How To Setup Google Apps for Your Company and BlackBerry

31 Comments

google_apps

Recently, I shut down my Rackspace service and switched the company to Google Apps. While some users have complained that BIS email is slow, I’ve noticed a very manageable difference in delivery times for BIS versus BES. Also, whatever features I have lost in terms of contact sync and email delivery, I have definitely made up for in savings. Sure, there are some setbacks with Google Apps in terms of user experience, and I no longer have FANATICAL support, but with savings of $150-$200 per month, I’m happy with my choice. Here is a guide for anyone looking to migrate over to Google Apps.

The first thing you’re going to do is head over to the Google Apps site and register your domain. To do this, go to Google.com/a and it should direct you to the Google Apps for business homepage. Personally, I started my company on the “standard” version, because I want to test it out before upgrading to a Premier account. On the right hand column, you’ll see:

Other Google Apps editions:
Standard
Education
Non-profits
Government

Once you’ve clicked through to the Standard version, click on Get Started. Follow the registration steps, which allows you to buy a domain as well as verify your domain ownership.

To verify domain ownership, I used CNAME Records. You can also upload an HTML file, but since you have to go into your DNS settings and add an MX Record anyways, you may as well add the CNAME while you’re there. When adding a CNAME record, refer to this Google support article:

Creating CNAME records

Once you have verified domain ownership, you’re going to add MX Records. MX Records tell Google to handle all mail transport calls by their server. This is where you get the added benefits of Google’s spam filters, which has changed my life for the better. You’ll need to refer to this support article for questions about configuring your MX records:

Configuring Your MX Records: Other domain hosts

You will want to now configure users on your Google Apps account:

From your control panel/dashboard, click “create new users” and fill in the details. Google will then create a temporary password for these users and they can register themselves with the domain.

For more help, see this Google support page:

Create a new user

I know many companies out there use domain aliases as well, so it could be worthwhile to set these up with your Google Apps account as well.

Here is a useful support article on the subject of domain aliases:

Domain aliases

Now that you have your Google Apps registered, and your mail is getting filtered through Google’s awesome spam filters, you’re going to want to get it on your BlackBerry. This is very simple: just go into your email settings, located in the setup folder.

blackberry_email_settings

Once there, you should find yourself in the “Email Accounts” section. It is the first screen so if you’re not there just go back. From there, click “Add” and go through the steps of adding a Gmail account.

blackberry_email_setup_add_gmail

Repeat this process for as many Gmail accounts as you’d like. I personally have 4, and with OS 5 (possibly older OS versions as well), receiving and replying with the correct addresses is handled very well. I would also recommend making a folder, or hiding the original mail icons as you can rely on the master mail folder to handle everything.

In order to set up your Google Apps account on your desktop, you’re going to want to enable and configure it as an IMAP account because it’s the closest thing to Exchange that you’re going to get at this price (free).

To enable IMAP in Gmail:

1. Sign in to Gmail.
2. Click Settings at the top of any Gmail page.
3. Click Forwarding and POP/IMAP.
4. Select Enable IMAP.

To configure your mail client, simply follow the instructions provided by Google. They have a support page that lists all the major mail clients with instructions on how to setup each one. You can find it here:

Supported IMAP client list

Congratulations! You’re now fully connected with Google Apps. I’ll post some impressions about the user experience soon as it has some setbacks, but more on that later.

Have any questions? Feel free to treat the comment thread like a forum, and hopefully I or someone else will help you out.

  • Mike

    This is nice, but it’s only the mail piece. How do I configure other things, like calendar (multiple calendars preferably), docs?

  • Mike

    This is nice, but it’s only the mail piece. How do I configure other things, like calendar (multiple calendars preferably), docs?

  • http://www.blackberrycool.com/ Kyle McInnes

    Docs and Calendar are setup by default. You can disable them if you don’t need them, but they’re ready to go out of the box.

  • http://www.blackberrycool.com Kyle McInnes

    Docs and Calendar are setup by default. You can disable them if you don’t need them, but they’re ready to go out of the box.

  • c5karl

    Has anyone really gotten Google Apps mail to work satisfactorily on the handheld? When I tried it a few months ago, I had a lot of show-stopper issues, including missing messages and ignoring “Skip Inbox” filters on the handheld side.

  • c5karl

    Has anyone really gotten Google Apps mail to work satisfactorily on the handheld? When I tried it a few months ago, I had a lot of show-stopper issues, including missing messages and ignoring “Skip Inbox” filters on the handheld side.

  • c5karl

    Has anyone really gotten Google Apps mail to work satisfactorily on the handheld? When I tried it a few months ago, I had a lot of show-stopper issues, including missing messages and ignoring “Skip Inbox” filters on the handheld side.

  • David

    I am a Google fanatic and an avid Blackberry user. I have calendar and contact sync on my blackberry with Google Sync for blackberry http://www.google.com/mobile/sync/, which works very well for me. It is a two way sync and a makes moving from BES much easier.

    I also recently upgraded to the premier version of Google Apps which allows me to use the Apps Sync for Outlook http://www.google.com/apps/intl/en/business/outlook_sync.html. This pretty much gives me almost all Exchange features for $50.00 per user per year.

  • David

    I am a Google fanatic and an avid Blackberry user. I have calendar and contact sync on my blackberry with Google Sync for blackberry http://www.google.com/mobile/sync/, which works very well for me. It is a two way sync and a makes moving from BES much easier.

    I also recently upgraded to the premier version of Google Apps which allows me to use the Apps Sync for Outlook http://www.google.com/apps/intl/en/business/outlook_sync.html. This pretty much gives me almost all Exchange features for $50.00 per user per year.

  • http://www.paulwoods.ca/ Paul

    @C5karl I’ve been using it on multiple devices with great success.

    @Kyle Mention that after you get the registration email, it has a link to the gmail plugin and install that. Then you will be able to see your folers/filters and report mails as spam. It works good.

    I really believe that there is no reason everybody shouldn’t have their own email and their own domain. Google apps is great! and I use it for everything, even though I am the only one on my domain.

    BTW google sync (if it still exists) was supposed to be able to sync your calendar and contacts.

  • http://www.paulwoods.ca Paul

    @C5karl I’ve been using it on multiple devices with great success.

    @Kyle Mention that after you get the registration email, it has a link to the gmail plugin and install that. Then you will be able to see your folers/filters and report mails as spam. It works good.

    I really believe that there is no reason everybody shouldn’t have their own email and their own domain. Google apps is great! and I use it for everything, even though I am the only one on my domain.

    BTW google sync (if it still exists) was supposed to be able to sync your calendar and contacts.

  • http://twitter.com/normancheng norman cheng

    i have it setup on my blackberry. combined with google sync, its like a water-downed version of BES. Emails come in within 1 minute and often come to my handheld before my desktop. I’ve had it for almost 2 years now. initially, there were some hiccups (sync issues and advanced imap controls screwed up my email) but i’ve been quite happy with it lately. But it just makes me miss BES even more

  • http://twitter.com/normancheng norman cheng

    i have it setup on my blackberry. combined with google sync, its like a water-downed version of BES. Emails come in within 1 minute and often come to my handheld before my desktop. I’ve had it for almost 2 years now. initially, there were some hiccups (sync issues and advanced imap controls screwed up my email) but i’ve been quite happy with it lately. But it just makes me miss BES even more

  • http://twitter.com/normancheng norman cheng

    i have it setup on my blackberry. combined with google sync, its like a water-downed version of BES. Emails come in within 1 minute and often come to my handheld before my desktop. I’ve had it for almost 2 years now. initially, there were some hiccups (sync issues and advanced imap controls screwed up my email) but i’ve been quite happy with it lately. But it just makes me miss BES even more

  • Cadillac Cowboy

    What about existing e-mail messages, what happens to them?

    At the moment, I have a domain that is hosted by the same company I purchased the domain from; there are multiple e-mail addresses/ and at least two of those e-mail addresses/users has 100+ e-mail messages…

    If I switch to Google Apps, where will these e-mail messages end-up?

  • Cadillac Cowboy

    What about existing e-mail messages, what happens to them?

    At the moment, I have a domain that is hosted by the same company I purchased the domain from; there are multiple e-mail addresses/ and at least two of those e-mail addresses/users has 100+ e-mail messages…

    If I switch to Google Apps, where will these e-mail messages end-up?

  • Cadillac Cowboy

    What about existing e-mail messages, what happens to them?

    At the moment, I have a domain that is hosted by the same company I purchased the domain from; there are multiple e-mail addresses/ and at least two of those e-mail addresses/users has 100+ e-mail messages…

    If I switch to Google Apps, where will these e-mail messages end-up?

  • jim

    Great posts. I’ve been thinking of implementing google apps to small businesses in my community. Can anyone think of a ‘reoccuring’ revenue model I can think about with google apps. I’m not sure what add-on business there is once implemented for a 10-20 user shop.

  • jim

    Great posts. I’ve been thinking of implementing google apps to small businesses in my community. Can anyone think of a ‘reoccuring’ revenue model I can think about with google apps. I’m not sure what add-on business there is once implemented for a 10-20 user shop.

  • jim

    Great posts. I’ve been thinking of implementing google apps to small businesses in my community. Can anyone think of a ‘reoccuring’ revenue model I can think about with google apps. I’m not sure what add-on business there is once implemented for a 10-20 user shop.

  • jdale

    Kyle, great post. I’ve used Google Apps to set up two new small businesses and have been very happy with the Standard version. I was a Outlook user for 15 years and I have not used it in 10 months and don’t miss it at all. Blackberry integration has been OK, but it does need improving and I think that with BIS 3.0 we might get 2-way email sync and possibly native Calendar Sync. However, I have found that Google Sync for Blackberry works very very well for the Calendar and Contacts.
    Main BB/Google Apps challenge is with using gmail to consolidate multiple email accounts. All come into the BB on the consolidated account and you cannot change the “reply from” address on emails consolidated from other accounts. Work around is to set up every account on BIS, but that defeats the purpose of using GMail to consolidate the accounts on your computer.
    The good news is that every month BB and Google are launching new features that make its use ever closer to a BES experience.
    Now all we need is Google Voice in Canada.

  • jdale

    Kyle, great post. I’ve used Google Apps to set up two new small businesses and have been very happy with the Standard version. I was a Outlook user for 15 years and I have not used it in 10 months and don’t miss it at all. Blackberry integration has been OK, but it does need improving and I think that with BIS 3.0 we might get 2-way email sync and possibly native Calendar Sync. However, I have found that Google Sync for Blackberry works very very well for the Calendar and Contacts.
    Main BB/Google Apps challenge is with using gmail to consolidate multiple email accounts. All come into the BB on the consolidated account and you cannot change the “reply from” address on emails consolidated from other accounts. Work around is to set up every account on BIS, but that defeats the purpose of using GMail to consolidate the accounts on your computer.
    The good news is that every month BB and Google are launching new features that make its use ever closer to a BES experience.
    Now all we need is Google Voice in Canada.

  • jdale

    Kyle, great post. I’ve used Google Apps to set up two new small businesses and have been very happy with the Standard version. I was a Outlook user for 15 years and I have not used it in 10 months and don’t miss it at all. Blackberry integration has been OK, but it does need improving and I think that with BIS 3.0 we might get 2-way email sync and possibly native Calendar Sync. However, I have found that Google Sync for Blackberry works very very well for the Calendar and Contacts.
    Main BB/Google Apps challenge is with using gmail to consolidate multiple email accounts. All come into the BB on the consolidated account and you cannot change the “reply from” address on emails consolidated from other accounts. Work around is to set up every account on BIS, but that defeats the purpose of using GMail to consolidate the accounts on your computer.
    The good news is that every month BB and Google are launching new features that make its use ever closer to a BES experience.
    Now all we need is Google Voice in Canada.

  • http://www.come2sacramento.com Dave Lopez

    Been using Google apps for 1 yr. with my BBB 9000. I hv 4 e-mail addresses: Hotmail. Yahoo, gmail and Bus-Google mail. I quit syncing Hotmail & Yahoo – 2 much e-mail and they were not important acct. anyway. What I found in syncing both my gmail acct’s: 1) If both contact lists were not identical a duplicate record would populate every time I sync so I now mirror both e-mail acct. In contacts if you have more than one phone number and email it does take a few more steps to launch your call/txt/email vs a quick launch with only one number/email. Another thing is all 3 [gmail, bus-gmail, BB e-mail] show up in the calender feature. I have them color coded and it reminds me to set the primary calender I want to use. It’s a simple thing when you pull up the menu to look at the calender. If I had over 200-250 contacts then I would consider using a separate CRM systems to connect with people.

  • http://www.come2sacramento.com/ Dave Lopez

    Been using Google apps for 1 yr. with my BBB 9000. I hv 4 e-mail addresses: Hotmail. Yahoo, gmail and Bus-Google mail. I quit syncing Hotmail & Yahoo – 2 much e-mail and they were not important acct. anyway. What I found in syncing both my gmail acct’s: 1) If both contact lists were not identical a duplicate record would populate every time I sync so I now mirror both e-mail acct. In contacts if you have more than one phone number and email it does take a few more steps to launch your call/txt/email vs a quick launch with only one number/email. Another thing is all 3 [gmail, bus-gmail, BB e-mail] show up in the calender feature. I have them color coded and it reminds me to set the primary calender I want to use. It’s a simple thing when you pull up the menu to look at the calender. If I had over 200-250 contacts then I would consider using a separate CRM systems to connect with people.

  • http://logandevenish.wordpress.com/ Cadillac Cowboy

    I’ve just moved all my bits over to Google Apps and it works like a dream, but I need to clarify something…

    Int he past, I’ve paid a particular company for my domain name, and also hosting fees – now that I’ve moved everything over to Google Apps, I’d only need to pay this company for the domain name, right?

    As I understand it, Google are essentially hosting my domain for me and free-of-charge (though I’m tempted to upgrade to their “premium” version) – is this right?

  • http://logandevenish.wordpress.com Cadillac Cowboy

    I’ve just moved all my bits over to Google Apps and it works like a dream, but I need to clarify something…

    Int he past, I’ve paid a particular company for my domain name, and also hosting fees – now that I’ve moved everything over to Google Apps, I’d only need to pay this company for the domain name, right?

    As I understand it, Google are essentially hosting my domain for me and free-of-charge (though I’m tempted to upgrade to their “premium” version) – is this right?

  • Atlantids

    Now that you have your Google Apps registered, and your mail is getting filtered through Google’s awesome spam filters, you’re going to want to get it on your BlackBerry. This is very simple: just go into your email settings, located in the setup folder.Once there, you should find yourself in the “Email Accounts” section. It is the first screen so if you’re not there just go back. From there, click “Add” and go through the steps of adding a Gmail account.how 8800 settings?

  • Atlantids

    Now that you have your Google Apps registered, and your mail is getting filtered through Google’s awesome spam filters, you’re going to want to get it on your BlackBerry. This is very simple: just go into your email settings, located in the setup folder.Once there, you should find yourself in the “Email Accounts” section. It is the first screen so if you’re not there just go back. From there, click “Add” and go through the steps of adding a Gmail account.how 8800 settings?

  • Atlantids

    Now that you have your Google Apps registered, and your mail is getting filtered through Google’s awesome spam filters, you’re going to want to get it on your BlackBerry. This is very simple: just go into your email settings, located in the setup folder.

    Once there, you should find yourself in the “Email Accounts” section. It is the first screen so if you’re not there just go back. From there, click “Add” and go through the steps of adding a Gmail account.

    how 8800 settings?

  • Atlantids

    Now that you have your Google Apps registered, and your mail is getting filtered through Google’s awesome spam filters, you’re going to want to get it on your BlackBerry. This is very simple: just go into your email settings, located in the setup folder.

    Once there, you should find yourself in the “Email Accounts” section. It is the first screen so if you’re not there just go back. From there, click “Add” and go through the steps of adding a Gmail account.

    how 8800 settings?