Last week, Mark was contacted by a reporter from IDG who wanted to know about how Abraham Harrison LLC uses Google Apps Premier, and Mark Harrison, our CEO, obliged. The article was published online today, For Web Apps, Get a Service Guarantee, in PC World (via Marketing Conversation):
For example, the Google Apps Premier Edition suite contains an availability guarantee only for its Gmail portion (for 99.9 percent uptime) and offers no commitment for the other components, which include word processing, spreadsheet, and presentation software.
“It would be comforting to have an SLA that covered the entire suite,” says Mark Harrison, founding partner of Abraham Harrison LLC, provider of online marketing services.
Abraham Harrison, founded in 2007, has been using Google Apps Premier Edition for about one year, and the uptime of its hosted applications and services, though not 100 percent, has been excellent, according to Harrison. Downtime incidents have been rare and brief, and have never proven disruptive to the company’s operations, he says. “We’ve never been crippled by an outage,” Harrison says.
Still, should a significant Google Apps outage occur, it certainly would impact the company, which is highly dependent on the suite. The company chose Google Apps in order to give its geographically-dispersed staff an array of software to use for communication and collaboration. In addition to the suite’s productivity applications, the company also uses Google Talk instant messenger and Gmail for e-mail. The company’s 22 employees, located in six countries and four continents, operate in 14 different time zones, and since most of their work is collaborative, Google Apps–which lets users jointly edit documents located on a central server–was a better alternative than e-mailing Microsoft Office documents back and forth.
Harrison would also like to see Google Apps provide an offline component that would allow users to work on their local PCs when disconnected from the Internet, a capability he knows Google is pursuing with its Gears technology.
That Harrison would feel more at ease with an SLA is telling. His company isn’t an ordinary Google Apps customer. Although the relationship between Google and Abraham Harrison is purely of the vendor-client type, meaning that the company receives no compensation from Google, the Google Apps team has singled it out as a model small business whose feedback it regularly seeks. As a result, Harrison is in close contact with the Google Apps team.