Just like every other IT tool in the world Google Apps is not perfect. There are limitations and annoyances both big and small, with some of these being temporary and others being permanentness. In an attempt to highlight both sides of the debate here is a list of issues the IT Team has come up against since introducing Google Apps.
- Live Internet connections and higher bandwidth (Permanent Restriction)
With all email you require an active internet connection in order to send and receive information. However, the more information you put online, the larger the potential disruption if your internet connection fails for any reason. Google has worked hard to address this with Offline Mode for Mail, Calendar and Docs, but this is still not a perfect solution and if you were to be without an internet connection for a long period of time this would still cause disruption.
Also, as Google Apps is a web service, everything you send has to go out to the internet, even if you are only emailing people in your own office. This can lead to higher bandwidth and although for most countries this won;t be a problem, there are some countries which have harsh bandwidth caps even for businesses. Because of this, if you have capped bandwidth or even low flexible limits, we advice you talk with the IT Team.
- 7 Gigabyte mail quota (Permanent Restriction)
Google limits the size of a users email to 7 Gigabytes in the educational version of Google Apps. This is more than enough for most people, but it is a restriction. The IT Team expects that program and partner directors (the people who generally received the most email) still have enough space for approximately two to three years worth of email before needing to archive and delete information.
Because of this restriction, the IT Team does not advise a complete migration of users Lotus Notes email, but instead starting either with a clean slate and switching back and forth between programs for a few weeks, or migrating up to the last three months of email from Lotus Notes.
- Databases in Lotus Notes (Temporary Restriction)
Currently Lotus Notes contains large amounts of operational information which is vital to the running of the organization. These databases include:
1. In Box Announcements
2. Background Papers and Reports
3. All other key Notes databases
You can access the Inbox Announcements and other key databases through the http://leader.afs.org website. If you need access to this website and do not know the password, simply click Forgot password link and enter your email address.
- IOC code not stamped in front of email (Temporary Restriction)
In Lotus Notes when you receive an email it usually comes up with the IOC code of the user in front of their name. Examples of this are Nick Cooper INT , or Tony Calvert NZL . This lets you know which country someone is from when they are emailing you.
In Google Apps this is not a standard feature. However, the IT Team has set a naming standard which needs users to add their IOC code after their name. Unfortunately though, this standard only works within Google Apps, and when sending emails out to other users. This means that when users receive emails from Lotus Notes users it will not have their IOC code.
The IT Team expects that this problem will resolve itself slowly as more and more partners migrate to Google Apps.