Google is really aiming to replace Microsoft Exchange for SMB. Recently they announced that they will be releasing a connector to let Google Apps work with a BES. This week they just added to that by announcing Outlook synchronization capabilities that are now available to all Google Apps Premier users. Premier is a bit expensive at $50 per user per year but nowhere near Exchange costs.
The new plugin for Outlook will give users:
- Fast mail sync with Google-native protocol
- Full calendar sync including recurrence patterns and attendees
- Contact sync for all Outlook fields
- Global address list for auto-complete and contacts lookup
- Lookup free/busy information
I was thinking about it and Google Apps + Google Sync + Outlook Sync essentially is all small businesses really need. If companies need a little more the BES connector is also promising…
I personally feel that RIM really needs to get in on this action. They need to provide a consumer solution for synching your PIM data with your BlackBerry OTA without a BES. A BES solution could cost you another $10/month for hosting and another $15/month for an enterprise BlackBerry plan which puts it way out of most consumers price range.