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Google Sites for Business: Measuring the Value

We have been using Google Apps for quite a while now especially Gmail, Google Calendar and Google Docs. We love the 100% accessibility (well, most of the time) to our stuff across all platforms 🙂 Recently we discovered Google Sites.  Google Sites allows you to create an intranet for your business – an online treasure chest if you will, for all of your business data that all team members can access anytime and from anywhere! It’s an internal site only accessible to your business team, not to the public so it’s very secure. But is it the only way to go?

Google Sites is part of the suite of Google Apps for Business. Until recently we weren’t using Sites but during the Christmas break, I decided to try it out and created an intranet for my team to use. It was easy to create using the available templates and easy instructions supplied by Google. It includes these great features (although you can create whatever features you need or want):

  • Documents library
  • Useful Resources Page
  • Team calendar which is linked to our main Google calendar
  • Data base providing important contact numbers and email addresses
  • News page on which team members can post their announcements and news items
  • Discussion page (our personal instant messaging service)

After I made the intranet, athough it was good, I began to wonder if whether it was going to be of any more value than just using the e-BAS Accounts project management software, TeamworkPM. TeamworkPM, like many similar online tools available today, also allows you to keep all of your business data in one place and is used daily by our team for client jobs. I wondered if having the intranet was just over-kill. So rather than just wondering, I have asked the team to use both tools for one month and then report back to me as to which one is more useful and/or allows for better productivity. Who knows, we may end up keeping both! What do you use as your online “business treasure chest”? Have you used Google Sites? Let us know, I’d love to hear about your experiences.

 

 

  • Anonymous

    Google sites is really just an alternative to Sharepoint, the problem being if you’re using Sharepoint there is no reason to swap and if you don’t have Sharepoint you probably don’t really need it.

    You’re going to have 2 big challenges IMO, first keeping your Google site’s up-to-date, the second, getting people to actually use it…

    The biggest problem I have found with Sharepoint/Google Sites solutions is the information either isn’t there, or people don’t bother to check it.

    What occurs is more bureaucratically overhead as people are reluctant to share information because they tell people “it’s up on the portal” and then the reverse happens where people check the portal but are then reluctant to ask because the information is not actually on the portal..

    That’s just my experience. 😉

    • Thanks for the comment gmanual. I am experiencing what you have mentioned – mainly that team members don’t want to use Sites or can find the data elsewhere so have no real need to use the intranet. It’s only been a couple of weeks but I think what you say is probably going to play out to be true.

      Thanks to you too Darren. It’s good to hear from a fellow bookie who is trialling the same tools as I am 🙂

  • I agree with gmanual. I looked at it for our business but after playing around with it for a short time I realised that all I was doing was duplicating what was already accessible in other areas. After spending way too much time on various applications I’ve decided that the “kiss” principle may be the best option.

    Hence I am not using sites.

  • Kirksvillewebdesign

    At Kirksville Web Design, we have been designing Google Sites for about two years. We develop intranets, which are great for companies, but also public facing websites.

    Google Sites is practical, but they can also look professional. That’s the key to buy in, whether they like or enjoy the platform.