Editor's note: Over 3 million businesses have adopted Google Apps. Today we’ll hear from David Bullock, CFO of YETI Coolers based in Austin, Texas. To learn more about other organizations that have gone Google and share your story, visit our community map or test drive life in the cloud with the Go Google cloud calculator.

YETI Coolers, co-founded in 2005 by brothers Roy and Ryan Seiders, offers durable, super-insulated ice chests for serious outdoor enthusiasts. Roy first recognized the potential of a premium cooler during an early entrepreneurial endeavor and decided to design his own. He recruited his brother to help and the two settled on YETI for the company name – a new brand that consumers could easily associate with frigid toughness. Today, YETI coolers are “certified grizzly-proof” and distributed through over 500 dealers across the country.

When Roy and Ryan started the company, they recognized the value of Google’s free email service, Gmail, and started with one email address – However, fast forward three years and the company had grown to 10 employees. We hit a tipping point where we needed to expand and create a more professional look with email addresses. The question was how to retain three years of information and still offer the entire office the same easy-to-use interface and access to remotely-stored email history. The solution was Google Apps.

Soon after implementing Google Apps, we hired our first National Sales Director who resides in North Carolina. Despite the geographical barrier, Google Docs has allowed us to collaborate with him and other remote employees in real time, and has became a critical component of our sales process.

Our goal is to increase the number of dealers that sell YETI coolers but for a long time, our volume of dealer inquiries was unmanageable and we missed out on sales opportunities. This is where a Google spreadsheet saved us. We created a “Potential Dealer Tracker” to track, prioritize, and, most importantly follow up with potential YETI dealers. By capitalizing on dealer inquiries in an organized, methodical way, we’ve been able to convert 30% more leads just this year. The profit from the new accounts nearly pays our National Sales Director’s salary!

We also use Google Calendar to track internal and external meetings and even non-work events like Red Raider and Longhorn football games. More recently, we started using Google Sites and launched our company’s first intranet. We look forward to adding even richer content to the site as the company continues to expand.

Given the rapid growth we’ve experienced over the last few years, it has been extremely difficult to stay on top of all areas of the business. Google Apps has changed this, providing the tools we need to succeed. It’s low cost, secure and easy to use – from our standpoint, Google Apps is the perfect solution for any small business.

Posted by David Bullock, YETI Coolers

Today in Tokyo, more than 600 IT leaders from across Japan are coming together with Google and 18 of our partners at Google Enterprise Day. It’s our annual event dedicated to discussing trends in enterprise technology and how businesses can use cloud technologies to increase productivity and innovate more quickly. This year, one of the hottest topics is mobile computing and how companies can allow employees to use their personal phones and tablets at work without compromising corporate security.

With over 200,000 devices activated each day, Android is seeing rapid adoption, and today we are launching new administrative controls that make it possible to securely manage these devices in the Google Apps environment. With this launch, Google Apps provides secure management and sync capabilities for all major mobile platforms. You can manage most mobile devices right from the browser, without having to deploy dedicated servers.

Many Android devices feature tight integration with Google Apps, including native applications for Gmail, Google Talk, and Google Calendar, as well as mobile access to Google Docs. Now any employee with an Android device running version 2.2 - personal or company-issued - can access their corporate information while allowing administrators to enforce data security policies such as:
  • Remotely wipe all data from lost or stolen mobile devices
  • Lock idle devices after a period of inactivity
  • Require a device password on each phone
  • Set minimum lengths for more secure passwords
  • Require passwords to include letters and numbers

When the employee leaves the company, the administrator can withdraw access to corporate info, which allows the employee to continue to use their device if it’s their own.

These policies can be enforced on devices that have installed the Google Apps Device Policy application, which will be available from Android Market in the next few days. They will be available free to all Google Apps Premier and Education Edition customers in the next few days, and can be accessed from the 'Mobile' tab under 'Service Settings' in the Google Apps control panel.

To learn more about these updates in mobile device management for Google Apps, join us for a live webcast with Mayur Kamat, Google Apps Product Manager, on November 10, 2010 at 9 a.m. PDT / 12 p.m. EDT / 6 p.m. GMT. Register now.

Wyoming is a state of many firsts. In 1872, it became home to the world’s first national park – Yellowstone. In 1925, its citizens elected Nellie Tayloe Ross the first woman governor of a U.S. state. Now in 2010, we’re thrilled that Wyoming is the first state in the country to announce plans to move all state government employees to Google Apps for Government.

According to Wyoming CIO Bob von Wolffradt, all state agencies – representing 10,000 employees – will migrate to Google Apps within a year. This will be the first time all Wyoming state employees share a common communications platform, which will improve their ability to collaborate with each other in serving the citizens of Wyoming.

The decision to go Google was the result of a transparent and competitive evaluation process that began roughly two years ago. Wyoming solicited proposals from multiple vendors and awarded the contract to Google partner Tempus Nova. The state estimates the move to Google Apps will save Wyoming taxpayers $1 million annually.

Many other states around the country are using Google Apps, including departments in Colorado, Kansas and New Mexico. Colorado, Iowa, Maryland, New York, and Oregon are also bringing Apps to their K-12 classrooms. All these governments are saving money while equipping their employees with modern collaboration tools that carry the assurance of federal government security certification.

We welcome Wyoming to the cloud, and look forward to working with them and Tempus Nova to make the project a success.

[cross-posted from the Official Google Blog]

Today, we’re excited to announce that Virgin America is the latest company to go Google and switch to Google Apps. Over the next two weeks, all of the airline’s 1,700 employees based across North America will be moving their corporate email to Gmail, and collaborating more efficiently using Google Calendar, Google Docs and Google Talk. Their migration to Gmail will cut Virgin America’s email system costs by about half on an annual basis, in addition to the long-term storage benefits where the move into the Google cloud will save them over 18 terabytes of space as the airline continue to grow and add employees.

To make it easier for Virgin America make the switch, one of our Google Apps Authorized Resellers, SADA Systems, will be helping them deploy Google Apps, implementing single sign-on user access so that users can use one password to log in to multiple applications, integrating with telephony (voicemail) systems and doing custom email configuration.

We asked Ravi Simhambhatla, Chief Information Officer for Virgin America to share his thoughts about why they decided to go Google:
As the only airline based here in Silicon Valley, our goal has always been to use the best in technology and design to reinvent the air travel experience for the better. We’re eager to bring the latest and greatest tech innovations not only to our guests—but also to our teammates. The transition to a cloud-based email system allows us to save costs and increase the speed and efficiency of our platforms, so we can focus on what we do best: elevating the flying experience. Google answers our data and connectivity needs better than any other system. Google Apps allow us to stay ahead of the competition by remaining flexible and efficient since we can upgrade based on the latest technology, and not be confined by budget or staffing to out-of-date systems. Once you have Google Apps, you always have the most recent version.
As a leading airline innovator, Virgin America has had a history of cloud firsts: in November 2008, Virgin America launched in-flight Internet with a first-ever "air-to-ground" video stream to YouTube Live. In June 2009, we collaborated on the Day in the Cloud Challenge, the first online scavenger hunt to be played both in the air and on the ground, and in December 2009 we teamed up to offer free WiFi to holiday travelers. So naturally, we’re thrilled to welcome Virgin America to the cloud as they join more than 3 million companies that have gone Google. To learn more about Google Apps and the companies that have switched, visit

The Google Enterprise team is excited to be participating in the Computer Security Institute Annual Conference, CSI 2010, taking place in National Harbor, Maryland, from Tuesday through Friday, October 26-29. CSI2010 brings together security and IT professionals from around the world to discuss and share best practices in computer security, risk management and compliance. The event features keynote presentations, workshops, panel discussions and customer case studies. Google’s Adam Swidler will be presenting a session entitled “Is Your Organization’s Data Safer in the Cloud?” at 11:15 AM EDT on Friday, October 29.

If you'll be at the conference, please join us for Adam’s presentation to hear about information security, privacy, and data protection in the cloud from Google’s perspective. If you can’t attend the conference, please visit our website for more information about about the security and privacy of data in Google Apps.

Posted by Ashley Chandler, Google Apps team

This live webinar will be held on Thursday, October 28 at 10:00 ET/15:00 BST. Register here, Europe’s leading online chemist, provides more than 20,000 health and beauty products and prescription medicines on the web. Fast, relevant search and the ability for customers to easily find the right products is key to the success of Chemist Direct’s online business.

Join Mitesh Soma, (CEO & Founder, Chemist Direct) and Nitin Mangtani (Product Manager, Google Commerce Search) as they discuss the importance of search on retail websites. Mitesh will discuss the various search solutions he evaluated and how since implementing Google Commerce Search, he has been able to capitalize on the latest innovations in search technology, sub-second response times, quick deployment and effortless scalability.

We hope you can join us.

Live Webcast Details
Date: Thursday 28th October
Time: 10:00 ET/15:00 BST
Duration: 40 minutes
Language: English
Register here

Jason's Deli is a family-owned, casual restaurant chain that serves more than 35 million people a year in the US. Operating over 200 delis in 28 states, the company has a presence in major markets including Chicago, DC, Philadelphia, Atlanta, Houston, Austin, Phoenix, Las Vegas, and Denver.

Jason's Deli was on a custom, legacy email system that couldn't keep up with the demands of so many offices, and users were complaining about the slowness and lagging features. Jason's Deli began looking for a more innovative solution that would continue to release improvements and new features, and that would allow its employees the mobility they needed to effectively run their business.

After successfully completing a 60-user IT pilot in June, the company followed a big-bang approach for migrating the remainder of their users to Google Apps in July. In addition to migrating mail, calendar, and contacts, Jason’s Deli also ported an extensive document library over to Google Docs using the Docs API and custom scripts.

Join this live webcast to hear from CIO Kevin Verde and learn why Jason's Deli chose Google to better support their distributed locations across the country. Thursday, October 28, 2010, 2:00 PM ET / 11:00 AM PT / 6:00 PM GMT. Register now

Editor’s note: Today’s guest blogger is Sherry Swackhamer, CIO of Multnomah County, Oregon. Multnomah County is located in northwest Oregon; it’s county seat is the city of Portland. More than 4,500 Multnomah County employees provide over 715,000 residents a wide range of health and human services, public safety services and other government services.

This morning, Multnomah County completed the transition of most county employees to Google Apps for Government. In Oregon, local governments like Multnomah County have faced difficult budget circumstances and diminishing resources for many years, while experiencing growing demand for services. In order to effectively continue providing needed services in our community, it’s critical that we seek ways to become ever more innovative and efficient.

Switching to Google Apps plays an important role in achieving these goals. This new environment increases government transparency by allowing employees complete access to email and information on demand, vastly improving employee efficiency and collaboration while saving taxpayers approximately $100,000 each year in licensing and related costs and up to $500,000 in staff time and staff costs.

This transition was informed by a careful analysis to evaluate our technology needs and options. Multnomah County considered two cloud-based options for replacing our old system for email, calendar and contacts. We selected Google Apps due to its low cost, ease of use, and innovative capabilities that will allow county employees to be more collaborative and productive in their jobs.

With 250 times the email storage of our prior email system, Google Apps will save employees considerable time previously spent deleting or archiving old emails, while allowing each department to follow specified email retention policies. The web based technology means employees can access their information from any internet-connected device.

New collaborative tools like searchable instant messaging and real-time collaboration in word processing and spreadsheets provide Multnomah employees with useful and innovative tools to help them do their jobs. In fact, the independent analysis found that the document sharing capabilities of Google Docs meet the needs of the vast majority of county employees.

Currently, every county employee is licensed to use the complete suite of Microsoft Office applications, but many staff members only use a small portion of those features. Google Apps provides Multnomah County with equivalent capabilities for no additional cost. Many employees will be able able to do their jobs without those costly software packages in the future.

As an added benefit, all county employees now have a shorter email address. That makes our email addresses easier to remember and much simpler to share with members of the public and those with whom we conduct business.

We began testing Google Apps with a small group of IT users and expanded that to a pilot of 150 and later 500 county employees. These employees came from a variety of county agencies and allowed us to identify and work through any issues with the migration. Our workforce has shown a high degree of interest and engagement in the project and have demonstrated that we’re ready to learn, explore and collaborate. We’ve gone Google.

by Sherry Swackhamer, CIO, Multnomah County

Back in July we invited Matt Ballantine, CIO of Imagination to tell us about his experiences of switching to Google Apps. At that time, the Imagination team had just moved 600 employees and 2TB of legacy email data to Google Apps, a major milestone in Matt’s broader vision to transform the role of IT within Imagination.

We are really excited to welcome Matt back for this interactive webinar, where he will provide a detailed insight into the project, describe how it has evolved over time and highlight some key learnings for IT leaders who are considering switching to cloud services.

Matt says “This has been far and away the most successful IT project I have been involved in, mainly because I did not have to think about the IT. Google takes care of that, freeing up my team to develop a real understanding of how these technologies allow Imagination to become more collaborative, more global and more creative. This is where my IT team is now adding huge value.”

To hear more about Imagination’s switch to Google Apps attend this live webcast, 27 Oct 2010, 15.00 BST (GMT +1). Register today.

Last week, we celebrated a big milestone for Google Apps for Education: 10 million active users. While a lot of the credit belongs to the school IT leaders and teachers who recognized the collaboration and learning potential of services like Google Docs, Google Sites, and school-wide Gmail, we’d be remiss if we didn’t also mention the many partners and integration projects that have helped support Google Apps for Education.

We were lucky enough to have several of these partners join us in our EDUCAUSE booth last week, and share how they’ve helped deploy and connect Apps with many widely-used learning management systems in higher ed. If you weren’t able to make it to these sessions in our conference booth, here’s a recap of how schools can integrate Apps with the technology platforms commonly used by colleges and universities today:

Blackboard + Apps: Northwestern University’s Bboogle project is a free, open-source integration that lets schools integrate Google Apps with Blackboard’s learning management system. This video and case study shows how a history professor at Northwestern used Google Sites to create a collaborative encyclopedia with his students; Bboogle managed authoring permissions for the class and provided links between the Blackboard course site and Google Sites.

Sakai + Apps: rSmart showcased the new Google Apps functionality that’s available in the upcoming 2.7.1 release of their Sakai collaborative learning environment. Sharing a Google Doc in Sakai now lets Sakai handle which users have access – often a volatile course roster as students drop and add classes – without having to manage a separate list of usernames with Google. For a sneak peek, check out this video and case study.

Moodle + Apps: Moodle solutions provider Moodlerooms displayed the single sign-on, automatic user provisioning, and Google Apps widget integration available in joule™. More information is available in this case study, or the related Moodle-Google open-source code.

MyCampus + Apps: The CampusEAI Consortium’s student portal solution includes an out-of-the-box Google Apps integration that’s used by over 50 universities and colleges, allowing students to engage with Google Apps without leaving their portal environment. A case study is available here.

We also owe a hat tip to the leading Google Enterprise Partners who joined us at EDUCAUSE, like Appirio, who shared their plan for training faculty and staff at Brown University, LTech, whose ‘Power Panel’ app allows limited administrators (ideal for university helpdesk staff), and SADA Systems, who explained the opt-in, on-demand content migration solution they developed for Kent State.

We’re impressed with how these partners have used our open APIs (plus App Engine and the Apps Marketplace) to make Apps even more useful to schools, and we look forward to sharing even more success stories in the future!

Editor's note: Over 3 million businesses have adopted Google Apps. Today we’ll hear from Dustin Bonnema, Portfolio Analyst and IT guru for MainStreet Advisors based in Chicago, Illinois. To learn more about other organizations that have gone Google and share your story, visit our community map or test drive life in the cloud with the Go Google cloud calculator.

Founded in 2003 by two veteran investment professionals, MainStreet Advisors is a Chicago-based Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) Registered Investment Advisor. We provide investment advisory services, portfolio management, and marketing support for our clients, and are expanding rapidly - we’ve already outgrown our current office space, two years ahead of plan.

Such fast growth prompted us to focus more on technology and find ways to remove communication barriers for all employees. So we switched to Google Apps earlier this year and are already using many of the products in the suite including Gmail, Google Calendar, Google Docs, and Google Sites. We couldn’t be happier with Google Apps, and the best part is that everything is online and all the products are easy to learn and use. We’re trying to put as much as we can into a Google spreadsheet or document.

Shared Google Calendars are used to track time-off, conferences, committee meetings, and individuals’ travel schedules. This is a critical component of our internal communication strategy since Managing Directors and other executives travel as much as 40 - 50% of the year. This same group is reliant on mobile phones, and use either iPhones or BlackBerry devices to access Gmail and other applications, while they’re on the go.

As the company grows, it has become harder to locate and share updated information and policies across all employees. Google Sites is solving this problem – we built an intranet that includes links to shared calendars, client websites, group email aliases, expense reports, gift matching instructions, and investment policies. A Google form is also embedded in the site so employees can submit vacation requests that are updated directly in our HR manager’s spreadsheet. In time, we plan to add even more to the site – we’re already showing gadgets with intra-day performance of market indexes across the world, and we’d like to add a map of client locations and charts outlining our company assets over time.

Aside from helping us create more efficient business processes, Google Apps has become a key part of our business continuity plan. We have the security of knowing that if something goes wrong in the Chicago office, we’ll still be able to access our information from other places. This is critical to protecting our clients’ investments, and the future of our business.”

Posted by Dustin Bonnema, MainStreet Advisors

Google Sites lets you create public or internal web sites, and today we’re enabling scripts to support multi-step workflows in sites.

For example, your company can create a site for employees to browse and register for training sessions and career development programs. On the page describing each training session or class, you could add a “Register Now” button, which would automatically add registrants to the class roster, add the details of the session to each participant's Google Calendar, and email users to confirm enrollment. All of these automated actions can be driven by a script embedded in the site.

Starting today, you can create, edit, and launch Google Apps Scripts from any Google Site, which allows you to automate business processes that involve multiple applications. As in the example above, an Apps Script function can automate tasks such as sending emails, scheduling calendar events, creating and updating site pages using data from other systems, and more.

You can build a script by clicking “More actions” > “Manage site” > “Apps Scripts.” Once you’ve added a script to your site, you can add links or buttons to trigger the script from any page. For tips to get started with scripts, visit the Google Apps Script site.

This week the Google Enterprise team is excited to be participating in the Gartner Symposium ITxpo in Orlando, Florida. Thousands of IT leaders and CIOs from around the world have gathered to hear about the latest trends and innovations in IT, discuss issues facing their teams, and learn how to deliver more business value to their organizations.

On Monday, Michael Lock, VP of Enterprise Sales, spoke to a standing-room-only crowd about the history of enterprise technologies and Google’s vision for the cloud. Michael discussed how the growing popularity of tablet devices enables an entirely new class of applications and new ways of doing business. 100% web technologies bring faster innovation and higher productivity by ensuring that everyone is always on “version now” of both their applications and their data. Michael also highlighted Google’s commitment to enterprise technologies and our increasing investment here.

Today is the last day of the symposium in Orlando. Thanks to everyone who stopped by the booth to learn more about our enterprise products, our vision for the cloud, or just to meet the team.

Orlando isn’t the last Gartner conference of the year though. In fact, next week we’ll also be at the Gartner Symposium ITxpo in Tokyo, Japan, where Dave Girouard, President of Google Enterprise, will keynote a session on critical trends in technology and Google’s innovative approach to enterprise on October 27th. Japan’s Google Enterprise team will be at the booth throughout the entire event, so come say hello.

Editor's note: As part of our Going Google Everywhere series, today’s guest blogger is Tom Ray, IT Manager of Melrose Resources plc. Learn more about other organizations that have gone Google on our community map.

Melrose Resources plc is an oil and gas exploration, development and production company headquartered in Edinburgh, U.K with over 400 employees globally. In 2009 they decided to switch to Google Apps with the support of Cloudreach, a UK based Google Apps reseller and a cloud solutions system integrator with deep skills in migration to, building of and management of cloud platforms.

We were motivated to move to the cloud by our need for business continuity in the event of disaster -- our goal being a four hour maximum recovery time for email. After consultation from Cloudreach, we felt that Google Apps would provide exactly what we needed in terms of handling the different geographies we operate in and uptime we required. We also considered replicating our Microsoft Exchange Server with a hosting provider but we soon realised that hosting Exchange would have been expensive, both in service fees and in management time, so there was a major financial advantage in choosing Google Apps instead.

Cloudreach was an obvious fit to manage our transition given their expertise in cloud solutions -- both implementing Google Apps and also integrating it with Active Directory without creating any disruption for users. In addition Cloudreach was critical to integrating Google Apps with Amazon Web Services at the company’s Edinburgh head office without any impact on email services.

Recovery time has been reduced to almost zero -- well below the four hour limit we’d set -- so the recovery headache has been totally taken away. We’re saving a significant amount of money now, but I estimate savings will continue to increase in the future since we’ll no longer have to carry out upgrades to server-based applications, or spend management time on it. To accomplish what we achieved with traditional hosted solutions would be almost impossible -- and certainly cost-prohibitive. We’ve also made ourselves less dependent on office infrastructure. Everything now runs smoothly with no intervention from us.

Editor's note: The spam data cited in this post is drawn from the network of Google email security and archiving services, powered by Postini, that process more than 3 billion email messages per day. More than 50,000 businesses and 22 million users use Google Postini Services to protect themselves from a range of email and web-borne threats.

Q3’10 spam and virus trends confirm that spammers are still hard at work distributing malicious content in new and creative ways. August saw a massive 241% increase in virus volume over July, representing the greatest recorded surge in viral activity since 2008. Overall, payload virus volume increased 42% over Q2’10 and 10% over Q3’09, while spam levels decreased 16% and 24% over the same periods, respectively. The spike in malware attacks during August suggests that we might see higher levels of spam moving forward into Q4 as botnet “seeds” planted during this time begin to take action.

By the numbers
Overall, spam volume stayed relatively constant throughout Q3, with a slight dip in August and September. In comparison to the same time in 2009, spam levels are down 24%. This may be attributed to some recent botnet takedowns, such as the partial Pushdo shut down, or point to a generally slower summer season for spam.

However, payload virus levels shot up to record-high levels in August. In comparison to August of 2009, we saw a 111% percent increase in volume overall. What is more remarkable, though, is that this August saw the highest registered number of viruses blocked in a single day: 188 million. This virus surge is even more pronounced than last October’s, when Mega-D, a top-ten botnet, infected over 250,000 computers worldwide before being shut down by a carefully orchestrated campaign by security professionals. This recent increase in viral activity could indicate a “gearing up” as spammers attempt to construct botnets in time for the holiday season and increased consumer spending. With the commercialization of spam in 2006, we’ve often seen a correlation between spam, malware campaigns, and seasonal consumer patterns.

The actual content of this virus wave consisted mainly of traditional spoofing of major brands, along with a new tactic involving recycling previously sent emails taken from the hard drives of infected computers. This new method is more difficult to detect as the wording and content is familiar to the recipient. As always, be on the lookout for suspicious email language and exercise extreme caution when clicking on links. Features in Gmail such as authentication icons can go a long way in protecting your computer, but it’s important to be aware and mindful of these new viral activities when managing your inbox.

An interesting and unusual trend has been in the sizes of the individual viruses being transmitted. Particularly, we’ve seen some irregularly sharp peaks in size throughout September, following the surge in total numbers during August. This could be due in part to increased use of .zip and .html attachments containing malicious JavaScripts. Overall, virus traffic continues to be strong and users need to be on high alert when handling suspicious messages. Postini Services customers are strongly encouraged to enable the Early Detection Filtering functionality in order to ensure maximum protection from zero day virus threats.

Shortened URLs can mask suspicious links
This quarter we detected an increased volume of emails containing shortened URLs linking to suspicious websites. Spammers are increasingly making use of services that shorten URLs as a way of masking the destination website to the user. With the widespread proliferation of shortened URLs, particularly among blogging sites and social networks, it has become increasingly important to remain vigilant and skeptical when evaluating URLs. A shortened URL sent from a “friend” might seem innocuous enough, but, as always, links and emails sent from unknown senders should be scrutinized before further action is taken.

Beware false financial transaction messages
We continue to see false notifications claiming to be sent by various financial authorities. Spammers will frequently send their targets a simple yet authoritative message alerting them of a rejected or unauthorized transaction, then provide a false link directing them to a website. The format of these emails is often simple and innocuous, making it difficult to ascertain the malicious content from a quick glance.

Continued use of NDRs
Non-Delivery Report/Receipt (NDR) are legitimate messages used to alert users that a sent email has not been delivered correctly. Back in July we noticed an upswing in false NDRs bearing malicious JavaScript. As a hybrid between virus and spam messages, these messages were in reality obfuscated JavaScript attacks, directing users to a particular website or initiating an unexpected download. The user is often unaware of the attacks, making these messages particularly dangerous and difficult to detect. However, Google’s vast network and patented filtering technology was able to detect these messages early on and respond quickly. The Postini-Anti-Spam-Engine (PASE) was immediately updated in response and has been protecting users throughout Q3 from the continued use of false NDRs.

Fake celebrity gossip
Although August was a slower month in terms of overall spam volume, we saw a substantial spike in messages claiming to break the news of untimely and sudden deaths of various high-profile celebrities. The messages referenced a zip file that in turn contained a virus. These messages, similar to various classic phishing scams involving “friends” in need, attempt to pique a user’s interest with an alarming subject line and content. This has proven to be a successful tactic – hence its continued popularity – as users will often open an email instinctively in response to a particularly emotional or compelling subject line. In response to these attacks, our engineers have developed and released filters designed to combat new spam waves.

Stay safe with a cloud-based security solution
Postini’s hosted email security solutions provide comprehensive spam and virus filtering in the cloud – before they reach the network level. Google’s vast network filters billions of messages a day from all over the globe, creating a “network effect” that allows Google to identify emerging threats and respond early.

For more information on how Google Postini Services can help your organization remain safe, compliant, and spam-free, please visit

In the last year, businesses have started using cloud-based applications from Google and other technology providers at an accelerated rate. While many organizations still have information that resides in on-premise systems, more and more important business information today is living in the cloud, in collaborative tools like Google Apps—now used by more than 3 million businesses — and services like Twitter. Starting today, Cloud Connect for the Google Search Appliance lets workers search across both on-premise and cloud-based content from a single search box, delivering more comprehensive results and improving productivity. We’ve also added a few other handy features that make it easier to collaborate and find information faster.

Cloud Connect for the Google Search Appliance
Cloud Connect displays relevant, personalized results from Google Docs and Google Sites alongside results from more traditional repositories, like file shares and content management systems. Easier access to collaborative documents, spreadsheets, presentations and sites with Cloud Connect speeds up how quickly coworkers can complete projects. Cloud Connect also lets users search content from Twitter, as well as blogs and industry websites via Google
Site Search.

For organizations such as Delta Hotels and Avago that have already deployed both Google Apps and the Google Search Appliance, the new Cloud Connect feature brings “universal search” to another level, with more accessible business systems and content now spanning from cloud to ground.

People Search
This new version also helps foster faster collaboration between employees with the addition of People Search, which makes it easy to find experts and contact coworkers who are related to a search query, right from the search results page. For example, a search for “field marketing” would return a list of field marketing team members alongside other relevant content. Organizations can index personnel information like department, interests, expertise and location, and there’s an LDAP connector to help get People Search up and running quickly.

Dynamic Navigation and more
Our new Dynamic Navigation feature allows users to drill down into search results based on search modifiers for their queries, and Active-Active Mirroring improves reliability by spreading search traffic across multiple boxes. Dynamic Navigation was a top user request and we’re glad to be able to add it. In addition, the Search Appliance now supports Microsoft Sharepoint 2010 content out of the box without the need for additional connectors.

As you move your business to the cloud, the Google Search Appliance’s new features can be an important bridge between on-premise and cloud-based systems, while enhancing employee collaboration. You can learn more about this latest release at

Posted by Rajat Mukherjee, Group Product Manager, Enterprise Search

Join us tomorrow for a live webcast with Mark Steward, IT Director at Baird & Warner, the oldest residential real estate brokerage in the nation. With 26 branch offices servicing more than 300 communities throughout northeastern Illinois, Baird & Warner provides a full range of services for consumers including residential sales, financial services, title services and home services.

Earlier this year Baird & Warner began looking at improving their messaging system to help their 1,600 mobile and independent agents stay connected and access information in real time. They decided to use Google Apps because of how much money it saved them over Microsoft Exchange and its ability to scale as they company grew.

Mark says that, “improved mobile access to email is a big win for us. From a cost perspective, with Google Apps there is nothing additional that we need to do, buy or maintain, to enable mobile devices. It just works straight out of the box on virtually any mobile device that our employees care to use.

Beyond better mobile email access, faster performance and infrastructure cost savings, we’re also pretty happy about not having to spend any time maintaining and upgrading our messaging systems. What's equally important, however, is that our employees like using Google Apps. Our Realtors® drive our business, and we need to give them the tools that allow them to be more productive on behalf of their clients.”

Join us for a live webcast with Mark Steward, CIO of Baird & Warner tomorrow, October 19, 2010 12:00 p.m. EDT / 9:00 a.m. PDT / 6:00 p.m. GMT. Register now.

If you’ve been to a grocery store or even switched on your television this week, you may have noticed that Halloween is here – a telltale sign that the holiday season is approaching. And since holidays mean more shopping, here at Google our Commerce Search team has been working very hard to help get your retail websites ready for the business boom.

For most retail businesses the holiday season can be the busiest time of the year, and we want to help you get excited about it. We’ve been listening to your feedback and noticed that many of you desire a greater ability to customize your site search so that it’s exactly the way you want it. Today we are pleased announce that we are giving you your holiday gift early, and in the form of three new customization features.

1. Control over auto-completions. Query auto-completion leverages the machine learning of Google to automatically provide a relevant list of suggestions every time a user types a search query on your site. While this eliminates the need for manual entry of query suggestions, many of you still wanted administrative control.

With this feature, users can now control their auto-completions. Let’s say you are an online candy reseller and typing “ch” triggers “cherry cough drops” and not “chocolate covered almonds,” your most popular treat.

You can add “cherry cough drops” to your list of exclusions and “chocolate covered almonds” to your list of inclusions to display the auto-completions you prefer. For more extensive customization, you can even upload inclusions and exclusions in bulk, so you don’t have to enter the query customizations line by line.

2. Easier Facets. We have made it easier to build navigation features by auto-populating the options based on what we know about your specified attribute. So, if you want to build a facet around “shirts,” options for price, color, size, and any of your own particulars will be listed automatically. This makes it simple to customize search results.

3. Improved Documentation. Now you can find information about how to customize your search with improved documentation and code samples. These can be found at the GCS code page.

These new features can be activated today by visiting your GCS control panel, and we hope that while you’re eating Halloween treats you’ll utilize them to prepare your e-commerce site for the holiday rush. If you are new to Google Commerce Search, visit for more information or to sign-up now.

Editor’s note: Over 3 million businesses have adopted Google Apps. Today we’ll hear from Patti Sprague, Managing Director of Premier Guitar in Iowa. To learn more about other organizations that have gone Google and share your story, visit our community map or test drive life in the cloud with the Go Google cloud calculator.

Premier Guitar is for true guitar enthusiasts, a magazine focused on guitar gear and the musicians who use it. All of our employees are passionate about music, and many play guitar or other instruments. Working with a bunch of musicians creates a fun, creative workplace, but not always a very structured environment. We needed an email system that didn’t tie our team to the office, but allowed us to work together and stay connected wherever we may be. Google Apps was the perfect solution.

In our business we have very tight deadlines. We do things a little differently than other traditional magazines. We not only publish a print version of our magazine, we make all of our content, current and archival, freely accessible over 5 different platforms. We’re able to successfully compete with some of the older print centric publications out there because we’re lean and we can get stories up quickly. That requires a lot of team work. Google Docs allows us to work on a story from wherever we are and get it published quickly. It would never be possible to work as efficiently or collectively if we had to wait for a new version of a document to be sent to us before we could publish.

Often our writers and photographers will need to drop everything to hop on a plane for a last minute factory tour, or an interview with an artist. One of the reasons we started using Google Apps is the ability to access our email and calendars on our mobile phones or anywhere with an internet connection. With Google Apps, we know where the team is and what’s due based on our shared calendars. Our company calendar and editorial calendars are kept up to date so we can get our stories out quickly. Plus, we can always just hop on Chat to ask each other questions or find out the status of a shoot or a photo shoot or piece. Being able to just ask a co-worker a quick question instead of sending them an email and waiting for a response has really helped keep projects moving along.

Apps helps us stay connected and work together, while still having fun doing what we love. For a lean team that wants to meet deadlines while writing about their passion, Google Apps was the perfect choice.

(Cross posted on the Official Google Blog)

It was four years ago this month that Google Apps for Education first touched down, right before a pivotal football game between ASU and USC—fatefully enough, two schools that were among the first to move to Google Apps and pave the way for other schools to adopt this “alien technology.”

This week at EDUCAUSE we’re celebrating with these schools and the thousands of others that make up more than 10 million students, staff, faculty and alumni that are actively using Apps for Education on campus. We figured that nothing was more fitting than a tailgate celebration to toast the colleges and universities that have “gone Google.” And of course, it’s not really a party without inviting the marching band.

In the last four years we’ve seen a lot of changes, both to our tools and the general landscape of cloud computing in higher education. According to the 2010 Campus Computing project, nearly 85% of four-year colleges and universities are already using or considering moving to the cloud by offering hosted email to their students. Of those schools that have already made the move, more than 56% of them have gone Google.

As part of this sustained momentum, we’ve seen the number of active Google Apps for Education users double since last fall, with more than two million new users coming on board since May alone; not to mention the emerging growth we’re now seeing in the K-12 space.

Hundreds of schools have made the move to Google Apps just this year, including Gonzaga University, Barnard, Brown University, William and Mary, Villanova University, Georgetown School of Business, Case Western Reserve University, Hawai’i Pacific University, Brandeis University, more than half of the 23 campuses in the California State University system, Morehouse College, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Texas A&M Alumni, University of Tennessee Chattanooga, 13 of the SUNY schools, Pace University and Wilfrid Laurier—to name just a few.

The USC Trojan Marching Band helped us give a spirited cheer to the schools who have gone Google and the progress we’ve seen in the last four years. But like any good commencement address will tell you, this is only the beginning.

[cross-posted from the Official Google Blog]

A little over a year ago, we began the "Go Google" campaign with just a single billboard in four US cities. In the past year, we've grown from 2 to 3 million businesses and over 30 millions users on Google Apps; through the campaign, thousands have shared their Gone Google stories via tweets, photos, and submissions to our community map. We've heard from companies across the country and around the world; from large enterprises such as Konica Minolta and leading global food retailer Ahold, to small businesses like Bowery Lane Bicycles in New York to Luna & Larry's Coconut Bliss in Oregon, we're excited to hear how Google Apps has helped your business increase productivity, reduce costs, and innovate.

As we kick-off the next wave of our global campaign this week in airports and train stations in 11 major cities in 9 countries around the globe, we want to use this opportunity to invite the millions of companies and schools using Google Apps to tell us why your organization would like to be featured in our next global Gone Google ad campaign. For this contest, we'll pick up to five companies/schools in each of the following regions: the Americas, EMEA (Europe, Middle East and Africa), and Asia Pacific. The winners will be featured in an upcoming outdoor ad campaign in each region early next year.

To participate, tell us your organization's Gone Google story, and create a "sample ad" using our provided template:

We encourage you to be creative and have fun with your ad! (You may want to check out some of our previous ads for some inspiration.) Once you create your ad, be sure to publish and share it with us. (Bonus points for tweeting it with the #gonegoogle hashtag.) For complete rules and details, visit our contest site. We can't wait to see your ads, and look forwarding to putting your organization's name in lights!

And if you are still thinking about going Google, we encourage you to check out the Go Google cloud calculator to learn more about the benefits of switching to Google Apps.

At Google, we welcome apps developed from all over the world to help businesses find the perfect apps to move their business productivity to the cloud. This App Tuesday, four of the apps launching are from companies that have deep roots outside of the United States. Brightpearl joins us from the United Kingdom, SprinxCRM is headquartered in the Czech Republic, and Clio calls Canada home. And even though Producteev is based out of New York, their founders are all originally from France. These apps join a Marketplace full of other international apps, including apps from Australia, Bulgaria, Japan, Germany and 17 other countries.

The Apps Marketplace offers businesses cloud-based solutions in a wide range of functions, including customer management, project management, productivity, accounting and more. This App Tuesday we are excited to welcome our second education app, PlanbookEdu, as well as our first legal focused app, Clio. As always, all apps offer single sign-on convenience that give users hassle-free access through the universal navigation bar, but many go deeper. Producteev's Gmail contextual gadget, for example, allows users to access many of its features right from the Gmail inbox and Clio's two-way sync with Google Calendar and Contacts ensures consistent data across Clio and Google Apps. Here is the list of apps joining the Apps Marketplace this App Tuesday.

  • myBrainshark - Businesses can easily make sales, marketing, or e-learning presentations and easily distribute the presentations by sharing links or embedding videos, while tracking views and usage.
  • Brightpearl - All of your business’ administrative needs, including customer management, accounting, and purchase orders, can now be tackled in one central location, working seamlessly with Calendar, Contacts, and Gmail.
  • EasyBib - Students and professionals alike can easily create and manage bibliographies for their academic research, and seamlessly navigate between Google Apps through single sign-on.
  • Sprinx - Tracking, managing, and evaluating customer relationships, opportunities, and campaigns can be done seamlessly through single sign-on and calendar and contact sync.
  • PlanbookEdu - Teachers of all grade levels using Google Apps for Education can jump straight from their email into creating and sharing lesson plans with fellow educators without having to sign into another program.
  • Clio - Lawyers and other legal professionals can now easily manage client information, matters, contacts, time-keeping, bills, documents and other aspects of their law offices via Google Calendar and Contacts.
  • Producteev - Google Apps Gmail users can manage complex tasks and projects in-line with their email with Producteev’s Gmail contextual gadget by quickly transforming emails into action items.

Check out the Google Apps Marketplace to explore one of these new apps or try one of the other over 200 apps. If you've #gonegoogle and tried the #appsmarketplace, let other users know what you recommend via Twitter or submit your suggestions for additional apps.

Posted by Harrison Shih, Associate Product Marketing Manager, Google Apps Marketplace Team

Last week we posted some tips to help you move from Microsoft Outlook® and other client-based software to Google Apps. Today we’d like to share some more thoughts on making the most of Gmail.

Save time with Priority Inbox
A busy day often affords few email breaks. When you do get a chance to scan your mail, Priority Inbox helps you prioritize by identifying the messages that require your immediate attention. Gmail uses a variety of signals to predict which messages are important, including the people you email most and which messages you open and reply to. The best part is it gets better the more you use it. Turn on and manage Priority Inbox in your mail Settings – and read our tips to become a real Priority Inbox whiz!

Seamless chat, video and calling
We work with people in multiple ways, and Gmail makes it easy for you to choose the most effective means to communicate: email, chat, text messaging, video chats and phone calls are all available from your inbox. For example, voice and video chat lets you have an actual conversation with someone or meet face-to-face in brilliant resolution. And for those early adopters transitioned to our new infrastructure, we recently added the ability to call phones in Gmail, so you can place phone calls from your computer to any landline or mobile phone number and receive calls as well. For phone calls and video chat, download this plugin to get started.

Get more attached to your email
Attachments in other email systems can be cumbersome; they take up space, can be hard to find and you have to open another program to take action, which slows you down. Gmail has some helpful features that let you quickly view attachments without the need to open or download them on client-side software. The Google Docs Viewer allows you to view .doc, .pdf, .ppt and other attachments in a new browser tab simply by clicking the "View" link at the bottom of a Gmail message. If you decide you want to edit the file, click "Edit online" to open it in Google Docs, or download it to your desktop.

Gmail also includes a Google Docs preview lab that lets you read the entire contents of a Google document, spreadsheet or presentation right in Gmail. Note that your administrator needs to have enabled Labs for you to access them.

Put email in context
Wouldn’t it be great if you could update a sales lead without leaving your inbox? With contextual gadgets, you can. They display information from social networks, business services, web applications and other systems, and let you interact with that data right within Gmail. Your administrator or any third-party developer can build and distribute Gmail contextual gadgets to the domain with just a few clicks via the Google Apps Marketplace, which we launched in March. To learn more, browse for apps in the Marketplace that have ‘Mail Integration’.

The keys to productivity

With Gmail, we built in keyboard shortcuts to help you get through your mail quickly and efficiently. Once you enable this feature in Settings, you can archive (e), reply (r), compose (c), delete (#) or take just about any other action with one key or a short combo. For a handy guide, type “?” while you’re in Gmail – for maximum efficiency, print it out and post it at your desk.

Experiment in our Labs
Gmail Labs give users experimental – sometimes whimsical – features to customize Gmail in a way that works best for them. Some Labs accommodate preferences, such as adding a “Send & Archive” button, while others help you communicate, such as the Google Voice player and SMS in Chat. Still others help you stay organized, like the Google Docs and Calendar gadgets. If your administrator has enabled Labs for your domain, check them out for yourself.

What’s your favorite feature in Gmail? Feel free to let us know in the comments below. Happy (productive) emailing!

Editor’s note: Over 3 million businesses have adopted Google Apps. Today we’ll hear from Matt Zemon, President of American Support, headquartered in North Carolina. To learn more about other organizations that have gone Google and share your story, visit our community map or test drive life in the cloud with the Go Google cloud calculator.

At American Support, we provide back office services to over 400 cable, phone and internet franchises in 29 states. Our services include billing and subscriber management along with 24/7 customer care and technical support.

When I originally founded the company in 2006 we had a joint venture with a Philippines-based call center to provide customer service at a reasonable cost to our clients. In the first couple years of business it became evident that our clients and their subscribers wanted to have American-based customer service. Our clients were not happy with the off-shore customer service we were providing and we were having difficulties winning new business. As a customer service outsourcer the challenge was finding a way to provide the American customer service they desired at a price point they could afford.

To save our business we ended up rethinking our business model and looking to the cloud to drive down costs and increase our efficiency. The first change was migrating to a call center in the cloud platform which enabled us to recruit, train and route calls to rural American home-based employees who needed and wanted the work. With this technology solution in place we began bringing our call center jobs back to America. As of May of last year we are a 100% American customer service organization.

The second change was moving from Microsoft Exchange to Google Apps in 2009, which allowed us to more efficiently and effectively collaborate with our employees and clients spread out across the United States.

Today we maintain a small office in North Carolina and a technical assistance center and network operations center in Montana. The rest of our management team is spread out between Arizona, Colorado, Kentucky, Georgia and Nebraska. Our entire customer support team works from home.

Tools that fostered collaboration were absolutely essential to running our business. Each manager and their team really live in the Google Apps environment. All of their meetings are done through Google Docs and video chats. I’ve never met 90% of our employees in person. Every meeting agenda is built off of a doc with everyone logged into the same doc at the same time, taking notes and keeping track of next steps as we move along through the meeting agenda. Plus, our clients across the country have started getting used to the value of moving away from attachments to using Google Docs. Working together internally and externally is so much easier when we’re always sure we’re looking at the most current document and you can collaborate on it in real-time.

Google Sites is also a key aspect of our business operations. We create a custom site for each of our clients that contains the most frequently asked questions, their unique policies and procedures, and other useful information for our teams. Sites allows us to keep all information in one place that everyone on the team can update and reference.

We had initially looked at Google Apps for its 25 GB of mail and shared calendars, but it’s Google Sites, Docs and Talk that allow us to communicate successfully and efficiently so that we can support customers with a team all over the country. We attribute our successful collaboration and the ability to run a coast-to-coast virtual team to our use of Google Apps.

(Cross-posted from the Official Google Blog)

When I graduated from high school in New York, the Internet didn’t exist. Teachers were preparing me and my peers for traditional service or manufacturing careers - jobs that didn’t require advanced technical knowledge. Today’s students are facing a completely different landscape; they’re expected to enter the workplace fully literate in technology, with strong communication and collaboration skills that will allow them to succeed in a connected and global environment.

New York state is making changes to prepare students for this future, implementing a host of initiatives designed to incorporate the development of 21st century skills into the state’s core learning objectives. As a product of the New York state public education system, I couldn’t be more excited to announce one of these endeavors—a new K-12 initiative that will bring powerful communication and collaboration tools to the more than 3.1 million students and hundreds of thousands of teachers throughout New York state.

Today, New York Institute of Technology (NYIT), in partnership with the New York State Teacher Centers and associated Boards of Cooperative Educational Services (BOCES), the New York State teacher unions and New York State professional organizations, will offer Google Apps access, training and support to 697 public school districts, as well as all non-public and charter schools, across New York. We’re excited that NYIT is committed to providing schools the deployment and professional development resources they need to make Google Apps for Education—including Gmail, Docs, Sites and Calendar—a powerful tool for teachers and students across the state.

New York follows Oregon, Iowa, Colorado and Maryland as the fifth and largest state to bring Google Apps access to K-12 classrooms and will join more than 8 million students and teachers that use Google Apps today.

I no longer live in New York, but all of my family is spread out across the great Empire state and I look forward to bringing Google Apps to their local school districts!

The email inbox has become the hub for most people’s business day, and in the last few months we've launched a number of innovations in Gmail that make workers more productive, from Priority Inbox to Unthreaded View.

Join us for a live webinar this Wednesday, October 6 with Google Apps Product Manager Rajen Sheth to learn more about how Gmail can help you focus on messages that matter. You'll get an overview of recent innovations in Gmail, see a demo of Priority Inbox and unthreaded view, and learn about our migration tools that make it easy for your school or business to make the switch to to Google Apps. Please join us!

Wednesday, October 6th, 2010
10 a.m. PDT / 1 p.m. EDT / 6 p.m. GMT
On-demand webinar

Editor's note: Over 3 million businesses have adopted Google Apps. To share their stories, we've talked to businesses across the United States. Today we’ll hear from Mat Silverstein, Research and Development Officer for Pharmacy Development Services based in Florida. To learn more about other organizations that have gone Google and share your story, visit our community map or test drive life in the cloud with the Go Google cloud calculator.

Based in Florida, Pharmacy Development Services (PDS) is a business coaching company that works specifically with independent pharmacies. Over the last 12 years, we’ve helped hundreds of pharmacy owners build solid business plans and achieve success.

As a small business with employees spread across the country, internal communications have always been a challenge. In the home office, we make hundreds of decisions a week that affect our customers and employees, and this, combined with rapidly changing information, makes it tough to keep up. Information is constantly flying back and forth between members of our team, so it only made sense to give it a home in the cloud. Life before Google Apps went something like this:

Me: Did you get my email?
Co-worker: No
Me: Check your spam folder.
Co-worker: There it is. Wait. This is the old version of the document. I updated the document and sent it to you yesterday.
Me: I know, but I couldn’t open it. I have an older version of the software you used.

This scenario was typical, and it wasn’t until we moved to Google Apps that our team saw a huge boost in productivity. Right now, we have a team of on-site and off-site employees planning the biggest event in the history of our company; they’re using Google Docs to share the latest conference plans, instant messaging, integrated in Gmail, for quick communication, and Google Calendar to schedule all their meetings.

The Gmail interface is light-years better than our old email system and we can access it anywhere. Some of us travel a lot, and accessing email from our iPhones, Android-powered phones, and Blackberry devices is essential — we couldn’t imagine it any other way. Information is ubiquitous; it shouldn’t be bound to a particular device.

As a company that is closely tied to the health industry, I can best put how Google Apps has helped us into medical terms — we’ve been cured of spam-itis, old-versions-of-documents-osis, and most importantly, missing-documents syndrome. We can spend less time searching for files and fixing scheduling mishaps, and more time helping our customers.”

Posted by Michelle Lisowski, Google Apps team