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Editor's Note: We're pleased to welcome Jim Helou, Vice President of the Google division at DLT Solutions, a Google Enterprise Partner. Jim and his team provide leading enterprise solutions, such as the Google Search Appliance, to the Public Sector.

The DLT team understands the principle of service and works with their Public Sector customers to determine the best product fit, necessary services & training, post-implementation support and procurement options to fulfill their mission.

"Practice what you preach." We’ve all heard that saying, right? At DLT Solutions, we’re a modern day example of the age-old adage. DLT Solutions, a value-added reseller of information technology products to federal, state and local government, recently partnered with Google to bring their innovative products to the public sector marketplace. Among Google’s business solutions is the Google Search Appliance 6.0. We at DLT figured what better way to preach the gospel of Google than to be users ourselves.

DLT Solutions recently installed the Google Search Appliance (GSA) for searching the DLT intranet. We chronicled the installation of the Search Appliance 6.0 by two DLT Web developers at our headquarters outside of Washington D.C in a two-part real time video, now available to view at www.DLT.com/GSA.






(That's Part One, above; you can also view the Part Two on the DLT YouTube channel.)

The video is a timed demonstration of how fast and easy Google’s latest version of the Search Appliance is to install. In less than 20 minutes we had taken the Google Search Appliance out of the box, installed, and configured the Search Appliance for our intranet file search. Your own deployment time may take longer depending on how many data sources you're searching and how many files you need to crawl. The point, however, is just how easy it is – one server, two network cables, and a power cord. No army of consultants necessary.

Looking back, search results in the pre-GSA days were…sloppy. Nowadays, with the GSA, the customizable search criteria makes for a more personal internal search experience. Employees can find the information they need faster allowing them to focus on more mission-critical tasks.

DLT uses Google’s search solution for not only our intranet, but also our public website. The Search Appliance’s relevant search results in the recognizable Google format has allowed our government users to get the information they need while increasing the number of qualified prospects for DLT.

We confidently tell our customers how easy the Google Search Appliance is to install and use. We know. We’ve done it.

Posted by Dan Israel, Product Marketing Manager, Google Enterprise

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Editor's Note:
With the launch of the Google Apps Marketplace in March 2010, many members of our Authorized Reseller Program are taking full and immediate advantage of the benefits the Marketplace provides – new apps for their customers and a new channel for resellers to sell their own customized apps to Google Apps users. We asked Julia Rivard, VP-Communications for Canadian-based SheepdogInc.ca, to talk about her experiences as a Google Apps reseller and now a vendor within the Google Apps Marketplace.

SheepDogInc.ca, founded by Shawn Wilkie and Brandon Kolybaba, recognized early on the strengths and functionality associated with the Google Apps suite of communication and collaboration tools. In 2007, we began working with Google to become an authorized Google Apps reseller, allowing our team to bring Google Apps migration expertise to organizations in Canada and across North America. Based in Halifax, Nova Scotia, our team has migrated many organizations which were formerly utilizing a mishmash of tools to the unified, cloud computing platform created by Google Apps.

SheepDogInc.ca's position as an authorized Google Apps reseller accelerated our move towards custom application development in the cloud. The launch of the Google Apps Marketplace enabled us to create applications in the cloud specifically catered towards the needs expressed by our clients. For example, our team developed an application on Google App Engine for the 2009 World Canoe Championship that delivered race results to millions of global followers as well as a medal counting application for the Canadian Olympic Committee that delivered updates to Olympic athletes on their mobile devices at the 2010 Vancouver Olympics. Focused on enhancing and improving existing business processes, SheepDogInc.ca recently launched our custom application, gTrax in the Marketplace.

gTrax

gTrax is a time tracking business tool that enables employees to track their work, facilitates intuitive reporting functionality, and integrates the user's Google Calender with the time-tracking application.

The application is aimed at organizations looking for a simple and user-friendly process of drilling down and analyzing time management and internal activities, and helps identify and allocate internal resources to projects which facilitates accurate time budgeting. Complete integration with Google Calender means that gTrax utilizes entries from the employee's calender thereby reducing the need for repeat data entry and decreasing the overhead associated with other time-tracking systems.

The developers at SheepDogInc.ca have been working tirelessly to develop a user-friendly mobile interface for gTrax. The app is now fully accessible on both the Android and iPhone platforms allowing users to conveniently access gTrax from their mobile device. Since all data is securely stored in the Google cloud, it is accessible anytime and anywhere.

Our relationship with Google as an authorized reseller has allowed us to deploy the Google Apps suite in numerous organizations across North America and the addition of the Google Apps Marketplace has created new and exciting opportunities for SheepDogInc.ca. With our development team focused on creating applications on Google App Engine, we now build both fully customized apps for specific client's business needs, as well as packaged apps for a larger audience of users through the Marketplace.

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Earlier this month we launched the Go Google cloud calculator, and we’re excited that so many of you have already taken a few minutes to discover how Google Apps can benefit your organization. Many of you have shared the results of your calculations and added your organization to our community map – and we’ve loved your enthusiasm about the time and money that can be saved by going Google.

As a token of our appreciation, we’re giving away limited-edition Gone Google tote bags (made from material recycled from our billboards) to people who share their Gone Google stories.

Just tell us how your company has gone Google, and include a link to your poster from the cloud calculator in this form. (Hint: when you create your Gone Google poster, you can just copy and paste the unique URL of the PDF.) We’ll send you a tote bag and may even highlight your story on the Google Enterprise blog.

*And our lawyers ask us to tell you that in sharing your story, you are giving Google permission to use it for marketing purposes, and the "giveaway offer is void where prohibited and valid only while supplies last" — so hurry!

Posted by Ashley Chandler, Google Enterprise team

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From time to time we invite guests to blog about initiatives of interest, and are very pleased to have Geoff Greene join us here. Geoff is the Director of IT Support Services at Brown University, and here he shares an update on their campus-wide migration to Google Apps for Education for all students, staff and faculty. - Ed.

About a year ago we put our 6,000 undergraduate students on Google Apps. The results were phenomenal: people were happy, they were productive, they were excited...and then some people got jealous. Our faculty and staff members started coming to us asking “When do we get to go Google?” Turns out they also wanted access to the same tools to better connect and engage with students and with each other.

We thought about it for a bit and realized that they had a point. So we decided to bring the entire Brown University community together—faculty, staff, medical and grad students—with a common set of tools: Google Apps for Education. This summer, our Computing & Information Services team is in the process of migrating everyone to our new GoogleApps@Brown system. The positive experience our undergrads have had using the Apps suite helped our Provost David Kertzer decide that the change would bring significant benefits and cost savings to the university as a whole. In fact, we predict this change could save us somewhere around $1 million each year.

Our students were really the ones that led us down the Google path. They knew these tools would work because they already used them in their non-school lives. We also decided to go this direction because of the functionalities that we believe will bring our university together, namely tools like collaborative documents, better email (with nearly 30 times the storage space we had with our previous system!) and video chat.

The icing on the cake is that we signed a zero dollar contract for all these top-notch tools. But it’s not just about saving money—it’s also about investing in our university’s future. Google Apps helps us work better together, and we can feel the excitement building on campus as a result. Here’s a little glimpse:


Since some faculty and staff members aren’t as familiar with the new tools just yet, we also hosted a “roadshow” to spread the word and gear up training sessions tailored for each campus group or department. Our training efforts are robust (you can check it out at training.brown.edu) and we have Google Guides—enthusiastic staff and student volunteers—helping their peers with the transition. We feel confident that once people start using these tools together, they’ll never look back.

Posted by Geoff Greene, Brown University Computing & Information Services

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Editor's note: This is the latest in a series of posts on new apps in the Google Apps Marketplace – things that have caught our eye here at Google. We’ll do this every few weeks or as we see things that we'd like to share. Look for the label "marketplace highlights" and subscribe to the series if you'd like to stay tuned.

Businesses that use Google Apps not only get access to Google's applications, they also get easy access to some of the best business apps on the web through the Google Apps Marketplace. These Marketplace apps are easy to try and buy, and integrate with Google Apps "out of the box," making it even easier for businesses to run more of their systems in the cloud.

You can learn more about the Marketplace and watch a short video on how it works here.

Get Satisfaction – Customer communities
Get Satisfaction is a social platform that helps businesses and organizations create customer communities that facilitate conversations, reduce support costs, and gather real-time market feedback.
  • Build better customer relationships
  • Reduce support costs
  • Collect valuable market data
Jobscore – Recruiting and applicant tracking
JobScore is a "hiring headquarters" where your entire team can securely see and search your jobs, resumes & feedback.
  • Free applicant tracking system and careers site
  • Easily post to multiple job boards with one click
  • Unlimited users = more referrals & better feedback
Concur Breeze – Expense Reports
Concur Breeze is designed specifically to help small businesses take the hassle out of expense reporting, enabling employees to spend more time making on productive work.
  • Expense reports created from credit card charges
  • Built-in best practice setup
  • 30-day free trial
gTrax – Timesheets
gTrax is an integrated tool for recording and reporting on your employees time usage on a per project basis.
  • Identify and apply resources to projects
  • Explore employees' activities
  • Create time budgets and monitor progress
Surveymonkey - Online Surveys
Quickly and easily gather the insights you need to move your business forward.
  • Powerful yet simple survey creation
  • Fast & flexible response gathering
  • Intelligent reporting & analysis
Posted by Scott McMullan, Google Apps Partner Lead, Google Enterprise

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Teachers and students may already be enjoying their summer vacations, but the Google Apps for Education team is going back to school for the annual ISTE conference in Denver, Colorado this week. We’re excited to talk with educators about the latest ways that Google Apps empowers teachers to teach – and schools to save money.

We're also excited to share the news that the states of Colorado and Iowa have made Google Apps available to their public schools, joining Oregon in leading the movement to Google Apps for education.

One of the things that we value most about working with educators is their commitment to always improving the tools and practices they use when they teach. Teachers often ask us about resources that support the use of Google Apps in the classroom. Today, we’re announcing a full spectrum of training solutions that schools can use to develop and enhance their use of Google Apps – regardless of their size or budget.

These Google Apps for Education training solutions encompass three components: a free online training center, a set of qualification exams for teachers, and a Certified Trainer and Partner program.

Schools wanting a “self service” approach to mastering Google Apps can now find a comprehensive set of resources on using Gmail, Google Calendar, Google Docs, Google Sites, and more in our new online Google Apps Education Training Center. This free online center is designed to take a new user of Google Apps – even someone with no Apps experience – and guide them step-by-step to understanding and proficiency.

Schools can take this proficiency one step further with a set of exams that let educators or trainers prove their mastery of Google Apps – a key step in becoming a Google Apps Certified Trainer or Partner. These exams are based 100% on the content in the training center, so everything that’s needed to pass the test is available online. Exams are administered by an independent third party training organization and can be purchased directly from our new training center.

These training solutions also support schools with the training and professional development resources they need to enhance their teachers’ use of Google Apps as a teaching tool. The new Google Apps for Education Certified Trainer and Partner program provides a formal structure for certifying individuals and partners who lead workshops or trainings about Apps, and provides schools with an easy way to find the best partners in their area.

We’ll be talking more about this program at ISTE, but if you’re not there, take a look at the site to see what it can offer you and your school.

We have one more piece of good news for educators everywhere: we’re extending our offer to provide Google Message Security (GMS) at no charge to schools who sign up with Apps through the end of this year. Primary and secondary schools that add the GMS service to their domain before December 31, 2010 will be able to take advantage of GMS’s custom email filters, policy management, and enhanced security controls.

If you’re at ISTE this year, stop by the Google booth #2536 and take a seat in our teaching theater to learn more about Google Apps from our team and some of our Google Certified Teachers.

You can also join us tonight at our Google Block Party and hear from Executive Directory of SIPA John Conley about how Colorado schools are moving to Google Apps.

Posted by Dana Nguyen, Product Marketing Manager, Google Apps Education

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Editor's Note: We're pleased to welcome back James Ferreira who previously wrote about adopting Google Apps. James is the Chief Information Officer for the Office of the New Mexico Attorney General, providing IT services to the largest law office in the state. Mr. Ferreira is tasked with the responsibility of facilitating the communication between the public and nearly 200 office staff, including attorneys. Additionally, Mr. Ferreira has served as a member on many committees including the NM Information and Technology committee, NM Technical Counsel, and the Department of Information and Technology Project Review Committee.

The New Mexico State Attorney General’s office maintains data sets containing hundreds of thousands of documents relating to ongoing trials, cases, investigations and lawsuits. Like many state and federal agencies, a significant problem we face in public sector document management is keeping track of the relevance of individual documents within large data sets. Client-side document management systems can help but are very expensive and often lack the flexibility required by a large state agency. Unlike cloud-based offerings, client-side solutions are not designed to let people collaborate easily, so adding important meta-data to a data set is often a complex and frustrating undertaking that can’t easily be split or shared by large teams. Nor can you easily access your work outside the office, since files stay on your local corporate network.

The New Mexico State Attorney General switched to Google Apps Premier Edition for email and documents last year, and a few months ago we started thinking about using Google Apps Script to help us automate parts of our document management system. Google Apps Scripts comes free with Google Apps Premier Edition, so there is no cost involved to build on this platform, making good fiscal sense for any cost-conscious government agency.

After spending just a few days to build scripts, we built a developmental App to search data sets and return a list of results to a spreadsheet. From the spreadsheet, users can then enter additional meta-data to describe documents. In addition, users can organize and group documents on related topics by selecting choices from custom-made menus powered by scripts.


By using the new UI App service in Google Apps Script, we were also able to extend the functionality of this App to mobile platforms like Android without needing to deploy an application to each device.

And since the entire data chain runs on Google servers through secure SSL connections, the risk of in-transit data attacks is minimized - a significant benefit given the sensitive nature of the legal documents in our data set.

We are seeing a fundamental shift in information sharing. It is no longer enough to have a place to store files, we also need to build the semantics of our documents to create relevance for a wider audience. Rather than cumbersome client-side software, cloud-based tools like Google Apps Script make it easier to share and collaborate on document management through an inexpensive, secure, and extensible platform.

James Ferreira, CIO, Office of the New Mexico Attorney General

Editor's Note: For more examples of how organizations are using Apps Script, head on to the Google Apps Script Blog.

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Thousands of organizations deploy Google Apps every day, and a challenge for some large businesses has been migrating employees on multiple domains. Until now, companies that ran into this issue could either set up other domains as domain aliases or set up different Google Apps accounts for each domain, neither of which was an ideal solution. Now there’s a better way: multi-domain support in Google Apps.

Multi-domain support is a new admin control that allows organizations with two or more domains on Google Apps to manage them from a single control panel. Users belonging to different domains within an organization keep their domain-specific email address but can see coworkers from other domains in the organization’s global address book. It’s also easy for users to share across domains in Google Docs, Sites and the rest of Google Apps. Matt Vandenbush, director of IT strategy and architecture at Brady Corporation, says, "Multi-domain support in Google Apps lets us administer our entire organization from one central place. Considering that we have users on 88 different domains, this is a big time-saver for our IT department, and it lets employees from different parts of our organization share information much more seamlessly than before.”
This feature is available now to Premier and Education edition users at no additional charge. To learn more about multi-domain support on Google Apps, please visit our Help Center or join us for a live webinar on Tuesday, July 13th at 9am PST / 12pm EST / 5pm GMT.

Posted:
If you’re running your business on Google Apps, you’ve seen how the cloud can make messaging and collaboration faster, more efficient, and less expensive. The Google Apps Marketplace enables those same cloud benefits for all of your business apps, from CRM and project management to marketing and graphics.

Next Tuesday, June 29, we’re hosting a free webinar to showcase three Accounting & Finance apps from the Google Apps Marketplace -- MyERP.com, FreshBooks and Bill.com. You’ll learn about the key features of these apps, how Google Apps customers are already using them, and how you can easily get them for your business. Please join us!

Simplifying business operations with Accounting & Finance applications from Google Apps Marketplace
Tuesday, June 29, 2010
9:00 a.m. PDT / 12:00 p.m. EDT / 5:00 p.m. GMT
Register here





Posted by Chris Kelly, Google Apps Marketplace team

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This week the Google Enterprise team is excited to be participating in the Gartner Security and Risk Management Summit. From today through Wednesday, IT and business executives responsible for information security, risk management, compliance, and business continuity management will gather to discuss new technologies and strategies to better secure their organizations and reduce risk.

We're particularly excited to be joined by Chet Loveland of MWV and Brian Bolt from Boise State University for a panel on security and cloud computing. They discussed why their organizations chose Google Apps, and the steps Google takes to protect the security and privacy of their data.

On Tuesday, we’ll be presenting a review of Google Apps security and reliability, building on the content in our recently published Apps security white paper.

If you'll be at the conference, please join us for a session or stop by our booth to learn more about Google’s solutions for cloud security. If you’re not going to be at the conference, you can find lots of information on Google Apps here.

Posted by Adam Swidler, Sr. Manager – Google Enterprise

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Editor's note: Today's guest blogger is Kevin Crawford, Assistant General Manager for the City of Los Angeles Information Technology Agency. Kevin was part of a team of technology executives that chose Google Apps six months ago to support the city's 30,000+ employees and 44 different departments, from police and fire to transportation and more. In the past, Kevin has served as CIO of Sound Transit, senior manager of IT infrastructure at Port of Seattle, and support manager at Weyerhauser. Kevin shares his thoughts about how the US's second largest city has gone Google in perhaps one of the most-watched technology deployments in recent memory. This post is a follow-up to the initial blog post on the City of LA from Randi Levin, CTO.

Kevin will speak at a live webcast this Thursday, June 24, 2010 at 2:00 PM (EDT) | 11:00 AM (PDT) Register today.


The City of Los Angeles currently faces a $400 million deficit, but from a technology standpoint, we still have to provide advanced tools to 30,000+ employees and 44 different departments – technology is vital to the inner workings of the city. Running a city of this size requires people to work together, from designing and operating public facilities to policing the streets.

At the city’s Information Technology Agency (ITA), we are responsible for managing all of the City's enterprise applications – including email. Up until about six months ago, we had an aging, on-premise email system. Our Novell Groupwise system didn't work on some mobile devices and we had to enforce inbox space quotas that City employees found limiting.

In addition to providing better collaboration tools and remote access, we also needed archiving and disaster recovery capabilities to safeguard information. Disaster recovery precautions are especially important in this part of the world where earthquakes are not a question of if, but when.

We looked at 15 different proposals and went through extensive due diligence, finally gaining the City Council's unanimous buy-in with a 12-0 vote in favor of a proposal from Google and CSC. We found that Google Apps provided the richest, most cost-effective and efficient communication solutions. That was six months ago. Since then, we've worked with CSC to implement Google Apps City-wide.

By ITA estimates, Google Apps is saving Los Angeles $5.5 million over five years by allowing us to shift resources currently dedicated to email to other purposes. For example, moving to Google has freed up nearly 100 servers that were previously used for our existing email system, which in turn – an unanticipated benefit – is lowering our electricity bills by hundreds of thousands over five years. Los Angeles found Google's system availability of 99.9% and service levels for response in the event of an issue to be equivalent – if not better – to what we could provide ourselves. In short, this decision to go Google helps us safeguard information and get the most out of the city's IT budget.



Because we are such a large government organization, people are eager to hear how our deployment is going. We also built a Google Site to help us easily provide updates on the process and gather input from our user base. We'd be pleased to discuss the progress we've made in the six months since we unanimously decided to go to Google Apps. Please join me for an interactive webinar!

On switching 30,000 Employees to Google Apps
Thursday, June 24, 2010
Time: 2:00 PM (EDT) | 11:00 AM (PDT)


Posted by Serena Satyasai, The Google Apps Team

Do you have an informative and fun Google Apps story to share? Please submit it here.

Posted:
Google Docs is designed for collaboration from the ground up. You've always been able to share documents with individuals and groups, and today we're making it even easier to share and control access to your files across your organization.




The new features include the ability to:

  • Easily apply sharing settings to a doc – Google Docs can now be identified as:

    • Private: Private docs are accessible only to people or groups you’ve explicitly invited to the file. Anyone trying to access the file will have to sign in to verify that they have access to the file.

    • People at your organization with the link: Docs set to this option are accessible to anyone inside the domain who knows the URL of the file. If you also select the ‘Allow anyone to edit’ option, anyone with the URL will be able to view and edit your file. This option allows you to easily copy and paste the file’s link into chat, email and calendar invites.

    • People at your organization can find and access: Docs set to this option will be indexed by Google Docs search and may be opened by anyone in your organization.

    • If your Google Apps administrator allows sharing outside of your organization, you will also be able to make a file Public on the web or available to Anyone with the link (no sign in required). Administrators can also control the default visibility setting from the control panel.

  • Quickly see who has access to your docs – The visibility options for your docs now appear next to every file in your Google Docs list and next to the title within any doc. You can see the full list of editors and viewers by clicking on the visibility information next to the doc title or on the ‘Share’ button.

  • Reset a file’s URL with one click – For files that can be accessed by anyone with the link, you can reset the file’s URL at anytime, which helps you better control who has access to your files.
Gavin Haslam, Google Apps technical lead at Rentokil Initial, says, "The new sharing settings make it easier to share information across our organization, and will save us huge amounts of time when rolled out across our 35,000 users on Google Apps."

We hope you enjoy these new features, which are rolling out over the coming week. Stay tuned for more updates soon! To learn more about the new Docs sharing settings and many more recent launches on Google Apps, check out our on-demand webinar.

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As we just announced on the Official Google Blog, today we’re launching Google Commerce Search 2.0 for online retailers in the United States and United Kingdom. With the new release, we’re offering both greater control and customization for retailers and a better experience for online shoppers.

The e-commerce industry is changing rapidly, and we’re responding quickly to meet retailer’s changing needs. Just seven months after our initial launch we’re adding a host of features to help retailers provide the best possible shopping experience on their sites.


  • Enhanced merchant customization: With the full merchandising dashboard, Google Commerce Search 2.0 gives e-merchants more control over promotions, ranking rules and filtering customization—and no custom coding means that marketers and merchandisers can do all of this themselves.
  • Simple promotion set-up and management: New intuitive retailer controls like time-based promotions, custom filtering of results, and simple ranking rules mean retailers can “set it and forget it” using the new ranking wizards.
  • Better browsing and navigation: No matter how advanced the search function, some shoppers will always visit your site looking to browse and discover new products. People can now shop by browsing your site as well as searching directly for products.
  • Evolved shopper experience: One of the most popular features on Google.com but rarely found on retail websites, “as-you-type suggestions” help sites become more user-friendly and fast. Now, with query autocompletion retailers can offer common queries to shoppers in real time, as they type, without any custom coding.
  • Search quality improvements: Google Commerce Search continues to build on the speed and end-user innovation featured in the first release. Because it’s hosted in the Google cloud, search results are returned to shoppers in less than a second. Spelling and stemming dictionaries and new custom synonyms mean that shopping on a retail site can be as easy and accurate as searching on Google.com.

Each of these improvements can make an impact on the usability and success of your online store, but collectively they have real ROI potential. Because more and more consumers are turning to the web to both research and complete purchases, eliminating frustration and improving site usability can lead to major advances in both online and offline channels.

For example, Google Commerce Search customer Discount Office Items is seeing immediate ROI. “When we saw how fast we could recoup our spending and start making more money due to better, faster search, the decision to implement Google Commerce Search was clear. Since deployment, visitor volumes and revenue have jumped 6.4%. Search is now one of the strongest elements of our site – all with less load on our servers and less time spent on maintenance for the IT staff,” says Tim Horton, Co-Founder and CEO.

Finally, we’re also making the benefits of Google Commerce Search 2.0 available to a wider range of retailers by introducing a pricing model that starts at $25k/year. For details on how Google Commerce Search can help your business, contact us.

To learn more, sign up for our upcoming webinar hosted by Chain Store Age (details below). You’ll hear from Nitin Mangtani, Senior Product Manager, in conversation with Google Commerce Search customers about how these new features can help bring your e-commerce site to the next level.

Google Commerce Search: Delivering Search Innovations to Retailers and Shoppers
Wednesday, June 23, 2010
1:00 p.m. EDT / 10:00 a.m. PDT / 5:00 p.m. GMT

Posted by Carl Evankovich, Software Engineer

Posted:
We’ve been adding new apps to the Google Apps Marketplace every week since launching in March, but today are happy to bring you 16 new apps in a single day. These apps, like all installable apps in the Marketplace, offer single sign on with your existing Google Apps user accounts, so there are no new user names or passwords to manage. Beyond single sign on, many offer deeper data integration with Google Docs, Gmail, and Google calendar to help users work more efficiently, regardless of which app they happen to be using to get their job done.

As a Google Apps administrator, once you install and evaluate an app, you can deploy it to your users in only a few clicks. (watch how this works)

Here’s the full list of 16 apps launching today on the Marketplace for you to check out:

Applane CRM
Applane CRM is a new approach to CRM that goes beyond capturing sales data to actually facilitating the process of sales and building customer relationships.

Copy2Contact
Instantly grab new contacts and appointments from any text on your screen, including email signatures, search results, Google documents, daily correspondence, and more.

DirectIQ
Create and send email newsletters to your customers, manage contact lists, and get live reports on email opens & clicks. First Month Free if you join through Google Apps Marketplace.

DokDok
DokDok makes it easy and automatic to find and work on the latest version of any document attached to your email.

Express Planner
ExpressPlanner provides event and registration management solutions for organizations that hold many events per year.

Floorplanner.com
Floorplanner is a quick and easy way to create professional looking floor plans in both 2D as 3D and is used by real estate agents and facilities professionals.

Flowr
Bring social collaboration into your enterprise as a private and secure network. Flowr for Google Apps integrates your accounts and syncs with Google Docs and Google Calendar.

Gantter
Gantter.com is a powerful, web-based project management tool that integrates with Google Docs.

GinzaPhone
Ginza Phone provides small businesses & organizations with a business class phone service without the need for any additional phone hardware. Fax service coming soon.

Gravitydev
Gravity is a simple but powerful tool to help you manage agile software development projects.

Harvest
Harvest is a simple time tracking application which makes it fast and easy for businesses to track billable hours and create invoices.

Jive Express
Jive Social Business Software combines collaboration, community, and social networking software so you can engage employees, customers, and the social web.

Promevo GPanel
Promevo gPanel for Google Apps administration is an enterprise class administration console that provides 360° visibility and management ability of any Google Apps environment.

Stupeflix Studio
Create awesome videos in a few clicks. Whether you want to promote your business or tell your story, video is a powerful medium. With the Studio, creating stunning videos is easy as pie.

TheBugTrack.com
TheBugTrack is an easy-to-use, online bug tracking service and team collaboration tool designed specifically for Google Apps users. No setup is required.

YoolinkPro
Add a social layer to Google Apps! YoolinkPro is a design-awarded social network, it allows thousands of companies to foster discussion among their teams, share Google docs and work more efficiently.

If you’re an Apps admin, head on over to the Apps Marketplace to check out these apps and more. If you’re a cloud app developer, we invite you to learn more about selling your app in the Marketplace and check out the Google Apps developer blog to see how current developers are benefiting from joining the Google Apps Marketplace.

Posted:
Around the world, thousands of customers count on Google Earth Pro to help them get their work done. From visualizing complicated layers generated by GIS software to leveraging movie-making tools for site selection, engineering project visualization, and much more, Google Earth Pro enables businesses, government agencies, and educators to bring their geographic data to life.



Yet customers want more, with easy access to relevant data layers being a common request. In the past, users had to invest considerable time and resources to find data such as demographic, traffic counts, and land parcel information. Other customers struggled with processing large, complicated layers.

We’re happy to announce the launch of Google Earth Pro 5.2, which makes it much easier to find and access the data you need to make smart business decisions.

Google Earth Pro 5.2 includes:
  • a set of exclusive layers designed to make everything easier from site selection to business intelligence analysis
  • enhanced capabilities to process and visualize large geospatial data files

Point. Click. Start analyzing.

Earth Pro now includes three new productivity-enhancing layers:
  • U.S. Demographics: includes demographic data on 2010 and projected 2015 income, age, education, etc. at the state, county, tract, and block group level. For income and age, you can view beautifully color-coded layers enabling you to quickly zero in on target markets and cross-reference with your own layers. The data is presented in both tabular and pie chart format and is licensed from Claritas.
  • U.S. Parcel data: provides critical parcel and building information for both commercial and residential parcels. This includes APN (assessor’s parcel number), use codes, and zoning data to help you make the right business decisions. Even more exciting, you can get more details, such as sales history, by purchasing the corresponding DataQuick detailed report (sample), linked from each parcel info window.
  • U.S. Daily Traffic Counts: reports the historical average number of cars that have passed through an intersection in the US. Make sure your new development, store, or advertisement will get the right amount of visibility with data from MPSI.
In addition to the included layers, Earth Pro 5.2 also makes processing your own complex layers easier. With new built-in “regionation” functionality, Earth Pro can now ingest and display large KMLs with speed and ease. Vector “regionation” automatically optimizes your data by intelligently loading points as you zoom in to the globe. Super image overlays enable your layers to include larger images by optimizing the resolution of images as you zoom in.

To purchase Google Earth Pro, visit our online store or sign up for a 7-day free trial. We hope you enjoy these new features.


Posted by Daniel Chu, Product Manager, Enterprise Maps/Earth

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Editor's note: Today's guest blogger is Cathy Lilli, Director of Infrastructure Services for Konica Minolta Business Solutions U.S.A. (Konica Minolta). Konica Minolta Business Solutions is a leader in advanced imaging and networking technologies for the desktop to the print shop. Cathy's team recently spearheaded the company's switch to Google Apps. Today, the team reports that Google Apps not only provides email, but also integrates collaboration, security, and spam blocking – all while freeing the entire IT department to spend more time on forward-looking enterprise initiatives.

Cathleen Lilli serves as Director of Enterprise Infrastructure Services where she leads the corporate teams responsible for Data Center Operations, Network Services (Data and Voice), Client Services (Help Desk and Desktop Support), and Messaging & Security. Christopher Henry serves as Manager, Messaging and IT Security, where he is responsible for the management of the corporate messaging group as well as the Coordination of all IT security activities.

Cathy will be joined by Chris Henry, Manager of Messaging and IT Security on a live webcast this Thursday, June 17, 2010 2:00 p.m. EDT / 11:00 a.m. PDT / 6:00 p.m. GMT. Register today.

At Konica Minolta, we had an aging Lotus Notes®/Domino® messaging environment along with other messaging platforms in the mix supporting 6,000-plus users across all of our U.S. locations, and it was time to make a change. Our users were dabbling in Microsoft SharePoint®, and they were adopting their own instant messaging tools. We wanted to make collaboration tools available to everyone by default. And we wanted an easy way to keep the business moving forward with future innovations.

On the IT front, we no longer wanted to spend a significant amount of time on constant tactical chores like server updates, storage management and patching. The on-premise environment was too cumbersome to maintain and was pulling away our focus from strategic initiatives that would provide more business value. We also had to find an easier way to integrate multiple corporate acquisitions (we had just acquired Danka and had to merge 2,000 users on multiple messaging platforms into our infrastructure).

We already had positive experiences with cloud-based solutions such as Postini for anti-virus/anti-spam protection, ADP for payroll, and a CRM. Our main goals from the outset were to:
  • Better meet our user requirements, especially regarding ease of use and collaboration
  • Simplify IT management
  • More easily integrate acquisitions

With Google Apps, we saw that we could get a powerful, low maintenance- and complexity-free email solution plus innovative collaboration tools that would have cost extra in Microsoft® Exchange or Lotus Notes®/Domino®. But, we had to convince our parent company that Google Apps was the right choice since they were on a Microsoft® Exchange environment. We had many discussions and we did a lot of due diligence, particularly around Google's security expertise and policies.

We created a requirements document, and we talked to several large enterprise customers of Google Apps. At the time, we were completing the Danka merger and it involved shutting down a data center, so things in IT were pretty hectic. Despite these complicating factors, the switch to Google Apps went smoothly and with almost no complications. Today, Konica Minolta Business Solutions U.S.A. Inc. has benefited significantly. We can:
  • Provide not just email, but also collaboration, security, and spam-blocking all in one solution
  • Deliver genuine, bottom-line value to the business, driven by continuous innovations from Google
  • More easily integrate new acquisitions like Danka
  • Align our activities to help drive Konica Minolta's business forward
We did not make this decision lightly and the IT team had many internal discussions about our role going forward in a cloud environment. Staff questioned, if we're not responsible for the servers on a maintenance basis – what will happen to our jobs?. But I can tell you, on top of owning messaging, we still have other apps to manage and run the data center - in other words, we have plenty to keep us busy. From our point of view, we couldn't be happier that we made the decision to migrate to Google Apps.

It has been so rewarding to move from an internal infrastructure for messaging that was cumbersome and challenging to support – one that was not getting us anywhere in terms of having a forward-looking impact on the business – to one that allows us to start delving into strategic initiatives.

Whether you need to integrate acquisitions or deliver more value from enterprise IT, we have a lot of perspective and lessons learned that we'd be pleased to share with you. Join us for this live webcast:

http://webcasts.techrepublic.com.com/abstract.aspx?docid=1825337
Thursday, June 17, 2010
2:00 p.m. EDT / 11:00 a.m. PDT / 6:00 p.m. GMT


Posted by Serena Satyasai, the Google Apps team

Find customer stories and research product information on our resource sites for current users of Microsoft® Exchange and Lotus Notes®/Domino®.





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Update, June 25, 2010: Less than two weeks ago, we announced here that we would be moving our encrypted search service to a new hostname in order to better serve our school partners and their users. Today, we moved encrypted search from https://www.google.com to https://encrypted.google.com. The site functions in the same way. However, if school network administrators decide to block encrypted searches on https://encrypted.google.com, the blocking will no longer affect Google authenticated services like Google Apps for Education.

We are continuing to explore longer-term options such that we could return encrypted search to https://www.google.com without introducing issues with school content filters.
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We recently launched a beta version of encrypted (SSL) search at https://www.google.com to prevent people from intercepting our users’ search terms and results. However, because encrypted search creates an obscured channel between a user’s computer and Google, users who go to https://www.google.com can bypass some schools’ content filters. This can make it hard for schools to stop students from accessing adult content.

One option is for schools to use our SafeSearch lock feature, which is designed to help keep adult content out of our search results. But given how many computers some institutions have this is proving impractical in many cases. So to prevent students from bypassing their filters, some schools are blocking encrypted search. However, a side effect of this action is that it also blocks other services hosted at Google’s secure URL, including Google Apps for Education, and many of our other services which require authentication to keep information safe.

We’re working hard to address this issue as quickly as possible and in a few weeks we will move encrypted search to a new hostname – so schools can limit access to SSL search without disrupting other Google services, like Google Apps for Education. Longer term, we are exploring other options like moving authentication to its own hostname so that we can return encrypted search to https://www.google.com.

Safety and security matter to Google, and we are committed to working with our partners in education so that we help keep students safe and secure on the Internet.

Posted by Dave Girouard, President, Google Enterprise

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Editor’s note: Continuing our “Going Google Everywhere” series, we’ve invited Sheila Garrison and Kristin Heaton-Peabody, co-founders of Hiatus Spa + Retreat, to explain how Google Apps helped them launch and grow their socially conscious spa in Dallas, Texas. Learn more about other organizations that have gone Google on our community map.




Pictured: Hiatus Spa + Retreat co-founders Kristin Heaton-Peabody and Sheila Garrison

Our business, Hiatus Spa + Retreat, was born out of necessity. As professionals who worked entirely unreasonable hours, and habitual spa users, we were left with few options that fulfilled our needs for an escape to renew body and mind without breaking our wallets. And as serial entrepreneurs, it didn’t take us long to recognize a significant need in the marketplace for a superlative spa experience at a reasonable price. With that in mind, our core mission was firmly set: to make the world a better place, one spa service at a time.

We started writing the business plan in 2006, which took us nearly a year to perfect, then we started looking at Dallas real estate. We started using Google Apps in fall 2007, before we opened; with founders based in both Dallas and Laguna Beach, California, Docs was essential to helping us finalize details such as our initial spa menu (we wished we’d had Docs when we wrote the business plan!). In December 2007 we opened the doors to Hiatus, a full-service day spa featuring a monthly membership and affordable pricing -- the first of its kind in the United States.

We now have our entire team of 30 using Google Apps. Google Apps is perfectly reflective of who we are as founders: it’s all about transparency, efficiency and environmental consciousness. That’s the way we run our lives and business. Google Apps empowers us to work more effectively than previously imaginable (and we spent more than 15 years working in the technology sector!). Through Google Docs, our ability to sit-down, as a company—in multiple cities—and collaborate on one single document, real-time, has become essential.

I simply can’t imagine going backward. With a team spread across several states (including lawyers and consultants in Chicago), we can work on shared Docs across multiple time zones without missing a beat. Employees can access our employee handbook and other spa documents we use daily, plus we keep our on-call schedule in Google Calendar. If you work at Hiatus, you’ve gone Google!

As our business has grown (we enjoyed 83% growth in 2009 and are on track for a 60% increase in 2010, in an otherwise complicated economy), Google Apps has consistently proved invaluable. With the limitations of traditional inbox mail storage, our team had difficulty storing important documents and retrieving them in a real-time fashion. With Apps, we can de-clutter inboxes and provide consistent up-to-date information via Google Docs.

As any entrepreneur knows, organizational “betterments” happen on a daily basis. The business is always a work in progress, and you can’t rely on the notion that your team always has the latest and greatest information. Hosting our critical documents in the cloud also appeals to our eco-conscious sensibilities -- can you imagine how many trees are being saved on a daily basis from not re-printing employee manuals?

We’re also finding new uses from Docs as we grow, from managing construction and budgeting for our expansion into the space next door to event planning for our screening of “Tapped”, as a fundraiser for the Global Greengrants Fund and the Gulf Restoration Network. We’re still working ridiculous hours, but Google Apps helps us be as efficient as possible -- and now at least we have a sanctuary to find our center.

Find out how going Google can help your organization with the Cloud Calculator.


Posted by Colleen Horan, Google Enterprise team

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Editor’s Note: We launched our Google Apps community map in March 2010, and have since received thousands of Gone Google stories from organizations around the world. We’ll be showcasing some of these stories in a new series of blog posts, Going Google Everywhere.

Today we welcome Mark Goble, COO of Goble & Associates, an integrated marketing agency servicing the healthcare industry. Has your company “Gone Google” and interested in sharing your story? Add your marker to the map!

Goble & Associates is a 27 year old global marketing agency with clients in the medical device, diagnostic, and pharmaceutical businesses. Our commitment to collaboration and communication has been the cornerstone of our success, with client relationships that average over eight years, which is rare in our business. As our agency has doubled in size over the past four years, our IT resources were increasingly consumed with managing our outdated systems, and we needed solutions that would enable us to continue to deliver the same levels of customer service that our clients had come to expect.

Our IT challenges were considerable. Our expansion to nearly 100 employees – including offices in Chicago and San Diego, plus mobile workers – had left us without a central calendaring system, and our in-house email support was costly and time consuming to maintain. When we added mobile access by rolling out iPhones to more than 20 employees, we realized our infrastructure was unable to support mobile solutions, and we knew it was time for a change.

Enter Google Apps. We migrated to Apps in early 2009, and have subsequently converted an additional organization we acquired. The results have exceeded our expectations. Six months after going Google, we saw an 80% reduction in IT issues related to email, while saving more than 23% in hardware costs. Additionally, we estimate our mobile efficiency has increased more than ten-fold.

While our initial pain points were focused on email and calendaring, we’ve experienced huge benefits from Docs and Sites. Docs has become the centerpiece of our daily communications regarding project status, and we’re actively using Google Sites to help manage our business, including a company-wide start page with integrated calendar and Twitter feed:


We’ve also found ways to utilize Sites to assist in our continued focus to be the best partner to our clients. We recently developed a Site to provide a potential client insight into our immersion and research process, which was instrumental in helping us prepare to win this business. Going Google has also reinvigorated our client-centric focus, as our IT team now has the resource to assist our development team in building new client solutions.

Using cloud-based solution like Google Apps has greatly enhanced our business operations; so much so that we’ve extended our cloud computing initiative to include Google Apps Marketplace providers such as TripIt. We eagerly await the adoption of new technologies like Google Wave that will continue to place Goble & Associates at the forefront of the technology and communications curve.


Posted by Colleen Horan, Google Enterprise team

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Collaboration is at the heart of the modern workspace, yet many businesses still run cumbersome client-side software that makes it unnecessarily difficult to work together. With Google Docs, coworkers can collaborate in real-time on documents, spreadsheets, presentations, and drawings. Instead of creating a document, sending it as an attachment, receiving multiple revisions, and then having to merge edits, with Google Docs everyone can work on the same version at the same time.

If you've never tried our web-based documents, spreadsheets and presentations, now you can instantly take a test drive at docs.google.com/demo. No need to download any software or even sign in -- just start editing right in your browser. Better yet, you can share the unique link provided with others to try out real-time collaboration together.



Google Docs is designed to help people be more productive than ever before. But don’t take our word for it, take Google Docs for a spin and let us know what you think. To learn more about how Google Docs make your teams more efficient, visit google.com/apps/docs.

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Does a certain Tuesday each month feel like the movie Groundhog Day, where you find yourself going through the same firedrill with no end in sight? Let’s hope you never have it as bad as the character in this video:



With Google Apps, instead of spending time behind-the-scenes patching existing systems, you can focus on providing new functionality that will have a material impact on your business. The Google Apps Marketplace offers more than 100 cloud apps that integrate with Google Apps, many of which are free to get started, so they’re easy to try and can deliver immediate value to your users.

Marketplace apps come in many sizes, from bite-size apps that add features to Google’s existing applications to large apps that can run major business systems and processes. As an Apps administrator, once you install and evaluate an app, you can deploy it to your users in only a few clicks.

Here’s just a small sampling of apps that have recently been added to the Marketplace for you to try.

Kwaga
See social profiles, a list of all your conversations with a contact, and remember whether or not an email thread remains unanswered - all at the bottom of each mail in Gmail.

Mailchimp
Easily send email newsletters to your customers, manage your subscriber lists, and track campaign performance.

MyERP.com
Deploy CRM, sales, accounting, projects, purchasing, and inventory apps that are integrated with Gmail, Contacts and Calendar.

Promevo
Get an enhanced administration layer for Google Apps that includes role-based access control and delegation.

Viewpath
Manage project workflow and task collaboration with graphically-rich task and resource tracking.

Every month we’ll be highlighting apps that make your users more productive, with no patching required.

And we’re continuing the conversation on our @googleatwork Twitter account with the hashtag #apptuesday. So tell us, what Marketplace apps do you recommend?

Posted by Kevin Gough, Sr. Product & Marketing Manager, Google Enterprise

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Editor's Note: Pedro Mar is director of Método DeRose Matosinhos Uni-Yoga school in Portugal. Método DeRose provides more than 65 students personalized exercise routines based on an intimate knowledge of each student's needs, as well as healthy eating choices, social activities and creative ways to improve all aspects of his or her life.

When Mar and his team were looking for software to help manage their three year-old business, they needed something as accomodating and personal as the services they provide. Already happy using the Google Apps suite, they turned to the Google Apps Marketplace, and found that they were able to design a solution that perfectly met their needs with BatchBook CRM, which not only met all of their needs for a CRM system, but easily integrated with Google tools and other Marketplace apps they were already using.

Here, Mar shares some insights into the business benefits he has seen since using the Google Apps Marketplace.

Diogo Toledo, Joana Santos and Pedro Mar from Método DeRose Matosinhos

I run an independent yoga school that is part of Uni-Yôga (www.uni-yoga.org), a worldwide network of approximately 150 schools. My business needed a solid customer relationship management (CRM) software program, mainly to keep track of former, current and potential students, but also to provide a good workflow. I was looking for a program that gave me the freedom to customize the data in a way that worked best for my business and suited its needs.

A friend and student of mine recommended searching the Google Apps Marketplace for a CRM software application. I tried several trial versions of some of the solutions offered there and eventually decided on BatchBook. After viewing the tutorial videos offered on the BatchBlue website, I knew I could customize the software to suit all our needs. After using BatchBook for more than two months, I can see the progress we've achieved.

Getting personal with our customers
All of our services are tailored to our clients' health profiles, so it very important that we have the most accurate information about each individual. Since creating our BatchBook account, we have customized the contact information to track things beyond name and address. These include everything we need to know about potential new students; things we learn during our time with our students, such as their birthdays, classes they've taken and experience levels; how often we are communicating with all of our contacts.

We sync BatchBook with our company Gmail app to keep every customer's information updated. We can also track our products and services--like books and workshops --as well as create lists that are important to our business. This all means we can provide better customer service, making our clientele happier and enjoy better, longer relationships with our students.

A workflow that bends to our needs
The to-do template in BatchBook is an amazing feature. Using the template we are able to enter a student’s information upon enrollment. From there we can easily create a scheduled list of tasks for each student to complete up to two years into the future. We use Google Apps to manage several calendars, and we can follow all of the BatchBook to dos right in Google Calendar. This is great for tracking students and their overall progress through our program as we help them achieve one level after another. All of our academic programs, marketing programs, and operational programs are also tracked in the to-do templates, so we are sure not to miss a thing.

Finding the right marketing balance
Our best and most cost effective marketing strategy is communicating, communicating, communicating. We track every e-mail, phone call, cell phone message, class, note, student referral and recommendation in BatchBook. By doing so, we are constantly connected with our network of people. We even use the Rapportive integration with BatchBook and Gmail to obtain social network information we need about a customer right within an e-mail message. It's genius.

We also take advantage of MailChimp's integration with Google Apps and BatchBook to allow different team members to send e-mail newsletters to different groups. Each of the different departments within the school can create their own lists from our list of contacts, and reach out with personalized details about upcoming events, special parties or birthday wishes.

Within one month of using BatchBook our number of students has grown by 10%. We are now managing more than 1,000 contacts in the software and with BatchBlue, we can turn more propects into engaged students. Once we create a file on a prospective student within BatchBlue, we never lose track of him or her. That is a huge value to us.

Previously, we simply had too many other things to worry about. With only four to five instructors at the school, we would easily lose track of a potential student or forget something like a birthday, which is unforgivable in our school's culture of appreciation, attention and trust.


Other programs we tried in the past did not support the rich interaction we have with our students or the workflow that helps us stay on top of the important details like BatchBook, Gmail and Google Calendars does. Using BatchBook, we can now closely monitor our relationship with each student and each lead.

Clearly, BatchBook has made a positive difference in how we run our business. Since using the program, we have improved the quality of our outreach to potential clients, and we have registered new students more easily. With the assistance of the customized to-do templates, integrated with our Google Calendars, we are reminded regularly when to send an email or reach out through another method of communication to a prospective student.

Our success using Google Apps and BatchBook has led me to encourage other schools within the network to do the same. By duplicating our system and taking advantage of our efforts, they can implement the practices into their own business and see firsthand the results we have experienced.

Posted by Chris Kelly, Google Apps Partners team