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Google Apps for Business is an email, messaging and content-sharing service provided by Google for small and medium-sized businesses as well as enterprises. Similar to Microsoft Exchange and Lotus Notes, Google Apps offers Web-based email and workplace communication, in addition to document sharing. The Google Apps for Business package includes Gmail, Google Calendar and collaboration apps such as Google Docs, Google Sites and Google Video for Business, among other Google services.

Businesses of all sizes and functions use Google Apps for Business to take advantage of Gmail storage, mobile email access and security. Companies can customize Google Apps to fit their business concerns and tailor the interface to their own look and feel. Administrators can connect Google Apps to their existing user directory and authentication system. Plus, if the business wants to continue using its current email service, Google Apps can run alongside it or administrators can rout mail from the existing solution to Google Apps for Business.

Security is a major concern when it comes to email services, including Google Apps for small business or large enterprises. Google Apps for Business security is powered by Postini, which includes spam filtering, outbound mail filtering, information-sharing rules, password requirements and archiving options.

Customers can run Google Apps for Business on a flexible, per-user account basis or on an annual plan. If users want to further customize Google Apps, they can use Google App Engine to build and host Web applications through Google.

This was first published in January 2012

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