Wednesday, March 16, 2011

The Joy of Paid Support (from Google)

Times are still tough and most businesses are trying to squeeze pennies as best they can. For smaller businesses this often means cutting corners in technology and technical support. That works great if someone on staff has the expertise, patience, time or all three to manage technical products and vendors and you don't need them actually working on your business.  

I have experienced the joy of Google technical support both through the paid and free portals. Now that Google actually staffs and respond on the paid side, I'm happy to say it's worth every penny. 

The focus here is on the difference in support levels between Google Apps Business and pretty much any of their free products, but especially Google Apps. For you quick browsers, the moral of this story is that Google Apps Business is worth the $50 per seat per year for the support for the product alone. 

If I have a problem with our installation of Google Apps I can't figure out, my first stop is one of our techs. That gives them a chance to have a good laugh when it's my operator error. When it turns out to be an issue with the Google product, any Google Apps Business customer can now open a ticket with Google and receive quick and effective support. That may be notification that we've found a bug, but at least we find out what's wrong in a timely manner. 

Contrast that to support free products (not just Google), where users can spend interminable amounts of time researching issues only to end up wondering, is it a bug or am I doing something wrong? 

I'm talking about Google in this post, but this applies to attempts to run any business with free technology and limited technical support. 

Spending personal time on free technical products can be considered frugal. Spending business time on the same products should probably be considered lost opportunities, especially if it's an important employee engaged in those activities. If you're going to save more money on any number of hours of self-IT support than you will applying those hours to generating new business or keeping customers happy, you may want to reconsider your business model. 

Visit On-Site Technical Solutions for information on how you can move to Google Apps or other Cloud Computing applications. We can also help you with your mobile computing. You should follow us on Twitter @MHBoys and become a fan on Facebook. Call or text me at 1-949-212-2168.


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