Collaboration in google docs

I haven't fired up word or excel in 6 months. Well I did once but that was because somebody sent me an attached document in a email. I'm a convert to google docs and so are two of the clients that I work with.

What really impressed me was that for one of these clients we were developing a response to an RFQ ( Request for quote ), this document was 180 pages long and full of images and tables. We had 4-6 people all working on the document at the same time, it was amazing to see their different coloured cursors moving through the document in real time and seeing big blocks of text and images appearing. The only down side to this was that occasionally the area that you were working on changed dramatically, didn't take to long to get used to this.

Here are the advantages that I see:

- Doc is always saved, no need to hit save, it auto saves after every keystroke
- One version of the truth, no more email attached docs flying around
- Simple to use but with enough features to generate quality business documentation
- The commentary/collaboration features are super easy to use and do the job well

The days of the on-site file server and heavy client side software like office are numbered, even microsoft is moving this way with its office 360 which my corporate friends tell me is working well. We did try to use the Office collaborative web version but it could not handle the big document, I'm told 360 can, but haven't confirmed this.

I still see a place for excel for accounting gurus but for 95% of business users Google has hit the right mark in terms of functionality and ease-of-use. The ease with which it handled the big RFP document sealed the deal for me in stability and performance.

The only hiccup we had in the whole process was that we had to convert the google doc back to word as the RFP stipulated that format!

Give me a call if you want to give up that file server sitting in the corner of your office. With our dual WAN connect to the cloud approach we can give you a business environment that costs less, does more faster and is just as reliable as office on a PC.

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