One of my favorite projects is an ongoing partnership with Venturi Outcomes on the new gorilla exhibit at the Houston Zoo. I was originally called in on this construction project to manage the implementation of all things IT related, but my involvement later evolved into the development of a system for sharing and editing construction documents across multiple companies and the country.
The basic requirements were:
– It must be secure
– It must allow Venturi Outcomes to control who may view/edit documents
– It must be natural disaster-proof (hurricanes are a concern here in Houston)
– It must be available on multiple devices
It occurred to me, a little later than I like to admit, that all of these features could be achieved through Google Apps (and then some). Google Apps for Business includes enterprise versions of all that Google has to offer (email, calendar, contacts, documents, spreadsheets, presentations, YouTube, chat, etc.) plus a 5gb cloud storage for each user. All for $5 per month per person (i.e. $15 per month for a company with 3 employees). Need more storage? You can add more for an additional fee.
Although I was aware of many of the features that Google Apps could offer, it wasn’t until we started a test implementation that I realized just how perfect this solution was. For example, we can have multiple users editing a document simultaneously. If someone makes a mistake, or accidentally deletes part of the document, all it takes is a few clicks to restore the file back to any previous save point.