Editors note:Today’s guest blogger is Ian Dobb, Interim Global CIO at the renowned advertising agency Bartle Bogle Hegarty (BBH). Ian led the implementation of Google Apps for Business across five different countries for BBH’s 1,000-strong workforce. Ian Dobb is co-founder of Ionico. He was brought in to BBH to lead its IT change programme.

At BBH, collaboration is the cornerstone of developing award-winning advertising campaigns. As BBH expands its global coverage, staff are increasingly required to work on projects that have team members in multiple countries. Our international workforce of creative thinkers wants to operate without boundaries and not be held back by clunky email systems and restrictive mailboxes. The previous email system, Lotus Notes, did not live up to the demands of this modern and vibrant workforce.

With the help of Google Apps deployment expert and partner Appsbroker, we implemented Google Apps throughout the organisation across 1,000 staff, a move that completely transformed the way our teams now work together and share ideas.

In addition to email and calendar, many employees now use Google Talk to chat with each other, and they hold multi-person video chats through the Hangouts feature in Google+. For instance, the global executive team, including the Group CEO, recently held a meeting via a Google Hangout. This spanned multiple time zones and three continents. Cutting back on using a third party video conferencing service and associated data comms circuits will save BBH approximately £100,000 a year.

Google Apps also proved its worth as a mobile working and business contingency tool. Last winter BBH employees in London arrived to work to discover the basement was filled 5 metres deep with water due to a broken sprinkler valve, leaving the main building without power, where 450 people work. Google Apps was invaluable in keeping staff up and running. With the help of Gmail, Google Chat, Hangouts and Docs, work continued with minimal disruption while staff worked from home or from local cafes.

With the help of Appsbroker, we’re now building a custom app on Google App Engine to help feed creative thought at BBH. The app will help teams search and browse the vast BBH database of ideas and inspiration, making sure nothing is forgotten and lost in an archive file. It’s an exciting prospect for a business where intellectual property is the key currency.

With so many benefits and some exciting future prospects, we are confident that Google Apps and its constantly expanding range of collaborative features will aid the creative process for BBH staff by making it simpler for them to share ideas, streamlining processes for fast-paced teamwork, and giving clients a more responsive, dynamic service.


Big Data can be a challenge for businesses and developers. There is so much information available today that it can be difficult to gain insights and make business decisions based on that data. Last month, Google BigQuery integrated several partner solutions, making it easier to import data from other cloud and on-premise solutions and visualize your data with rich interactive dashboards. Today, we’re giving you new ways to work with your data by adding two new features to BigQuery.

Batch Queries

While BigQuery specializes in getting insights quickly, we understand that there are important, non-interactive queries, such as nightly reports, that businesses also need to run. Now, you can designate a query as a batch query and it will complete within a few hours.If you’re using BigQuery via our standard self-service model, you pay 2 cents per GB processed for batch queries and 3.5 cents per GB processed for interactive queries.

BigQuery Connector for Excel

Analysts and executives use spreadsheets to explore large data sets. Last year, we launched the ability for BigQuery users to execute queries inside Google spreadsheets using the Google Apps Script integration. With the new BigQuery Connector for Excel, we’re now making it simpler to execute BigQuery queries using Microsoft® Excel. This connector takes advantage of Excel’s standard web query feature to eliminate the extra work of manually importing data and running queries directly within Excel. For instructions on how to download and use the connector, see the BigQuery Connector for Excel page.

If you haven’t gotten started with Google BigQuery yet, you can sign up here.

[Microsoft and Excel are registered trademarks of Microsoft Corporation.]


On the Google Apps team, we wake up every day excited to work on products that are powering a fundamental shift in business technologies. Whole companies are moving into the cloud, where they rely on the same web-based applications their employees use at home: Gmail, Google Calendar, Google Docs and Google Drive. We call this trend “going Google.”

As part of this trend, we’re witnessing how web-based collaboration and social tools have dramatically changed the way people connect. Whether you’re across the street or across the world, you can hold face-to-face meetings, share updates with colleagues and friends and work on a presentation together in real time. Like Google Apps, we think Google+ can help colleagues collaborate more easily and get things done—and get to know each other along the way.

So today we’re launching an initial set of Google+ features designed specifically for businesses, and we’re excited to move into a full preview mode for Apps customers. During this preview period, organizations that have gone Google will be able to use the business features of Google+ for free through the end of 2013 while we continue to add more features and administrative controls designed for organizations.

For the past few months, pilot customers like Kaplan and Banshee Wines have been using Google+ to help employees engage and connect with each other. We’ve worked hard to incorporate early feedback from pilot customers into our plans, and we’re thrilled to begin offering Google+ features tailored to organizations.

Private sharing for your organization
Google Apps users now have more control over the content they post to Google+. When you create a post you can mark it as restricted. Restricted posts are private to your organization and can never be re-shared with anyone outside. At the same time, when you create a post, you have the flexibility to share it with specific partners or colleagues outside the organization as well if you choose.

Restricted posts cannot be shared outside the organization

Video meetings integrated with Gmail, Calendar and Docs
When you’re on Google Apps, holding a face-to-face meeting with colleagues or clients around the world doesn’t require coordinated travel schedules or expensive video conferencing technology. All you need is a device with a camera and an internet connection. Hangouts lets up to 10 people join a video meeting from their laptop, phone or tablet.

As we announced in July, people can now join a multi-way video chat, powered by Hangouts, directly from Gmail. They can also open a Google doc in a hangout meeting, making it easy for colleagues to write or edit a document together from anywhere. And starting today, users can also add a hangout to a Calendar event, allowing attendees to join the meeting directly from the invite or Calendar entry.

Add a hangout to a calendar event

Work on a doc face-to-face in a hangout

Administrative Controls
To help make sure users are sharing only with the people they intend, administrators can now set company-wide defaults for post restrictions. They can also enable restricted Hangouts to facilitate private meetings within the company.

Just the Beginning
These latest business features for Google+, which will be rolling out throughout the day, are just a start. We have a lot more planned for the coming months, including a mobile version of Google+ for enterprise users and more administrative controls.

Every day, more companies are going Google. We’re excited to help them take advantage of modern, web-based tools and give their employees new ways to connect and collaborate. If you’re a Google Apps customer, we encourage you to bring Google+ to work today.


Summer vacation is heading into the final stretch, but summer camps are still going strong. At the end of the summers that I spent as a camper, I always came home with new friendships and a renewed sense of confidence – not to mention a lifetime of memories. Here are three summer camps that use technology to make camp more accessible to more kids and create a memorable experience for their campers.

While outdoor adventures are fun, they’re not for everyone. SuperCamp is a camp that's more focused on the classroom, with programs for middle and high school students to increase their grades, confidence and motivation. While living on some of the nation’s most known university campuses like Stanford, Brown and Wake Forest, campers can improve their test taking and studying techniques, practice their writing, develop their communication skills, and more. Starting in 2001, founder Bobbi DePorter wanted to reach more parents whose kids who would benefit from their summer programs, so she turned to her husband Joe, who found that Google AdWords could do just that. Since using AdWords, Joe and Bobbi have seen a 37% increase in camp enrollment, translating to an average return of $14 from every $1 spent on AdWords. By transitioning from traditional marketing techniques to web tools, Bobbi and Joe have grown SuperCamp into a comprehensive program that spans four continents.

For younger kids interested in science and technology, there is a summer camp designed just for them. Ideaventions is a science and technology program in Virginia for kids ages three to thirteen. Husband and wife duo Ryan and Juliana Heitz founded the program in 2010 to encourage kids to pursue their passion for all-things science in a hands-on environment. As the couple personally invested in getting the camp up and running, they needed a cost-effective communications solution, which they found with Google Apps for Business. By choosing Google Apps, Ryan and Juliana save money on computer software, and they’re quickly and easily able to share lesson plans with employees through Google Docs. Managing everything in the cloud means that campers aren’t tied to a particular computer, so they can go back to their projects at any point in time. And parents like that they are able to login and engage with the content their kids are reading. Google Apps allows the Heitz’s to reallocate the time spent on back office work to working side-by-side with the kids.

MAKE magazine’s Maker Camp brought summer camp to the web this summer with a free, virtual DIY camp for teens. This online “summer camp” on Google+ encouraged 13- to 18-year-olds (as well as their parents and teachers) to get creative with up to 30 different types of fun projects themed around creativity and “the art of making.” From junk art robots to potato cannons, Maker camp counselors posted projects on the MAKE Google+ page and hosted Hangouts On Air with campers to review the day’s project and chat about tips and tricks. On Field Trip Fridays, participants get behind the scenes access at locations like the research and innovation lab at +Ford and +National Geographic. It was a wonderful way to connect with fellow campers around the world and to get inspiration for new project ideas.

Google tools give these summer camps new ways to communicate, collaborate, grow and stay focused on what matters the most: the campers. See you around the campfire!


Editors note: Today’s guest blogger is Monique le Conge, Department Director for the Palo Alto Library, a municipal library funded by the City of Palo Alto, California. Join Monique on September 12th at 1pm PST for a webinar via Google+ Hangout On Air to learn how you can replicate these successes at your organization and ask her questions directly during a live Q&A.

The Palo Alto Library has been providing our community with resources to enrich lives since the early 1890’s. With five libraries located at the heart of Silicon Valley, we witness the role technology plays in advancing life-long education, and we actively make it our mission to facilitate learning in the community by providing the latest tools. In an effort to abide to by our mission, we launched a Chromebooks lending program in November 2011, becoming one of the first libraries to do so.

We launched the Chromebooks program after piloting a few of the devices as an alternative to the laptop lending program that we developed more than five years ago. The old laptop program gave library patrons the ability to use laptops in one of our branches for up to two hours. While it was helpful for some, the program didn’t provide our library patrons with the time and flexibility they needed to explore the Web. Additionally, the administration was concerned about the security of patrons storing local files on the machines.

Today, members of our community, both young and old, are able to check out one of our 60 Chromebooks and take it home for up to seven days to research material for school reports, educate themselves on health matters, or simply watch videos. The possibilities are endless.

What’s great about the Chromebooks is that they are simple for our patrons to use, regardless of their technology experience, and they’re small enough for anyone to easily carry. Users can save their documents and favorite apps to their Google accounts, so that they can retrieve their information at another time from any Chromebook they check out or from any device running Chrome – like an iPhone or Android tablet. And all user data is wiped out after individual use, protecting each user’s privacy. But perhaps my favorite thing about the Chromebooks is that they don’t require any manual software updates or maintenance. Due to shrinking budgets and reduced library staff, IT maintenance is something we pay close attention to when providing new technologies to our patrons, and the Chromebook program has been a breeze to manage.

Our lending program has become so popular that we are expanding the program to include all of the library branches in the coming year. We’ve also received several phone calls from other library systems who are interested in adopting a Chromebooks lending program. We’re thrilled to be able to provide members of our community with Chromebooks because we know they’ll be able to use a Chromebook to grow and learn no matter what their level of technology experience is.


Editors note: Today’s guest blogger is Edward Hanapole, CIO, Kaplan, one of the world’s largest education companies headquartered in New York, NY. See what other organizations that have gone Google have to say.

At Kaplan, education is our business. Successful student outcomes are our yardstick for performance. We provide higher education programs, professional training courses, test preparation materials and assessment tools for K-12 students. The range of student services has grown immensely since our founding in 1938 as a test prep company that helped many young people gain access to university education. Today, Kaplan employs more than 25,000 people around the globe in over 30 locations and serves approximately one million students annually.

In our business, it’s critical that we stay up-to-speed on the latest technologies because technology based on rigorous data analysis yields the blueprint for how we can improve instruction and curriculum design, and it allows us to help our students attain their desired results in the most effective and efficient way possible. We want to give our employees the same web-based tools that our students are using at home, so we moved the majority of our employees to Google Apps in 2011. It’s not just Gmail that has changed -- Google Apps has significantly impacted our company culture. We now use Google+ Hangouts to hold a lot of our meetings. Even if I’m in the same office, I often prefer using Hangouts and a shared meeting notes document so I know people are actually paying attention.

We're starting to see great usage of Hangouts across our business. Greg Marino, CEO of the Kaplan Higher Education Group, uses Google+ Hangouts to stay regularly connected with his organization's Chief Difference Makers, employees from around the country who help drive employee engagement at various sites. He finds Hangouts convenient, simple to use and cost-effective. As time goes on, I expect usage to increase across our operations.

We are entering a beta test for a new online educational platform that will allow other schools, organizations, businesses and individuals to share information and knowledge with their audiences aligned with best instructional practices. This exciting, highly innovative solution is built on top of the Google engine.

We’ve also been working with Google partner, Genesys, to pilot new Chromebooks and Chromeboxes at our New York call centers. These new devices have replaced our PCs, helping speed up our workflows and avoid aggravating crashes. Through the pilot process, we’ve found Chrome devices to be much faster, simpler to use, and they require no set-up time and far less troubleshooting. We have the ability to leverage real-time, web-based communication, allowing us to do away with phones in our call centers entirely. This will improve our customers’ experience while saving us time, resources and money. Our long-term goal is to deploy Chrome devices across our 65 North American campuses.

The real potential is that Google Apps and Chrome OS devices give us the ability to introduce innovation to our students and employees on an ongoing basis with relative ease.


Editors note: Today’s guest blogger is Richard Birdsall, the co-founder and co-owner of Genesis Medical Education Consultants, a continuing education provider offering state of the art courses to California's health care professionals, headquartered in Orange County, CA. See what other organizations that have gone Google have to say.

Since 2007, Genesis Medical Education Consultants has provided continuing education for California health care professionals in a safe, professional, and hands-on environment. For an industry that prides itself on being at the forefront of technology, it seems that many healthcare education providers are still behind the times. My mother and co-owner, Shari, and I saw this as an opportunity to set ourselves apart from existing companies.

We started using Google Apps for Business when we opened shop, and it has not only helped us keep pace with companies that have been around for years, but to outperform in multiple areas. We use Google Docs to assemble faculty schedules, create student rosters, and draft manuals and course syllabi. Google Drive ensures every file is available from anywhere we sign in, and all of these materials are easily shared with our instructors. Calendar helps keep us all organized, and we even post a schedule of classes on our website, making it easily visible to both our current students and potential students. With three full time employees, we could customize the exact size of the services we needed with Google as opposed to a one-size-fits-all approach many companies have – all at a very small fee.

In addition to Google Apps, we have two Chromebooks in our office, which we find incredibly easy to use and dependable. Before we had the Chromebooks, teaching at other facilities would keep us offline for the entire day – our old PCs were too clunky to take with us and didn’t have 3G access. Chromebooks changed all that. Now, we’re able to take our Chromebooks with us to any location and get connected in seconds, and we’re able to check email and interact with our students and any time. Chromebooks also save us a ton of money since we don’t have purchase additional software – a savings sent directly back to our students. We are able to charge a fraction of the price as the other guys due to a reduced overhead. And I've saved so much time not having to update every program on our computers since it updates on its own!

With a marriage of Chromebooks and Google Apps, our productivity on back-office processes has increased by at least 40-50%. We’re enrolling new and returning students every day and plan to open another facility in San Francisco next year. As we expand, we plan to purchase more Chromebooks, which we will give to our instructors to use in and out of the classroom. Without a doubt, in helping us establish our business and continue to compete with other companies, Google Apps for Business and Chromebooks ace the test.


A country code top-level domain (ccTLD) such as or .jp helps companies build a local footprint on the web, and ccTLD support is one of the most-requested features for Google Apps. We’re delighted to announce that today – thanks to a partnership with – that we now offer 30 top-level domain (TLD) options, including 22 ccTLDs, with prices starting at $8 per year.

Now, businesses that wish to sign up for Google Apps but don’t yet have a domain name have plenty of local options to choose from during sign-up. Your new domain comes configured with all Google Apps services, including Gmail for your custom email addresses ( Your domain will be registered with

Here is the full list of TLDs now available when you sign up for Google Apps:

Global Asia-Pacific Latin America Europe
.com .in .co .be
.info .ch
.org .cz
.net .mx .de
.mobi .es
.name .jp .me
.cc .nl
.tv .pl

We hope this gives new Google Apps customers more flexibility in their domain registration to help boost their local presence on the web.

Editors note: is a member of the KeyDrive Group. All registrars of the KeyDrive Group manage together more than 6 million domains for more than 300,000 customers worldwide.


For many of our business customers, maintaining stringent security standards is critical. This is something we’re deeply committed to, and we have invested lots of time and resources into consistently enhancing security, archival and discovery features for our customers.

Since we acquired Postini, we've been working toward integrating its security and compliance capabilities directly into Google Apps. In the past two years, we developed and released numerous Postini features directly in Google Apps, such as user policy management; email content filters; archiving, retention and eDiscovery with Google Apps Vault; and many more. As we look ahead to 2013, we’ll continue these feature integrations and gradually transition Postini Google Message Security (GMS) and Google Message Discovery (GMD) customers to Google Apps. This will enable them to take advantage of the Postini features built directly into Google Apps that are more flexible, powerful and user-friendly.

As part of the ongoing integration of features, starting today Google Apps administrators can use a new feature to manage routing and basic filtering of email to on-premise systems as well as email to Google Apps users. This feature will make it easier for groups like sales, support and operations to use generic email addresses such as sales@ or support@. Messages to these addresses typically need to be routed to ticketing or alerting systems outside of Gmail, and now Google Apps has the capability to define routing rules to get these messages to their proper destinations.

We will communicate additional details about the transition to our customers in the coming months. We are also developing tools and resources that will assist with the transition.

After the migration, customers can explore other Google Apps such as Gmail and Google Docs. Google Apps offers compelling cost savings and productivity benefits that millions of businesses are already enjoying. We look forward to helping our Postini customers enjoy these benefits - when they are ready.

More information on the new email routing feature can be found in the Google Apps Help Center where there are also more details regarding the Postini transition.


(Cross-posted from Google Docs Blog)

Editing with others in real-time makes it easy to get stuff done in Google spreadsheets in only a matter of minutes. But with so many people working in the same space, it’s possible to modify a section that a collaborator didn’t intend to be touched. That’s why, today, we’re updating the Named Ranges feature in spreadsheets to let you also protect them.

To get started with Protected Ranges in a shared spreadsheet, highlight the cells you’d like to protect, right-click, and choose Name and protect range from the menu.

Click through the presentation below to see the feature in action.

Even more spreadsheet features added this month 

Along with the arrival of protected ranges, you can now add colors and patterns when you apply cell borders in Google spreadsheets. We also updated find and replace to make it possible to search using patterns (also called regular expressions). For example, “^[A-Z]+” will find all the cells that start with uppercase letters.

As always, Google spreadsheets is getting better every day, so stay tuned for even more features and updates in the coming weeks.


(Cross-posted from Google App Engine Blog)

Editors note: Today’s guest blog post comes from 17-year-old Brittany Wenger, the winner of this year’s Google Science Fair. Brittany built an application on Google App Engine called the Global Neural Network Cloud Service for Breast Cancer. This artificial neural network can detect complex patterns in data, learning how to classify malignant or cancerous cells it hasn’t seen before. Learn more about her project.

When a patient has a palpable breast lump, the first step a doctor takes is to determine whether the mass is malignant or benign. One relatively simple diagnostic procedure is a form of biopsy called fine needle aspiration (FNA). Though these tests are less invasive than others, they are historically less accurate as well. My goal was to create a tool for doctors to use when interpreting test results from these procedures.

For this project, I decided to create a neural network built on Google App Engine, using data published to the Machine Learning Repository by the University of Wisconsin. A neural network attempts to replicate the brain as a form of artificial intelligence through networks of computers and can be used to detect extremely complex patterns. It learns from its mistakes, so it can classify a case it hasn’t seen before as malignant or cancerous based on specific criteria like clump thickness or bland chromatin. Because the diagnostic power of the network improves the more data it has, building on App Engine is a way to ensure the app can continue to scale easily, no matter how much information goes into the system.

I got started integrating my neural network application code, written in Java, with App Engine in a few hours using the SDK’s Greeting Service sample code as a starting point. The application has two main parts, a training module, that implements the neural network itself and runs the training process over the input data stored in static files, and a web interface that takes input data and returns the network’s analysis.

Google App Engine provides the scalable infrastructure I need to collect information from every hospital in the world and run when there are many concurrent requests, as usage of my application increases. Because my network is built as a cloud service, not only is my app working on the web, but mobile tablets, smartphones, old PC systems, or new technologies can also easily access the service from any hospital with an internet connection.

The neural network I developed is 99.11% sensitive to malignancy when using leave-one-out testing with original data. Thus far, I have run 7.6 million trials. Moving forward my goal is to make the application accessible to the global medical community so more data can be deposited and used to improve the diagnostic power of the network.


Editors note: Chief Financial Officers are key decision-makers in any organization’s move to the cloud. For a financial perspective on cloud computing such as Google Apps for Business, visit our United States and Europe websites or download the research reports.

We often hear from CIOs and IT leaders about the benefits they've seen since moving their organizations to the cloud. The role of the CFO in this decision is sometimes overlooked, but it's an important one.

We wanted to learn more about what CFOs consider to be the benefits of moving to the cloud, as well as their concerns. We recently surveyed over 800 CFOs in the United States and Europe, and we learned that almost 81% of our U.S. respondents say that they think completely implementing cloud technology would improve employee productivity, and 71% say it would reduce the time required to bring new products and services to market. In fact, in Europe 67% have adopted or are making plans to adopt cloud computing and 52% of American CFOs surveyed say their companies always include cloud-based systems in their IT decision-making processes.

Some of the benefits CFOs highlight include significant capital and operational savings, better security, and productivity gains that come from the ability to work from any device or together with others using tools like Google Docs. In our webcast, even self-described "archetypal CFOs" highlighted their hopes for improved productivity when employees can work from home or elsewhere, as well as reduced costs when moving to a service model. Furthermore, 69% of surveyed CFOs in Europe believe that cloud computing increases the IT department’s ability to innovate.

But it’s not just this research that shows how CFOs can benefit from adopting cloud technology. Since adopting Google Apps for Business, Milwaukee-based Journal Communications' VP of Finance has used Google spreadsheets to do his company’s acquisition models and financial reporting, saving time and ensuring that decisions are made with team input and the most up-to-date information.


People are using phones and tablets more than ever before to get work done from anywhere – in the field, at home or while traveling. Along with this increase in flexibility and productivity come new challenges for businesses managing all of these mobile devices. We launched tools to manage mobile devices across all mobile platforms for Google Apps last year, and since then we’ve been hard at work adding a number of new capabilities to help organizations better manage smartphones and tablets.

Some of our newest features are focused on helping administrators enforce tighter security using mobile settings in the Apps control panel to keep company data safe. We now offer administrators more ways to promote strong passwords on users’ phones and tablets and allow policies that enforce data encryption. New features also let administrators set policies to allow or block the use of the phone’s camera on Android 4.0+ devices and comply with organizational email retention policies. And now administrators can enforce these policies where available without disabling phones running older versions of Android that don’t support all the latest policies.

Through the Google Apps Device Policy app, administrators have the ability to remotely erase data from lost or stolen devices. Now we’re extending this capability so that IT admins can grant end users the ability to remotely delete data from their phone as soon as they notice it’s missing using the My Devices page.

As employees increasingly depend on their phones and tablets we’ll continue to work on making it easier and more secure for organizations to manage their fleet of devices. You can watch this video or visit our Help Center for a detailed look at how our enterprise mobile offerings can benefit your business.