Google has been slowly rolling out their GoogleApps infrastructure  for a couple of years now, and has finally reached a stage where it is  all coming together. With the launch of their GoogleApps marketplace it  seems like it has all come together to allow real third party solutions  to any kind of potential problem faced by small to medium sized  businesses.

If you are unfamiliar with what Google Apps is exactly, then, from the wikipedia entry on it: Google  Apps is a service from Google providing independently customizable  versions of several Google products under a custom domain name. It  features several Web applications with similar functionality to  traditional office suites, including: Gmail, Google Groups, Google  Calendar, Talk, Docs and Sites.

Cloud Computing Solutions

Cloud Computing Solutions

The Standard Edition is  free and offers the same amount of storage as regular Gmail accounts.  The Premier Edition, which offers additional e-mail storage, is  available for an annual fee. The Education Edition, which is free,  combines features from the Standard and Premier editions.
The  Marketplace has created a place for third party companies to create apps  (just like your iPhone and Android apps) which can be plugged in to the  core Google Apps items – Gmail, Docs etc. The potential power of this  setup could be incredible. You will be able to set up your business  using a single centralised cloud system of apps, all of which  communicate with one another and allow you to keep everything well  organised. Your accounts working with your calender working with your  analytics working with your customer management….

As with all  new marketplaces though, it is difficult to find the best applications  to meet your needs. Not only because your needs are specific to your  business, but also because every company wants you to believe that their  piece of software is the best for their market. That is where you need  an independent body reviewing the software available and offering  feedback, opinions and insights in to which application is the best, and  why.