Google Apps requires a consistent internet connection. While they do have an offline mode, some people say it works, others say it doesn’t. Your mileage may vary. But let’s face it, the internet is not bulletproof. Literally.
Yesterday parts of upstate New York lost internet connectivity because someone shot the fiber cable. See the article here.
If you use Google Apps, more than likely, you didn’t get much work done for 29 hours.
However, Microsoft Outlook has an offline mode that works and works great. When connected to an Exchange server, most users will not notice a difference during an internet outage. The only difference, of course, is that your emails will not be sent until your connection is restored. Likewise, you will not receive any new emails until your connection is restored. This happens automatically, behind the scenes. During an outage, you still have access to your email, contacts, calendar, etc.
You may be wondering why I recommended that churches sign up for Google Apps a few days ago. Google is providing nonprofits with free Google Apps for Education accounts. Many churches cannot afford the ongoing cost of Hosted Exchange. Google Apps is an affordable solution for them.
One thing I would like to point out. If your business is highly mobile, in other words your office consists of the closest WiFi hotspot, or a 3G/4G connection, then Google Apps may still be the better way to go. You can always pick up your coffee cup and move to the next available location that has internet. Businesses with several employees working out of the same location do not have that ability. Those businesses might also want to consider redundant internet connections. For example, a high speed cable connection along with a DSL connection for backup. You should always choose two different forms of connectivity for the best chances of a fallback connection when one goes down.