Using Google Apps, Google+ for remote communication and collaboration?

Now that Google+ has been released, we're thinking of using Google Apps and Google+ to support communications and collaboration for our remote knowledge-based workforce, which makes up approximately 60% of our total workforce. While there are a few internal applications that these workers use daily, Google Apps and Google+ would be used primarily as means to facilitate collaboration. Are Google Apps and Google+ a good fit for our needs?

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Deciding whether Google+ will meet your company's goals really goes back to another question I answered recently about whether businesses should invest in internal, vendor-based enterprise social software. Companies are increasingly looking at tools like Google Apps and Google+ as their primary platforms. One of the main reasons is cost, but another valid reason is the ability for these applications to have a global reach. Given that Google is cloud-based, the work of building an environment in which your employees can work is generally already done.

Another consideration is that Google in its current form does not offer much in the way of customization or vertical market integration, which means you will get a platform that addresses a wide market. This will likely change as Google moves more and more into the enterprise, so if you can live with some of the early challenges of a non-customized solution, it could provide your company with all that you need down the road.

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This was first published in December 2011

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