Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Google Apps Last Straw: Buzz

For business use, Google Apps is amazing. If I start a company someday, its very first action will be the outsourcing of all communications through Google Apps. Why run a chat server, mail server, document sharing system and calendar server when you can just sign up for Google Apps?

On the other hand, I've now given up on using Google Apps as my primary interface for personal communications. Why? Because Google's social services such as Blogger, Reader and now Buzz don't support it. This means that you have to log into those services and share with your friends an identity that you don't actually use, and in order to manage that identity and its relationships, you need to log into a mail account you don't care about.

So, while my official email address will always be, I've now moved back to using public gmail as my primary window on the social world and all mail to will simply be forwarded there. Some useful tips, though, for those of you who want to do this sort of thing:
  • You can configure gmail to send outgoing mail "from" another account. Configure this in your settings (though you'll have to prove that you own the other account by responding to some mail they'll send you).
  • Contacts can be exported from gmail and imported into Google Apps or visa versa.


  1. The real question is how long will we tolerate this and still have the tech blog-o-sphere pretend google has any coherant strategy or tech savvy?

    The inability for Google to do something as simple as unify Apps and Gmail would have folks scraming about Microsoft's incompetence and yet Google gets (another) pass.

  2. I did much the same thing about 18 months ago: is hosted by google apps, but the email address just forwards to my gmail account, and I have gmail configured to send mail with my address.

    It does make me wonder what their strategy is, since I find it hard to believe that there's some huge obstacle in being able to use an apps account as the primary user identity for other google services.

    Also, double-agreed on outsourcing hosting services. Having been the admin for such things I know the real value of someone who can maintain all that stuff for you in-house and seriously, google does it far, far better for way less money. Better to hire that admin for other things than waste time talent and money. The only reasons I can think of to NOT outsource to google would be Sarbanes-Oxley or HIPAA type issues.

    Of course, I doubt I would have a company that needs to comply with those any time soon. It's a bridge to cross when one gets there.