Eli Winderbaum is the Director of Customer Success at BetterCloud where he interacts with dozens of Google Apps administrators daily. Follow Eli on Google+.
Google Apps administrators play an integral role in any organization operating on Google Apps. They have the power to drive a company’s IT strategy, implement that strategy and access a huge amount of company and employee data. So, great admins are not only tech savvy and experienced, but also incredibly trustworthy.
Over the past two years, we’ve interacted with thousands of Apps administrators from the largest Fortune 100 enterprises down to the smallest non-profits, and have come to recognize three qualities every great Google Apps admin possesses.
Google is a forward thinking and innovative company, and these philosophies extend to the Google Apps suite. Great Google Apps admins possess these same qualities, and look for opportunities to strategically deploy Google Apps’ existing capabilities and newly released features to advance the business goals of his or her organization.
Apps admins who stay on top of new features … Read more →
Eight years after its inception, Google Apps stands as a force to be reckoned with. More organizations are migrating away from on-premises legacy systems and trading up to the cloud, spurring Google to invest more energy into the suite every year. In the past few months alone, we’ve seen major upgrades from Google like completely overhauled spreadsheets, a new conferencing system and additional API offerings, which have allowed developers like BetterCloud to provide even more functionality to our customers. Clearly, the suite is evolving and cloud services brokerages and Google Apps resellers have stepped up to the plate to bring Google Apps to organizations around the world.
The ecosystem is complicated, involving many moving parts – Google, partners, third-party vendors and customers – but there is very little data on the growth, challenges, opportunities and success of the ecosystem as a whole. That’s why we’ve made a concerted effort to survey our customers and release statistics surrounding the health and evolution of the Google Apps ecosystem.
… Read more →
As the provider of an enterprise security SaaS application, we know that the IT landscape is changing at an increasingly rapid pace. And, we’ve been hearing more and more from concerned IT administrators who worry about their users installing and using unapproved SaaS products. According to a recent Frost & Sullivan survey produced in conjunction with the Cloud Alliance for Google Apps, nearly two-thirds of end users say they choose and install their own applications in the workplace.
While this so-called shadow IT leaves some IT admins anxious over possible security breaches, another Frost survey put out in November 2013 finds that employees turn to shadow IT simply to gain efficiency (malevolence usually isn’t in play). In fact, the same study notes that IT employees are even likelier to use unapproved SaaS applications than their non-IT counterparts. Clearly, goals and reality are misaligned.
As an IT administrator, the majority of today’s “best practices” tell you to squash … Read more →
To read the BuzzFeed case study, visit flashpanel.com/buzzfeed.
1. To edit Google Group permissions in bulk – something you can’t do in the Google Admin Console.
2. To deprovision users. Saying goodbye is never easy, but a custom checklist can help.
3. To create a policy forcing users to reset their Google Apps account password every three months.
4. To view the third-party apps that can access their Google Apps data.
5. To see how documents created by BuzzFeed employees are shared.
6. And to create users, because it’s … Read more →
Last year, we predicted Google would launch a GoToMeeting competitor in 2014. The company delivered this month with Chromebox for Meetings and we couldn’t be happier!
The system, which combines software and hardware to deliver one seamless web conferencing experience, takes the best of Google Hangouts and Chrome OS, and brings users all-cloud, always-on video meetings.
Here at BetterCloud, we’ve gradually phased out GoToMeeting as much as possible, favoring Hangouts, but sometimes technical aspects like attendee limits and disparate video and audio make Hangouts unwieldy. That’s why we’ve already pre-ordered Chromebox for Meetings for our New York and Atlanta offices. And here are three more reasons why we think the new video-conferencing system should be your next IT investment.
Create a Consistent Environment in the Cloud
Running your organization on Google Apps means your users are living and working in the suite every day – particularly why we’ve tried to transition to Google Hangouts as much as possible. Using Hangouts instead of a … Read more →
Today I’m very pleased to announce a new editorial outlet specifically geared towards current and prospective FlashPanel and Google Apps administrators: the FlashPanel Blog. Several months in the making, the FlashPanel blog will serve as the ultimate resource for IT administrators using FlashPanel to manage and secure their Google Apps domain.
Rest assured, the BetterCloud blog will continue to feature high-level Google Apps and cloud thought leadership pieces from our CEO, David Politis, as well as company milestones, customer news and industry events from yours truly. The FlashPanel blog is simply a better way for BetterCloud to communicate with Google Apps administrators using FlashPanel on a much more regular basis.
In addition to the FlashPanel blog, we’ve also launched a Google+ page and Twitter handle specifically for FlashPanel so be sure to follow both to say up to date on the latest feature and product news.
We’re very excited to launch the FlashPanel Blog and look forward to continuing to provide the best Google Apps related content on the web through our three outlets: BetterCloud, FlashPanel and Google … Read more →
This winter, the Cloud Alliance for Google Apps, the only consortium of Google Apps-related independent software vendors, in conjunction with research firm, Frost & Sullivan, released the results of the second bi-annual State of the Google Apps Ecosystem report.
Based on survey answers from 1,158 Google Apps administrators and end-users, the report reveals new information regarding satisfaction with Google Apps, the role third party applications play in the use of the Google Apps suite, a growing willingness by both admins and end-users to spend their own money to purchase third party applications and lastly, the diminishing reliance on Microsoft Office products.
For complete survey results, please visit cloudallianceforgoogleapps.com/report.
BetterCloud has focused intensely on serving the needs of our customers since day one. We don’t build a feature, add an enhancement or change our roadmap for FlashPanel without first getting input from our customers – precisely the reason we just sent out our 2014 Q1 customer survey.
In fact, when we first launched FlashPanel in alpha in April 2012, we spent an hour demoing the product for each of our fifty alpha testers. These one-on-one calls, first conducted by members of our Product Support team, proved so valuable that we ultimately decided to establish an entire team dedicated to the success of our customers.
This past September, as FlashPanel came out of beta, we introduced the Customer Success team, which today helps more than 1,000 FlashPanel Enterprise customers successfully manage and secure their Google Apps domains.
Dedicating an Entire Team to Customer Success
For most small companies, investing often limited resources to build out a robust customer success team isn’t usually a main priority. However, more and more forward-thinking SaaS companies are making this team not only a priority, but a cornerstone of their overall business. … Read more →
As big supporters of living and working in the cloud, we often name the ability to work from anywhere as the greatest benefit of using Google Apps. But what happens when you can’t work from anywhere because your data has been lost or compromised? Data loss, a very real threat to any business operated in the cloud, is a concern we’re hearing more and more from our customers so I wanted to address it on our blog.
While Google goes to great lengths to backup several versions of your data, the company can’t protect you against intentional or accidental data loss, an obvious risk to your business, which can cost real money and eat up considerable IT resources. And while Google Vault, Google’s own archiving and eDiscovery tool, is useful for Gmail and chat recovery, it’s not meant to be used as a Google Apps backup mechanism. And with Google Apps’ broad range of functionality, your organization likely needs to backup all data in your domain – here’s why.
Protection from Malicious Users
A huge benefit of using Google Apps and … Read more →
Last April BetterCloud’s CEO, David Politis, wrote an article titled Google Apps vs. Office 365: Why Google Will Win the Enterprise. The article detailed the reasons why David is confident Google will win: a generational shift, pricing, timing and differing business models.
A year ago, David argued that differing business models would greatly inhibit the distribution and adoption of Microsoft’s cloud products and recent changes to the company’s partner commission structure, as outlined by CRN, further prove this point.
While promoting cloud products has been a company goal for the last few years, a Microsoft executive notes that so far only a quarter of Microsoft’s 600,000 partners have joined the company’s cloud channel programs and it’s not difficult to see why adoption has lagged. When you take into consideration that on-premise and legacy Microsoft products have been channel partners’ bread and butter for years, you immediately understand why promoting cloud products – essentially cannibalizing existing business – is wholly undesirable to partners.
According … Read more →