I set up the EssayTagger.com email accounts today through Google Apps. I already use Gmail for my personal mail and my school district transitioned to Google Apps-hosted services last semester.
As far as I'm concerned, Google Apps for your organization is a no-brainer. My overall philosophy for EssayTagger.com is to leverage as much outside expertise as possible--which is another way of saying: offload as much as possible, wherever practical. Yes, I know how to do a whole lot of the tech stuff on my own, but there's a lot of it that I shouldn't be doing on my own because other people can do it better and more cost-effectively.
For a Web-based small business (three people so far, only one of which--me--is full-time), the $50/person/year Google Apps fee is a bargain. I would have to either pay a monthly mailserver fee through a Webhost or configure and maintain my own mailserver. No, thank you!
And what do you get for your $50/person/year?
- A TON of email storage space (more than you'll ever fill up). Before the changeover, my school district gave each teacher an email quota of 12MB. That's ridiculously tiny! My new Google Apps account gives me 25,600MB. Even a standard free Gmail account has 7,600MB of storage.
- 100% uptime on servers you never have to manage or worry about. Unless you're a tech geek, you have no idea what a relief it is to shift that burden elsewhere.
- Integration with Google Docs, Calendar, etc. Google Docs isn't great for making a document pretty, but it is the only game in town for true Web-based document collaboration in real-time or non-real-time.
- Simple mapping to your own domain (e.g. firstname.lastname@example.org).
They also have a solid management control panel. I've already set up a email@example.com email address that multiple people in my organization can access and respond through.
I'm not a salesman or a shill for Google; I just like to give props where props are due. Your organization really should be using Google Apps.
Google Apps allows my company to look and act like a much bigger, more established company. One slice of our organization is now world-class for $50/person/year. That's a huge win.