Google Apps ("docs" + calendar + talk) is getting easier for teams

Google is cleverly removing barriers, one-by-one, from the path of people wanting to try Google Apps. This time the "Team Edition" removes the need to sign-up to a Google Account and will automatically "aggregate" users from the same domain. This means anyone from (say) ,, can now start collaborating and communicating without having to install a darned thing.

Having said that I think they have a few more barriers ("security", "offline" and "compatibility") to cross before it's Microsoft Office out the window. They don't seem to be pushing the inherent advantages of being on the Web (connectedness leading to instant communication and collaboration) which I suspect is deliberate. From a conversation I had with a senior member of a firm I do work for I realised that the jump from MS Word to on-line collaboration isn't about technology but a mind shift from "publishing pretty words" to "using information to share, explain and grow relationships (commercial or otherwise)" - very different.

Also, I see this as yet another (small) nail in the coffin of IT Departments. Why would a team within a sizeable organisation even bother telling the IT guys that they are now collaborating on-line - they'd just do it.

Anyway, watch the Google video that explains the Google Apps Team Edition and see if it'll work for you and your team

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