For several years, Fortis has provided a range of Google Workspace-related services to Northern California businesses.
Because so many of our IT support and VoIP customers were asking for Google Workspace services, we decided to make it official and become a Google Cloud Partner.
This partner relationship makes Fortis part of an exclusive group. Google has a higher acceptance bar than do most business technology vendors.
Whether you are unfamiliar with Google Workspace, have a passing familiarity, or know a fair amount, the following Q & A should help.
What is Google Workspace?
Google Workspace is a set of office productivity applications from Google Cloud. Many small businesses implement Google Workspace as an alternative to Microsoft Office 365. Fortis supports both vendors’ products.
Why do businesses use Google Workspace over other options?
Often, an organization adopts Google Workspace because their users are already familiar with the consumer versions of Gmail, Google Docs, Google Sheets, Google Presentations and Google Drive. The Google Workspace user experience is almost identical.
Google Workspace makes it easy for staff to collaborate on documents, even from different geographic locations. Two or more people can talk on the phone and edit the same document or spreadsheet at the same time.
The owner of a document can decide whether each collaborator can edit, only comment or only view a given document.
Is our Google Workspace data secure?
People are understandably concerned about the security of any business data that lives in the cloud.
From a physical security perspective, Google’s data centers have a fortress-like quality to them. This video explains.
Every single email and file is fragmented. The pieces are replicated and stored across different drives in multiple data centers. An email or file is reassembled on-demand when a user requests it.
Data on any single hard drive would be useless to anyone who managed get their hands on it. To get their hands on a drive in the first place, they would have to first get past the multiple layers physical security and into the heart of a Google data center.
Can some of our staff still use Microsoft Outlook on the desktop?
Yes, desktop Microsoft Outlook can be used with Gmail.
However, many companies make an effort to standardize on using the browser-based business Gmail interface. This eliminates the need for email desktop support and saves money by not having to purchase Microsoft Office licenses for each user/workstation.
Can diehard power Excel users like our CFO still use Excel?
Yes, power Excel users can get individual licenses of Office from Microsoft. For sharing purposes, most Excel spreadsheets can be imported into Google Sheets and visa versa.
One caveat is that Excel and Sheets each have their own macro language.
What does Google Workspace have that consumer Gmail does not?
Google Workspace includes a full user management console, many more security features and easier file sharing, to name a few.
Google Workspace has some business-only applications such as Hangouts Meet, which is an online meeting application that’s included at no extra cost. Meet allows you to video conference, share your screen with others when collaborating, and chat for real-time communication.
You no longer will need to rely on individual applications such as: Skype for chatting; Join.me or GoToMeeting for screen sharing; or WebEx or Zoom for video conferencing.
Hangouts Chat, a competitor to Slack, is another included business-only application.
How much does Google Workspace cost?
The Business Standard costs $6 per user per month. Business Plus costs $12 per user per month. Fortis can help you decide which edition is best for your business.
For annual prepayment, there are effectively two free months for each user.
Can we purchase our Google Workspace licenses from Fortis?
Yes, you can purchase Google Workspace licenses from Fortis for the same cost as buying them directly from Google.
Why should we work with a Google Cloud partner?
Companies with an internal IT person or team sometimes implement Google Workspace on their own.
Businesses without IT staff will benefit from Fortis’ Google Workspace implementation, data migration and training experience as well as our concierge service.
Can Fortis import all our employee’s emails from our existing email system(s)?
Yes, Fortis can import email from consumer Gmail, Microsoft Exchange, Microsoft Outlook, RackSpace, GoDaddy and more. The team are expert at migrating your email and setting up your mailbox just like it is now.
While all emails can be imported, this might be an opportunity to clean out the oldest emails from many years ago.
Can Fortis support Google Workspace remotely?
Yes, since Google Workspace administration is 100% in the cloud, we can administer and support Google Workspace from our offices.