What you lose when you stop using Outlook
I promote Google Apps solutions for all of my clients. I also at the same time tell them to stop using Outlook completely. I used to be an Outlook junkie like many of my clients and I understand the difficulty of eliminating the use of Outlook and going to web based Google Apps email only.
Yes, it is possible to still use Outlook along with Google Apps enterprise, but eliminating outlook all together is a better solution IMO.
When you stop using outlook you will loose some functionality but there are work arounds that you will find to be better solutions.
Sorting by Date/Subject/Person
Many clients like to search for stuff by sorting outlook by date/subject/person. I myself used to think this was great but the search function of Google Apps works so well that loosing this ability will be forgotten as it is unnecessary.
Google Apps does folders, just that they are called labels instead. You can also have nested labels (folders). You can even import all your data from Outlook to Google Apps and the import tool will convert all your folders to labels
You don’t loose this ability. In fact the web based solution of calendars works better than Outlook does
This ability really isnt native to Outlook but is part of an Outlook + MS Exchange Server deployment. There is no solution with Google Apps but there are 3rd party services that fix the problem but I have not tried any of them.
Is Google Apps the best solution for email/contacts/calendar for small businesses?
Yes, for the price and the features there is nothing better.
Loren, great recommendations and I’m almost completely transitioned from Outlook except I like Outlook’s Task features and I have not been able to find a way to send HTML email signatures in Google Apps.
I will agree that the Outlook task list is better for most people. I do think the GApps tasks are getting better though.
You can insert links with HTML in to GApps signatures.
I do not recommend HTML signatures that pull in images or any remote content. The reason is by default almost ALL email clients block ‘remote images’ (images pulled in via HTML) So even though you have a fancy signature, most people will not see it unless they tell their email to show images or always show images. Most people do not enable images for all people sending email
What to do?
Don’t use HTML signatures
Plain text sig’s are the best