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 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 … 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 … 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 … Read more →
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.
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 … Read more →
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 … Read more →
Just over a month ago we announced the addition of Google Sites Management and Visibility to FlashPanel and over the past few weeks, we’ve expanded FlashPanel to cover another area of the Google Apps suite: Google Calendar.
Our new Google Calendar functionality gives Google Apps admins the ability to alter sharing settings for end user calendars, modify ownership of those calendars and update privacy settings for a single calendar or every calendar within the domain. Admins can also filter calendars by exposure level to ensure sensitive information is not shared publicly.
FlashPanel’s Calendar functionality extends to Calendar Resources, where admins can view usage and update ownership and sharing settings as well.
Our new feature set is already helping IT admins better manage calendars across their organizations.
“FlashPanel has helped take the mystery out of Calendar and Calendar Resource management in Google Apps. The calendar management feature has removed the element of invisibility and … Read more →
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. … Read more →
Fourth of July usually means barbecues, fireworks and the beach. So when employees leave tonight for their long weekends, you can pretty much guarantee they’re not thinking about setting an out of office responder or delegating their inbox to a colleague who will be working.
While you can’t force an employee to prepare their Google Apps account for an absence, FlashPanel will help you take a few actions on the back end to ensure incoming emails are not disregarded this holiday weekend.
Remotely Set an Out of Office Responder
While setting an out of office responder through Gmail settings isn’t hard, it is pretty easy to forget to do so when you have a long weekend to think about. Not to worry though, using FlashPanel, IT administrators can set an out of office responder without logging into a user’s account.
Simply log into FlashPanel and … Read more →
When we launched FlashPanel last July, the application only touched a few areas of the Google Apps suite – Users, Groups, OUs, Contacts and Gmail. A few months later, we added Drive functionality and continued to dive deeper into existing areas with features like reporting, bulk editing, password policies, workflows and much more.
Well, today we’re pleased to announce that we’ve continued to expand our coverage of the Apps suite with Google Sites Management and Visibility.
FlashPanel’s new Sites Management and Visibility features allow you to view all Sites created within your domain and give you the ability to add and remove collaborators, change owners in bulk or one by one and modify sharing settings.
While everyone using FlashPanel today can currently test out the new Sites functionality, when pricing goes into effect on September 12 we’ll be offering Sites Visibility – or inventory view – in our Basic (free) edition, while … Read more →