Google Groups may not be the most glamorous service the Internet giant runs, but apparently its one of the most popular. It enables users to easily setup and manage groups around topics or interests and access them through the discussion forums or receive updates by email. Now Google has integrated Groups with Apps, one of the most obvious product marriages the company has ever made. Companies and schools can now create and manage groups within the Premier and Education Editions of Google Apps.
“Today, we're happy to announce the launch of Google Groups to Google Apps Premier and Education Edition users. Google Groups is one of our most widely used applications, enabling everyone from the local hiking club to the family next door to create mailing lists and discussion forums,” Rajen Sheth, senior product manager for Google Apps wrote.
“Now employees within a company can create groups for their departments, their teams or their projects. Employees can use these groups as mailing lists, but they can also share documents, spreadsheets, presentations, calendars, videos and sites with groups, instead of many individual recipients,” he added.
Users can keep update through the usual means, either by visiting the group and going through the threads or by opting to receive updates in their inbox. While this collaboration tool may not exactly be the latest and greatest Enterprise 2.0 technology, most companies would rather do away with the hype and use something that gets the job down, which is exactly what Google Groups is meant for.
Using dedicated Groups brings several advantages to companies and organizations, like the added security layers and the fact that they have much better control over their data. Another great advantage is that it takes the management and setup of groups out of the hands of administrators and puts them directly into the hands of the users, which can create new groups or manage new ones without any intervention from the IT department. However, admins still have full control and overview of all the groups and can intervene if needed.