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Moving From Corporate Gmail

Natalia Yashenkova
Natalia Yashenkova
Head of Marketing and PR at StarForce Technologies

Natalia Yashenkova has more than 15 years experience in software development and information security. Before StarForce Technologies she worked at Netris and Vimcom Optic.

17 Feb 2015

Late last year it was reported that China blocked access to Gmail email service. The political situation in the world is becoming more intense. So users from different counties should have a fallback position to provide availability of their communication channels. Speaking about Google's mailer many people use this service not only as an alternative personal mailbox, but as a true corporate service that serves the real economy, including companies selling equipment for the oil industry and other strategic industries.

Now we are not going to discuss reasons for selecting Gmail as a corporate standard. Usually they explain it because of lack of resources and qualified staff. However let’s imagine that you urgently need to move from Gmail. What should you think of?

1. The transfer of contact database.

It seems that database import/export via CSV is an easy task. But there is always a possibility that during transfer the order of fields could be changed. This may require an intermediate step for bringing the address book in the format required for the correct display of information in the new service.

2. The migration of mail database.

If a company has been using the service for many years then the migration of mail database is really challenging. You can feel a kind of relief if the employees use good old POP3. In this case the correspondence is stored on the local machine. But if they moved to “cutting-edge” IMAP plus abandoned mail clients in favor of web interface please do not forget to breathe – you need much work to do. And it’s better to use qualified staff for it.

3. Domain name.

Here we can divide users on those who send emails from their own domain name and those who use standard @gmail.com. For the first group it is necessary to prove their right for the domain name. For this the owner changes DNS records on the page of domain name registrar or inserts a file or a piece of code on his/her site. This variant is preferable for corporate purposes because after moving an employees will use the same email addresses. The second group will not be able to keep their email addresses. Please note that the name that you are used to can be already occupied by some other user on the selected mail service. So you need to think of something creative or to select a brand new service with a small number of users, e.g. Sfletter.com or Mail.com. It is strongly recommended to make a mailing representing your new email address from old @gmail.com mailbox for the new emails not to fall into the spam.

4. The support of mobile devices (BYOD).

If your phone has a special application from Google, then after moving it will lose its relevance. It's better to look for a universal client that supports a variety of email services.

5. Security

The purpose of this migration is to provide security and steadiness for your business if there are any political or technical problems. Gmail is a reliable partner but it works on its conditions and you can’t be sure that your information is safe with it.

What services can substitute corporate Gmail?

It depends on the necessity of your own domain name. There are some chargeable services that will gladly help you with migration. But there are free services that even offer you additional functionality.

For example Sfletter.com provides protection for messages and attachments in PDF and JPEG formats. The sender can track opening time of the protected email and the receiver’s IP address. These functions are additional free of charge and what really matters they can be invaluable for certain business situations.

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