Google Apps offers a free version of its platform that it calls the Standard version. For many small businesses, this is sufficient. But there may be reasons why upgrading to Premier makes sense. For one, you may need to ensure your installation’s uptime.
Google does not offer any official uptime stats for its Standard subscription. While the apps are backed by Google itself and that could give you enough comfort, if you want any guarantee of uptime, you should consider upgrading to the Premier account.
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Is uptime important? For casual use of the apps provided, having a few minutes of downtime may not be such a big deal. If this is the case for you, the standard version is probably sufficient. However, if your business relies on sharing information with other workers or customers, it can be crucial. Google offers 99.9% uptime for the premier version. Even though the .9% may seem minimal, when projected out over a year, this can be a substantial amount of time.
If you plan on using Gmail as an integral part of your email system, you may want to consider the Premier version as you can set up your company name. This means that instead of sending emails with @gmail.com you can send with @yourcompany.com. You can find ways to do this with the free version, but there is no guarantee that capability will exist indefinitely.
Other benefits of the Premier version is the amount of storage available. For the top plan, your team gets unlimited storage. Be sure to the website as the terms may change since this article was written.
More robust administrative features are another benefit to upgrading to Premier. For smaller organizations, this is probably not a big deal but for larger groups, the extra functionality can help assign the appropriate access. You may not want customers to have access to every document within your organization, and the administration feature gives you better control.
Many organizations start out with the Standard subscription and then upgrade when the time is right. If your business is small, you may consider going this route yourself. It’s very easy to upgrade, and it can be done online. The best way to determine which version to choose is to perform a needs assessment. Then match up that assessment with the features of the software suite that make the most sense. Google does give a 30-day free trial for up to 10 users to see if it is right for you.