In February 2007, Google announced Google Apps Premier Edition (GAPE), a collaboration and communication solution offered as software as a service (SaaS). Initially combining a portal, e-mail, instant messaging (IM), calendars, document sharing, and concurrent document creation -- all for the price of $50 per user per year -- the solution rapidly caught enterprises' imaginations.
This Burton Group study suggests that quickly adopting GAPE without understanding its quirks or looking at other alternatives is likely to become a career-limiting move. Happily, looking at the larger picture -- studying a variety of SaaS-based collaboration and content solutions -- is a career-enhancing move. Issues for higher education to consider include the SaaS delivery model, the capabilities of the solution, and Google as a company.
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Burton Group (www.burtongroup.com) provides technically in-depth research and advisory services for colleges and universities, government agencies, and commercial enterprises. Burton Group's practical and unbiased research and advice helps technologists make smart IT infrastructure decisions in increasingly complex environments. Burton Group covers directories, identity management, application platforms, architecture, and network and telecom infrastructure topics. Like ECAR, Burton Group is an unbiased advocate for the user and more than 80% of Burton Group's clients are user organizations rather than suppliers. EDUCAUSE member institutions can become users of Burton Group research services through EDUCAUSE pricing. Burton Group is an ECAR partner and can be contacted by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by telephone (801-373-5767).
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