IT Solutions for SMBs: Google Docs Purchases QuickOffice
Many small and medium businesses rely on IT solutions such as Microsoft Office products to process daily workflow, yet the Microsoft suite of products does not provide for all of the needs a modern company is likely to experience. For example, Microsoft Office does not yet provide a seamless online/offline interface for working with documents in either location, nor does it provide native clients for many of today's most popular mobile devices. True, there are workaround for some of these challenges, but some companies have elected to migrate away from Microsoft Office entirely due to them, and to the perceived high cost of provisioning all workstations with full licenses for the product suite.
One major competitor to Microsoft Office in recent years has been the cloud-computing approach of Google Docs. It also had drawbacks, of course, but it was available free to individuals and at a low cost to companies setting up a business account. Now, however, many of the drawbacks managers saw in Google Docs are likely to be extinguished by the internet giant's decision to purchase QuickOffice. The combination of both services will provide Google Docs customers a great deal more flexibility in how they handle document processing.
QuickOffice allows for the integration of cloud solutions into daily document tasks. Using the product, users can edit, create, and read a variety of Microsoft Office file formats directly on their mobile phones. The product supports both the Android platform and iOS, giving Google Docs a way to provide offline processing of documents, something it used to have via Google Gears, an add-on that was dropped back in 2010. Many businesses feel that offline editing is a deal-breaker and will be more comfortable migrating to Google Docs now that it can offer both cloud and local document processing capabilities.
Still, IT risk management does remain a challenge for users of Google Docs. Without a dedicated managed programs approach, users may not be ‘de-provisioned’ from the system in a timely manner. This can lead to a situation, for example, in which a terminated employee can still access a company’s documents for days or even weeks until it occurs to someone at the company to wonder why rogue edits are appearing. These challenges can be solved via a managed programs model for IT support in which maintaining authorized user lists for Google Docs is made the responsibility of the IT specialists providing on-site services.