Moving to Google Apps for Work

Google Apps for Work

It’s been two for around two months since my small office moved the email service to Google Apps for Work. So far, it’s been a great experience and I think it was the right decision to make.

Why Moving?

Before moving to Google Apps for Work, we manage the email servers on our own. Meaning, we needed to do the setup, maintenance, including backup. There are less than twenty email accounts to manage under two main domains. The email was hosted on a cloud-based server — we used DigitalOcean. Everything was running almost without any issues.

We depend on emails on day-to-day operation. At the same time, we need to have (almost) zero maintenance and increase our productivity. Our small team needs to share lots of things like documents, spreadsheets, and agendas. The thing is that we need to use our personal Google account to share documents. The other things is on the storage. I have more than 6 GB of email (for work). So, moving to Google Apps for Work is an anticipation. Here are some main reasons on the migration:

  1. Zero maintenance. By outsourcing the email service to Google, we at least only need to keep the domain active.
  2. Integration with other Google services like Google Docs, Google Sheets, Google Calendar, and more. The integration also includes the seamless collaboratoin between coworkers.
  3. Flexible storage. By default, I have 30 GB of storage for my Gmail, Google Drive, and photos. If later I need to upgrade, the price is pretty reasonable. 100 GB for IDR 27,000 (per account) is a good deal.
  4. Simple setup and management. Setting up each service provided by Google Apps for Work is very easy.

Migration Process

The migration process was pretty easy. Since there were only around 12 email accounts, so moving them individually did not take too much time. My coworkers moved all the email account by themselves. The only challenge is not to have the downtime. There is a simple guide to work on this area. During the registration process, I only need to use a primary domain — and setup the secondary domain as domain alias later on.

For the cost efficiency, I worked on the settings on email routing. For example, if there is an email address that was only accessed by specific people in the organisation, I created some routing rules. By this, I can minimise the number of accounts.

After all emails (including attachments) had been migrated to Google Apps, we kept the “old” servers online for few days just to make sure that no data left behind. I was not sure how long the whole processes was completed, but it was around one week.

Google Offers Free 2GB Extra for Google Drive

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Google offers 2GB of storage for Google Drive for those who completes Google’s security checkup process. This offer ends on February 17, 2015. It’s also to celebrate Safer Internet Day. Right now, I have 15 GB of storage for my Google Drive and use around 5 GB of it). There are still plenty of room for my storage, but 2 GB of free upgrade is too good to be skipped.

The security checkup is a simple and straight forward. It’s to make sure that your Google account is safe by doing some checking on these areas:

  • Recovery information. Make sure you to have an active phone number and alternative email for account recovery.
  • Recent activities. Review the recent login activities using Google account.
  • Account permission. Check the services, or apps you give permission to use or connect to Google account.
  • App password. You can use specific password for logins. So, using Google, you don’t always supply your primary password. If you’re not sure or find the applications you don’t recognize, remove them.
  • 2-step verification. I use this security method. Just make sure to have backup phone number there, including the backup codes.

Even this offer does not apply to Google Apps for Work and Google Apps for Education, but it’s recommended that Google account owners should review the security checkup. After completing the security review checkup, the additional storage will be automatically added at the end of February 2015.