Google Drive Business Cloud Storage
Google Drive Business Cloud Storage is a great tool for any business. It is a complete, mostly proprietary office suite and cloud storage rolled into one. Where it lacks features like backup, it mostly makes up for them with other features that are useful for business users. Google Drive makes collaboration easy, and allows admins almost complete control of what goes on with the business’s Drive. Competitive pricing is also a nice feature. While backup is not offered, those who can get by with only syncing will find good use in Google Drive.
Google Drive, formerly Google Docs, is the backbone of Google’s cloud storage service. Although this seems just a bit backwards, one cannot be too critical of the services that Google offers along with its storage services. Drive gives business users access to a word processor, spreadsheet app, and presentation builder, all-in-one. Mostly convenient and easy to use, Drive still cannot compete with other document software in ease of use and formatting power. However, Drive does have the upper hand in collaboration between members of your team. Drive gives you the ability to leave notes and questions for other users in a stream-style IM box known as the Comment Feature.
Google Drive gives you full control over your documents. Google Drive for Business offers a fully-integrated Administrative Control Panel. Each file created in or shared via Docs is able to be secured via permissions that are granted by the administrator. You can choose to exclude members of your team and manage whether or not users with access have the ability to edit documents. Further, you can manage permissions for individual users from the dashboard. Reports are generated for each document, informing the administrator of the history and changes made to it. One drawback is the absence of the ability to password protect documents. Although this is not a deal breaker, it is an excellent feature that other business services offer, and it allows for an extra layer of security.
Google Drive offers two business plans. The basic Google Apps plan is $5 per month per user, and offers each user an email address with your company’s domain, access to all of the document apps, including text docs, spreadsheets, and slides, as well as integrated business calendars. Also included is the ability to create easy-to-use and manage Google Project Sites, which can be used as customer portals or website-style intranet for your team. This plan also gives users 30GB of storage, sync and sharing. Administrative dashboard and controls are included, as well as 24/7 phone and email support. For $10 per month per user, your business will have access to unlimited data, or, 1TB per person if you sign up less than five users. Google enhances the administration controls at this level, as well as gives you access to Google Vault, which archives and protects your documents and mail for as long as your Google account exists. This allows your company to archive all emails sent by your company. The enhanced Google Apps plan also offers improved search of your documents and the ability to export your files to different formats.
For offices or businesses who do not need backup ability nor online editing of major file formats such as those in Microsoft Office or Adobe, Google Drive is a great way to collaborate and store files on the cloud. Pricing is fairly affordable for unlimited space and an easy to use interface will keep everyone in your office happy. For these reasons, Google Drive Business Cloud Storage rounds out our list of iReviews 2014 best business cloud storage services.
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