New Google Message Continuity service will help businesses make the leap to Google Apps
Businesses worried about the reliability of their Microsoft Exchange servers can now use Gmail as backup.
The new Google Messaging Continuity system will mean businesses are essentially running both Exchange and Gmail for their employees.
Every email that comes in hits Google's Postini email system first, where it's scanned for malware and spam, before being sent to both Gmail and the Exchange server.
The system copies over email, calendar appointments and contacts to the web-based Gmail, so that if Exchange does fall over or requires maintenance, employees can still access everything they need.
"Organisations running on-premises email systems, such as Microsoft Exchange, can run the risk of losing email access — or even worse, their email data — during a server outage, which can impact employee productivity, revenue and even company credibility," said product manager Rajen Sheth in a post on the Google blog.
Of course, the system means employees can also access their email when Exchange is up and running, if they prefer it to Outlook or Exchange webmail.
Google is hoping that the back-up system may lead some firms to flip from Microsoft to their own cloud-based apps. "Google Message Continuity can also help organisations transition to Google Apps down the road," Sheth said. "Since Microsoft Exchange and Gmail are always in sync with one another, there’s no need to migrate email data when eventually deploying Google Apps."
The system costs $25 per user each year, or $13 for those already using Postini.