you and your team members can view and edit them at the same time. You can still use your Microsoft Office products as needed, but now you'll have more options for storing and collaborating on your documents. 
  • Easy-to-build team web sites -- With Google Sites, your team has the ability to quickly publish a robust internal web site on which to gather all sorts of shared information, such as documents, spreadsheets, presentations, files, and videos. You can even embed Google calendars and other gadgets on your site!