Introducing the FlashPanel Blog, Your Go-To Resource for FlashPanel News, Tips and Admin Best Practices

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 →

Building a Customer Success Team: Helping Our Customers Thrive

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 →

BetterCloud Raises $6 Million to Bring IT Management and Security Suite to the Cloud Stack

BetterCloud-Logo-900-pxAfter nearly two years of focusing solely on Google Apps, we’ve decided to expand our vision beyond Apps and to the cloud at large. While organizations initially migrate to the cloud to gain collaboration, cost savings and scalability, once there they often find a lack of management and security capabilities. Cloud enabled companies are therefore forced to cobble together multiple management and security tools from various vendors or even build their own custom solutions to simply oversee the applications they rely on every day.

Today, we’re aiming to solve this dilemma by providing a single pane through which IT administrators can manage and secure their entire cloud application stack. To help us do so, we’ve closed a $6 million Series B round of funding from existing investors including Flybridge Capital Partners, Greycroft Partners, TriBeCa Venture Partners and BLH Venture Partners, bringing our total investment to $13.25 million.

This latest investment will go towards growing our existing engineering team to accelerate Google Apps development while also adding a new team dedicated to extending FlashPanel’s functionality to other leading cloud applications.

Remaining Focused on … Read more →

FlashPanel Graduates From Beta (Email to the BetterCloud Team)

Today marks a major milestone in BetterCloud’s history – we’ve taken the beta tag off of FlashPanel. Earlier this morning I wrote an email to the team here to reflect a little (or a lot) on what the last two years have been like and what we can look forward to in the coming months and years. Because there are so many people who have supported us along the way (customers, partners, investors, peers, family, friends or just those rooting for us) I thought it would be worthwhile to publish the internal email on our blog. It’s long, and if you’d prefer to get the details about the launch of our enterprise plans, you can check out the press release here. We’re looking forward to this next chapter.

Team -

Today is an important day in our company’s short, yet very eventful, history. Taking the beta tag off of FlashPanel is a big move for us. Literally overnight we’ve changed how BetterCloud is viewed by our customers, our partners, our peers and the market as a whole. In 14 months, we’ve gone from a … Read more →

Announcing New Management Tools for Google Apps Resellers

Prior to founding BetterCloud, a number of team members were working at a large Google Apps reseller. It was there that we learned the specific needs of each party in the Google Apps ecosystem: end users, admins and resellers.

Once we founded BetterCloud, we initially set out to meet the needs of IT admins, which we felt were the most pressing. Admins were asking for everything from user management, Drive security and much more, so we delivered this functionality with FlashPanel.

To help broaden the distribution of FlashPanel, we began working with Google Apps resellers from around the world. We spent a considerable amount of time training resellers on FlashPanel and ended up speaking with dozens of deployment and support specialists regarding the application’s functionality and Google Apps account management in general.

Through these interactions we realized that many of the needs we ourselves had back in our reseller days were still prevalent. In fact, as the resellers’ businesses matured over the years – specifically in the number of domains they were managing – the needs became even more urgent.

So about six months ago we began … Read more →

Google Gooru Grows Up

18 months ago googlegooru.com was little more than an idea and a tiny site. Originally inspired by Khan Academy, which started as an educational YouTube channel, we hoped Gooru would become the go to source for everything Google Apps related. Unsure if the site would gain broad adoption, Gooru started as a side project for our Director of Marketing, Taylor Gould. In the early days, he’d post one Gooru video a week, if that, and send it out to the community, a few die hard Google fans.

Over the course of the next six months, Gooru gained some incredible traction within the Google Apps community; we’d amassed more than one thousand followers on Google+ and had just as many subscribers to our newsletter. We realized there was a huge need for content about everything related to Google Apps and decided to put a full time resource behind the site. Andrew McGonnigle became the first intern for Gooru in the Summer of 2012 and joined the team … Read more →

The All New BetterCloud Help Center

Last year’s launch of FlashPanel coincided with the launch of our support site, which over the course of the year expanded to include over 200 how-to articles, a robust community forum and a feature request portal. The support site also functioned as the primary point of contact between our customers and support team.

Now, just as FlashPanel has evolved and matured into a truly enterprise-ready product, we’re relaunching the support site as the BetterCloud Help Center, to provide an even better experience for our growing customer base.

I sat down with Michael Stone, who heads up customer support efforts at BetterCloud, to learn more about the redesign.

Gail: Why was redesigning the support site so important?

Mike: The support site, now the BetterCloud Help Center, is really the first point of contact between the support team and our customers. It was important that we make the site as easy to navigate and as accessible as possible. Building the site on Zendesk’s platform has allowed us to do so.

While the old site had … Read more →

Meet Bart Hacking, BetterCloud’s CFO

Since our founding in November 2011, we’ve grown from a team of 8 to a company of more than 40 people working out of two offices along the east coast. In fact, just last week, we added four new members to our rapidly expanding team, including Bart Hacking, as our CFO.

Bart has been a member of the New York tech community for the last 8 years (basically since before there was a true New York tech community) and was most recently VP of Finance at Clickable, acquired by Syncapse Corp. last year. You can read more about Bart’s professional background here.

To gain a better understanding of his take on the New York tech community, why he joined BetterCloud and what he’s looking forward to, I sat down with Bart to ask some hard hitting questions.

Gail: Can you tell me a little bit about yourself, something I wouldn’t learn from reading your bio?

Bart: My wife and I live in New Jersey with our two young daughters (ages 4 and 2) – I love fatherhood. I grew up fly fishing with my … Read more →

Announcing Paid Plans for FlashPanel

Today, I am pleased to introduce paid plans for FlashPanel, which will go into effect September 12. For those of you who were customers back in February, you’ll remember the survey we sent regarding pricing – we read every single response (upwards of 2,700) and have taken that feedback to heart. This feedback has helped to ensure that our plans are affordable, simple and most importantly provide value to our users.

Table of Contents

Why Now Pricing Plans Pricing Explained What’s Next Final Thoughts Why Now

It was never a question of if we would introduce paid plans, but when. And it was always our foremost consideration to only start charging for FlashPanel when we could provide paying customers with the level of functionality they need and the support they deserve.

In fact, when we launched FlashPanel in the Marketplace last July, we knew we would be incurring the cost of providing a product to tens of thousands of domains for free. When running a business, especially a fast growing startup, there are times when you feel pressured to start charging, … Read more →

How the Cloud Helps Us Onboard Our Summer Interns + A Giveaway!

It’s an exciting time here at BetterCloud. This year’s crop of summer interns will be joining us Monday and we’ve been preparing for the last week or so to make sure we’re ready come 9 AM. We’ve ordered new desks and chairs, fully stocked the kitchen and, most importantly, provisioned new Google Apps accounts.

Our interns are truly an integral part of the day to day at BetterCloud and with summer being so short, we need to make sure they get up to speed quickly. To both prepare for their arrival and train our new team members, we rely heavily on the cloud.

Google Apps

First and foremost, Google Apps, the platform on which our entire company is run, helps us onboard interns quickly. We’re able to instantly purchase new licenses through the Google Apps Admin Console and create accounts on the spot.

Once the Google Apps accounts are created, we’re able to provision relevant third-party applications on a user by user or OU by OU basis. For instance, our interns will likely need access to Expensify and Read more →