Wednesday, 28 April 2010

Google Apps Even More Powerful Now

There is another feature that is just incredibly exciting about the Google approach to cloud computing

We have been writing for years about the megatrend of Cloud Computing, and have also underscored that many of the opinions on Cloud Computing reflected here are because of both hands-on experience with enterprise IT and also the use of cloud capabilities for our business at Crucial Point LLC.

The core IT capabilities of our firm is run by Google Apps. This provides us with full featured cloud computing power in online applications like email, calendars, documents, spreadsheets, chat, video, sites and an array of add-on applications like Manymoon for project management and SocialWok for business grade social networking.

Those many tools and features enable us to focus more on our mission and less on IT and they also provide great agility in where we work from. And they provide agility when it comes to ramping up to larger teams for bigger projects and, as important as that, in ramping down after the project is over.

But there is another feature that is just incredibly exciting about the Google approach to cloud computing. The Google team is constantly innovating around their cloud offerings. New features are rolled out and when they are they become instantly available to users. With each new capability my firm becomes a bit more flexible and a bit more agile and in some cases a bit better of a place to work. And since Crucial Point only exists to serve clients, when we are more agile and productive it can make direct contributions to our client’s satisfaction. So although tracking Google Apps upgrades is fun, learning them can also provide direct benefits to clients, which means they can generate real business value.

Here are some of the latest developments:

* Documents have much better import features, making it even easier to move documents to the cloud. More editing features have also been added, giving more control over images and text alignment, for example. And a new commenting feature has been added making it even easier to add, reply to, shift around comments. Real-time collaboration is now supported.
* Spreadsheets enable cells to be edited from the formula bar, enable columns to be dragged, and support much faster work online. Real time collaboration and chat are also available.
* A standalone drawing editor has been added to the tool suite as well, and it, like the other tools, supports real-time collaboration.

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