Katie is a Product Owner at BetterCloud.
Just last week we announced a completely revamped shared contacts experience for FlashPanel users. And today, I’m very excited to share that we’re giving IT administrators even more functionality when it comes to managing and securing their Google Apps domains. Now with FlashPanel, IT administrators can manage, audit and secure Google+ posts made from employees’ work-related accounts.
Ensuring Social Networking Accountability
FlashPanel’s new Google+ auditing features allow administrators and others with delegated access (like a social media or communications manager) to monitor and filter comments and posts made by employees in Google+ either shared publicly or within the domain. Administrators can also browse public or domain-wide posts made by employees in a consolidated view and create content policies pertaining to certain words.
To get started with Google+ features in FlashPanel, head to the Google Apps tab.
From the Google+ tab, you can choose to view Posts or configure Google+ Policies.
In … Read more →
Nathaniel Collum is a Product Owner at BetterCloud.
Today we’re very pleased to announce a brand new feature update for FlashPanel. We’ve rebuilt, redesigned and rebranded FlashPanel’s Shared Contacts feature as “Contacts.” Admins and end users alike will notice several important updates improving the overall usability of the feature.
First things first, if you’re new to FlashPanel or Google Apps, you might be wondering just what a contact is. Contacts represent individuals who’ve been added to FlashPanel’s directory. These may or may not be users within your own domain. However, when people talk about Contacts related to Google Apps, they’re most often referring to the concept of “Shared Contacts.” Contacts could include business partners, vendors or customers so it makes sense that you’d want other members within your organization to have access to this list of external contacts.
If you made the move from Microsoft Exchange to Google Apps or are considering migrating, you’re likely very familiar with Exchange’s concept of sharing a group of contacts by folder. Unfortunately, this idea does not exist natively in … Read more →
For organizations operating on the Google Apps platform, Google sits the core of enterprise user identity. And with 5,000 organizations signing up for Google Enterprise products everyday, this trend is accelerating rapidly. Using their Google identity, users and admins alike can install thousands of mobile and web applications through the Google Apps Marketplace, Chrome Web Store, Google Play Store, Apple’s App Store and others. With so much variety, the IT department’s need for visibility into and control over the applications users are installing is paramount.
To further our mission of empowering Google Apps administrators and shed light on possible shadow IT in the workplace, we’ve launched Apps Explorer for FlashPanel. Apps Explorer is the first and only feature of its kind to make use of Google’s newly released security management features for their Directory API within the Admin SDK.
Apps Explorer allows IT … Read more →
In a recent survey released by the Electronic Frontier Foundation of the top technology companies, Microsoft fails to comply with a number of data encryption and security recommendations while Google excels on all fronts.
To ensure data security, the EFF recommends technology companies follow protocols in five areas:
1. Encrypt Websites with Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure (HTTPS)
If HTTPs is implemented, communications between a user’s computer and the given website are encrypted.
Google and Microsoft are both compliant.
2. Enable HTTP Strict Transport Security (HSTS)
However, to ensure the communication remains secure, companies should enabled HTTP Strict Transport Security or HSTS. HSTS uses secure communications to prevent certain attacks if a network pretends that the site visited has asked to communicate insecurely.
Microsoft is non-compliant.
3. Encrypt Data Center Links
This protocol asks companies to encrypt communications between a company’s own cloud servers and their data centers. This precaution ensures data is protected in the case that an attacker has access to physical data links or … Read more →
We’ve wholeheartedly embraced Google+ at BetterCloud. From actively posting on our BetterCloud page to communicating with team members in our very own internal Google+ Community, the social network provides a great way to share information, stay in touch and learn from one another.
As expected, the Google Apps administrator community has also wholly embraced Google+. Admins often post questions and answers to common questions and pain points. We’ve combed the forums for questions we know are relevant to many of our readers. Take a look at community questions and our answers below. Feel free to leave your own tips or questions in the comments!
Question: Does anyone know if a reply email can be sent out from a disabled GAFE account or a redirect set up?
While this cannot be done outright, our Director of Support, Michael Stone, has created a handy workaround.
First, change the email address of the suspended or disabled user.
Second, grant another active user access to this email address as an Alias.
Third, set up a filter in this active user’s inbox, which … Read more →
Tomorrow is BetterCloud’s two-year anniversary and over the last two years we’ve established close relationships with many of our customers, some of whom have taken on very active and outspoken roles in the Google Apps administrator community.
While it’s encouraging to see some admins willing to share (and in some cases establish) best practices for operating on Google Apps, it’s typically the same fifty to sixty participating in forums, online communities and speaking at local and regional events.
We think there’s a huge opportunity and need for more admins to share their best practices for managing, securing and administering a Google Apps domain. After all, Google is constantly releasing new features and products that no one in the enterprise has seen before. Take for instance the launch of Google+ three years ago. When the new social network came out it didn’t come with a set of best practices for the enterprise – and there’s still really no set formula for deploying Google+ in a business or EDU environment. We need more active involvement from the community of Google Apps administrators to … Read more →
Since Google launched Google Apps in 2006, there’s been considerable growth and adoption of the suite. The last reported numbers state that there are over 5 million organizations on Google Apps with 50 million users and it seems like more organizations go Google everyday – in fact the US Army went Google this week!
We’ve rounded up 47 of the most important stats alluding to the platform’s adoption, growth and future.
Moving to the Cloud
We’ve known for a while that a large shift is underway in the realm of IT. The move to the cloud, first propelled by early adopters and championed by Google, Salesforce.com and others is becoming more and more mainstream.
According to Mark Murphy, an enterprise software analyst at Piper Jaffray, today 9.7% of all computing workloads are run in the public cloud. However, that number is expected to rise to 30.2% in just five years, adding up to 44% annual growth in workloads for the public cloud compared to just 8.9% growth for on-premise computing workloads. Source. In … Read more →
As Google Apps and other cloud services have evolved so to have Google Apps resellers. These resellers have transformed their businesses to align with new challenges companies moving to the cloud or seeking to implement a full cloud strategy encounter.
Only a few years ago Google Apps resellers seldom did more than assist with migrations to Google Apps and conduct change management training. Now, the leading resellers have evolved into cloud services brokerages (CSBs) providing their customers not only with data migration and user training, but also with custom application development, integration services and assistance building out an overall cloud IT strategy.
History of Google Apps Resellers and the Evolution of CSBs
The Google Apps Reseller program started in 2009 with a pilot group of 50 partners. This group was made up of early adopters and Google Apps evangelists.
Over the last four years, the program has grown immensely and is now comprised of thousands of partners around the world (the last quoted number is around 6,000, but we believe it to be much higher). These … Read more →
After 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 →
As many of you probably know, last week marked a huge milestone for BetterCloud – FlashPanel graduated from beta. This was an event 14 months in the making and it took some serious effort from our team and support from our customers, partners and the community to get here.
Last week’s release included a number of big changes, including the integration of our billing system into FlashPanel. This system automates the purchasing process and provides for a seamless experience for our customers. We also added a highly anticipated feature, especially among our larger customers. FlashPanel administrators now have the ability to set up Access Control roles by organizational unit.
If you’ve been using FlashPanel for a while and / or you’re part of a larger organization, Access Control is probably a feature you’ve grown very familiar with. We’ve found the feature comes in handy when a Super Administrator wants to grant only certain permissions to a user. Say you want a help desk employee to manage Read more →