Friday, November 14, 2008

Fud Buster Friday #14 - Gmail is Great for Business

In this corner wearing yellow, well it should have been, we have Lotus iNotes
In this corner we have Gmail sporting a pale shade of blue a rather unGoogle like color, don't you think
Bruce of Elguji fame asked why i don't pick on someone else for a change, Microsoft is so Turn of the Century.

To indulge him, and for Phigment's sake or was it Chris Toohey I have decided to focus on Gmail this week.

As pointed out by one of the latter individuals I can't compare Gmail to a Notes client. Fine, but I can compare it to the Webmail/iNotes/Domino web Access client.

As of 8.0.2 it has been renamed, again, back to iNotes for webmail and this comparison is really R8 iNotes vs. Gmail.

So first things first you get with Gmail currently 7GB of space for your email files.
You also FOR FREE get Postini on the back end clearing your spam, which is very nice too.
Plus you have an embedded IM client(Gtalk of course) and it's all in a browser and it's free. Really, not Microsoft Free where they nail you in year 2 for everything, but really free....for now.

OK, this is a consumer side, I am not paying the $50 for the year for better service levels. Still so far sounds good right?

Now, what about iNotes? Licensing, server admin and costs and you can easily see where this is a losing proposition right and everyone should move to Gmail?

Not so fast, we have some other issues here.
Uptime. Domiono is solid, my servers are up until I need to upgrade them or enough Microsoft downloads are bugging me to restart my server. If yours aren't, connect with me and we can help you. Exchange too and Groupwise and cc:Mail but I digress.

Attachments, the reply with attachments options in iNotes is nice and helpful as is the ability to send ANYTHING. Gmail will not let me send zip or exe files. Why not? Can't Postini handle it? I wonder....

UI. Here I prefer iNotes hands down. I would like to see some items moved but unlike iGoogle this page is static. iNotes has a nice spacing in between everything so you don't feel all cluttered.

Also where is preview mode in Gmail? Yes some will say if you have it set to show Snippets you can at least read the 1st line, but it's not the same, is it?

Backups? none, unless I offload the mail to my Notes client which I do as an IMAP user.

OOO (Out of Office) is there too, simple piece in Gmail, but how much does one really need?

Accessible from your phone? Check for both.
Accessible offline? iNotes yes using DOLS for the offline service. Gmail nothing right now.

So if I need information from previous discussions, unless I have downloaded my emails to a mail client I have no way to access them when needing them potentially in front of clients. HUGE problem for Gmail.

If your server goes down, your IT staff fixes it. If your Gmail goes down, who do you call? What do you do? What backup plan did you have? If my ISP went down I could walk over to Starbucks and use their free Wi-Fi but that doesn;t help me if Gmail is down.

If you travel as much as I do, what would you do? I usually send out and reply to emails on flights because it is quiet time and I can catch up and replicate them out to send when we land. Gmail? I don't think so.

If I had a business where no one traveled and no one left the office I would probably be running a prison or a library but real world business is rarely sitting in one place. Maybe you go to see a client and they have open Wi-Fi, great, but usually that isn't the case.

So is Gmail great for business?In my case, no it isn't, although it may provide a better case if and when they go offline and provide some better UI.