GoogleApps BES Connector Evaluation

* I believe there has been a revision or two released since our evalutation.

The corporate decision was made to migrate to the GoogleApps platform earlier this year.  One of the biggest pain points was the mobile integration / functionality.  Many corporate mobile users, specifically of BlackBerries, were extremely disappointed with the functionality of GoogleApps in comparison with our previous hosted Exchange/BES solution.  The GoogleApps BES Connector looked like it may provide a better solution.

One immediate downside was the need to host our own server with BES connector creating an additional hardware and licensing cost and defeating the idea of a SaaS solution.  Below are the results from evaluation and testing of the most common complaints from our power users.

PROS

  • Sync mail “read” status bi-directionally between device & mail client(s)
  • Ability to “file” a message into a folder via device, removing it from the Inbox
  • Slightly Faster (a few minutes) “syncing” of mail and calendar items from GoogleApps
     

CONS

  • Requires Device Wipe Prior to Activation (weird issues if we did not wipe the device prior)
  • Calendar only syncs one way, from Outlook/Gmail >> Device, no device updates will be synchronized to Outlook/GCal
  • Meeting Invites / Updates (via Email) not able to be processed from device correctly
  • Cannot use Desktop Software to sync Tasks/Notes, backup device, or install applications otherwise mail breaks

The CONs were deal breakers for some users.  Using the standard integrated IMAP mail and the GSYNC application gave most users better all-around functionality.  The GoogleApps BES Connector was not with the effort and cost in the end.  However future revisions may improve the GoogleApps BES Connector enough to warrant a reevaluation.