Editor's note: Over 3 million businesses have adopted Google Apps. Today we’ll hear from PlayPlainIt.com and Medialcoate, two companies based in California. To learn more about other organizations that have gone Google and share your story, visit our community map or test drive life in the cloud with the Go Google cloud calculator.

San Francisco moms and career women, Allison Howard and Laurel Kellam, are making it easier for Bay Area families to find events targeted at children under the age of five through PlayPlanit.com. Both Laurel and Allison work from home and meet up once or twice a week so the ability to be productive and access files remotely is critical. The two founders communicate throughout the day via Gmail and chat, and rely heavily on Google Docs to store, track and collaborate on just about everything.

According to Laurel, “As soon as we learned about the functionality and cost of Google Apps it was a no-brainer. Neither of us are ‘tech guys’ and we didn’t want to spend our money on any expensive equipment like servers. We’re big Google fans in general - we both use Gmail, Google Calendar and Google Voice for personal reasons. Also, as business owners who are responsible for every aspect of our start-up we knew we wouldn’t have the time or patience to troubleshoot Microsoft Outlook.”

Like Laurel and Allison, other companies have found that the cost benefits and collaboration tools offered through Google Apps can’t be beat. To learn more, we move south to Pacific Grove where we meet Marcelo Rizzo, Technical Manager for Medialocate, a translation services company helping Fortune 500 companies bring their products and content to global audiences. Marcelo tells us about why Medialocate chose Google Apps.

“Four years ago, Medialocate outsourced its Microsoft Exchange server to a hosting service. Everything went well for about two years. Then, all of the sudden, we were getting 75% uptime and a lot of user complaints. We pondered bringing Exchange back in-house. At $136 per user/year, it was not cost effective. We looked at other e-mail hosting services, but they were also not cost effective.

Finally we looked at Google Apps — $50 per user/year including support, document sharing and centralized management was unbeatable. It has become an integral part of our core assets and has helped boost our profitability by 30% over last year.”

Posted by Michelle Lisowski, Google Apps team