Life after Heartbleed: What Google Apps Customers Need to Know

heartbleedThis week, a major security flaw was discovered in OpenSSL, the open-source implementation of cryptographic protocols SSL and TLS. This flaw, now referred to as Heartbleed, poses a fundamental risk to the security of data transmitted between servers. In other words, the bug allows malevolent parties to request data from a web server’s memory, which may include encryption keys, passwords, user information and content. Once attackers have access to this data they can use it to impersonate services and users. What’s worse is that the flaw has been around since December 2011, meaning potential hackers have had access to vulnerable data for over two years.

Scary, right?

Yes, Heartbleed should be taken seriously. End users can and should take key steps like resetting account passwords, but much of the onus is placed on the web providers we rely on and trust. For BetterCloud and our customers (and most of the free world), Google is a major player in our online lives – personally and professionally.

Thankfully the web giant, that actually employs the researcher who discovered Heartbleed, was extremely … Read more →

These 40 Stats Will Change the Way You Think About Google Apps

google-apps-custom-2This past October, we published a post rounding up 47 of the most vital stats about the state of the Google Apps ecosystem. The post was one of our most shared ever and it’s clear that people operating in this space are looking for more information about the success, growth and future of Apps. Here are 40 more stats you need to know about the Google Apps Ecosystem.

The Cloud Office Market

The move to the cloud is undeniably under way, but to what extent? A company’s move to the cloud depends on various factors like organization type, size, prior investment in on-premises systems, attitude and much more. And, while many organizations have indeed moved to the cloud, it’s worth noting that the vast majority of companies are still operating in on-premises environments. This however represents a huge opportunity for cloud software providers like BetterCloud, which is able to not only serve existing cloud office users, but also grow tremendously as cloud becomes the de facto for organizations around the world.

There are two primary suppliers competing … Read more →

Recapping the Global Enterprise Partner Summit: Partners are the Cornerstone of the Ecosystem’s Success

Nick Freund is the Director of Business Development at BetterCloud where he oversees all partner relationships and business development initiatives.

Last week was Google’s second annual Global Enterprise Partner Summit. The event, which brought more than 700 partners to San Francisco, was a showcase of sorts for Google’s current partners – Google Apps, Search, Maps for Business, Cloud Platform and Chrome. It also served as a launching pad for new Enterprise initiatives, like Google’s new technology partner track, open exclusively to independent software vendors building products heavily integrated with the Google Apps suite. This program is set to build upon existing relationships between Google and Google Apps Marketplace ISVs, now numbering more than 750.

For BetterCloud, the week was a great opportunity to meet with all of our partners and interact with others in the ecosystem – most of whom work in markets around the world, and who we would otherwise never get a chance to meet. BetterCloud strives to work with the most successful, best known and professional Google … Read more →

3 Qualities Shared by the Most Effective Google Apps Admins

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-admin-blog-imageGoogle 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.

Innovative

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 →

FlashPanel Customer Survey: Chromebooks and Hangouts Surging, Google Apps Admin Best Practices and How Google’s Channel Has Accelerated Cloud Adoption

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 →

Why Your IT Department Needs to Embrace Shadow IT

shadow ITAs 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 →

6 Reasons BuzzFeed Uses FlashPanel to Manage Google Apps

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.

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2. To deprovision users. Saying goodbye is never easy, but a custom checklist can help.

the office goodbye

3. To create a policy forcing users to reset their Google Apps account password every three months.

mind eraser

4. To view the third-party apps that can access their Google Apps data.

Spy-Kids-better-look-closer

5. To see how documents created by BuzzFeed employees are shared.

office space

6. And to create users, because it’s … Read more →

3 Reasons the New Chromebox for Meetings Should Be Your Next IT Investment

Chromebox for MeetingsLast 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 →

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 →