Typically I’m the first one to criticize Google about any number of things, but I also love to see new mobile apps. So I was excited to just read in PC World that Google has launched an interface for the Google Calendar for the mobile phone.
I don’t personally use Google Calendar, but I do understand, as a small business owner, how Google Calendar is an incredibly cost-effective way to have team members share calendar info. The alternative, of course, is using the Microsoft Outlook Calendar. To share calendars via Outlook, however, you must use Microsoft Exchange Server. In addition to calendar sharing, Exchange Server provides synching capability to your mobile phone. The downside for most small businesses is that Microsoft Exchange Server can be costly to setup and support.
There are some application service providers (ASPs) that provide Microsoft Exchange Server capabilities on a per user/per month cost basis. Typically I’ve seen these monthly costs range from $10-$25/user/month. As your business grows, that can really add up. Google Calendar, with its new mobile feature, really provides most of the features you might need from Microsoft Exchange Server without the added cost — and every small business can embrace that.