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Googs Apps and Gmail questions

Googs Apps and Gmail questions

Please can anyone advise on the following points. We are a small accountancy business of six people and have all our data on cloud based. 

We are currently using Outlook and were planning a move to Gmail, primarily to facilitate a better marketing and client relationship management database. We use Digita for practice software, and although this facilitates a fair amount of CRM we don't find it geared towards managing a more details marketing database of prospects, contacts, and clients, and also it doesn't facilitate the scheduling of regular phone calls, client contacts etc. We planned to do this with one of the Google Apps CRM apps.

Everything was ready for transfer when at the eleventh hour someone technically knowledgeable at our cloud solution provider has come up with a load of reasons why we shouldn't do it, such as:

  • Google doesn't back up it's data so you have to find a way of doing this yourselves. Is this the case?
  • Google data is held in the US and the ICAEW, ACCA (and FSA) recommend data to be held in the UK or EU?
  • EU requirement are that data be held within the EU. From what we can see (albeit from a Google search) there is a US/EU agreement called Safe-Harbor where data held by Google and other participating US companies is treated as being held under the same priovacy standards as the EU.
  • Very few accountants, and none of the large accountancy practices have migrated from Outlook to Google. I can't tell whether this is the case or not, but from a previous post we know at least a few firms use Gmail for business. We aren't a large accountancy firm anyway so I'm not sure how relevant that is, except from a confidence point of view. 

So does anyone have any comments or advice on the above points, and on whether or not this is a risky move?

Thanks

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By merlyn
08th Jan 2013 20:39

I'll have a go

"Google doesn't back up it's data so you have to find a way of doing this yourselves. Is this the case?"

Google does back up it's data, however if you would be allowed access to those backups is a different matter, so probably not great from a compliance point of view if you need a copy of all emails saved should there be an issue with a client etc.

"Google data is held in the US and the ICAEW, ACCA (and FSA) recommend data to be held in the UK or EU?"

For things like data protection it's a lot easier if data is held in the UK, which is one of the reasons they recommend this.

"EU requirement are that data be held within the EU. From what we can see (albeit from a Google search) there is a US/EU agreement called Safe-Harbor where data held by Google and other participating US companies is treated as being held under the same priovacy standards as the EU."

EU requirement of who ? Lots of UK based firms hold data all over the world.  However any data held by US companies may be subject to the partiot act.

"Very few accountants, and none of the large accountancy practices have migrated from Outlook to Google."

That is quite true, I worked at one of the big ones in IT and they would never consider it.  I now work with 20+ smaller accountancy firms and none of them have considered it.

 

You could look at someone who has UK based data centres like Rackspace, they offer a fully hosted exchange setup for £6.75 per mailbox, per month.  They do take full backups and can also include journaling so a copy of all emails sent/recieved are stored in a secondary data store which users have no access to.

If you go with a proper email host you can still carry on using Outlook, or Outlook web access just everything is stored by them in the cloud.

 

 

 

 

Thanks (1)
08th Jan 2013 21:50

Try Office 365 if you are happy to administer yourself.  We use that connected via Outlook, Iphone, blackberry and never had a problem with it.

Thanks (0)