The month of March has been a busy one for the Google Apps team, rolling out its third value-add update to the cloud-based productivity software suite in the past couple of weeks.
Today, the company is announcing Google Apps Migration for Microsoft Exchange, a tool to make it easier for Exchange users to switch to Google Apps. The tool sits on the server side and turns the switch into a four-step process. Users maintain control over the mail, calendar and contact data that's moved (say some employees want to make a clean break of e-mail and start fresh, maybe just 30 days back.). The data can be moved in phases and the tool doesn't interrupt any of the employee access to Exchange during the migration.
Google has stepped up its game in recent weeks with new tools and features to make it harder for enterprise customers - large enterprise customers - to overlook Google and the cloud as a money-saving alternative to the traditional Exchange server model. It was last summer, though, that Google started beefing up on migration and synchronization tools to make the transition from one platform to another as seamless and painless as possible for the employees.
Last June, Google released Outlook Sync, which allowed companies to sync mail, calendar and contacts from Google Apps directly into Microsoft Outlook. A month later, it released a migration tool for Lotus Notes. Then, the following month, it rounded out its trio of tool releases with Google Apps Connector for Blackberry Enterprise Server.
This time, the (so-far) trio kicked off two weeks ago with a new cloud backup feature called synchronous replication, which essentially is the backing up of data within Apps to multiple data centers to avoid any data loss during a disruption.
A few days later, Google cut the ribbon on Google Apps Marketplace, which the company described as a place for companies to “discover, buy and install” third-party business apps that can be integrated into the other apps within the suite, as well as the data in them.
Google has been pushing that "version-less" software message for a while now, highlighting the regular updates that are simply rolled out as they're ready, instead of holding all of them for one mega update or a new version.
The company, never shy about sharing its number of users, also gave an update on its user number, proudly boasting two million businesses and 25 million users and welcoming the two newbies: Konica Minolta and National Geographic.