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Life in the Cloud: Beginning the Journey with Google Apps

Posted on December 12, 2008 by Josh

Something is going to happen this week at the Gordian Project that I didn't expect when I started work here three years ago. We are beginning our transition to "The Cloud".
That's right, we're testing a transitioning of our users over from the clunky and resource intensive (and expen$ive) Microsoft Outlook, Word, Excel, Powerpoint, MSN Live Messenger, etc over to Google's cloud model of Google Apps, Gmailesque email, Google Docs, Google Talk, and Google Sites.

So, this week, I will be "living in the cloud" and completing 100% of my work on email, documents, spreadsheets, and presentations from Google Apps. This may not sound too revolutionary, since Apps has been around for awhile now. But, it's a challenge to transition your daily life away from what you're used to and what's comfortable to you. Over the next several weeks I'll also be transitioning our departments over to Google Apps, one at a time. The initial test is mostly about me ensuring that no individual user will be without key features for which they currently have a critical business need.
With any major software or interface change, there will be some user soreness. I fully expect moans and groans from a number of users that don't know what to expect. So, we're going to try to make the transition as painless as possible, by adding a function (email, calendar, chat, etc) by individual departments first, then, once all departments have transitioned to a new function of Apps, we'll move on to the next function.
We've used Google Apps for some time, but I am curious to see how others have fared in cloud computing for an entire organization. I'll have an update with thoughts and challenges once we're fully deployed.



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