Earlier this year we launched the ability to store and share any file on Google Docs. Since then, we've received great feedback from our users and today we're excited to announce the logical extension of this feature: the ability to store anything on Google Docs.

Just like files in Google Docs, you can easily access any physical object you’ve stored with Google and share it with anyone in the world. For example, you can save on business trip costs by avoiding baggage fees -- just store your luggage in Google Docs before you travel! Forgot your cell phone at home? Have a friend post it on Google Docs and download it on the go. And now you never have to run out of business cards -- store some online and you’ll be able to retrieve them whenever you meet someone!

We also make it easy to search and find what you need across your entire collection of objects, with automatic indexing of everything you store on Google Docs. And as with all your files, you can rest easy knowing your objects are securely stored in the cloud.

With competitive pricing starting at $0.10 per kg, along with free pickup and delivery from any location on the planet, now it’s easy to store everything on Google Docs. To learn more about this new feature and how to join the beta test, head on to the our informational page. Only a fool would pass this up!

Google Postini security services work in the cloud to help prevent spam and viruses before they hit your servers. These services also make it easy for admins to fine-tune filtering options to get the right level of protection for their organization's unique needs.

It can often be a delicate balance between protecting networks from attacks and allowing employees the flexibility to use email effectively. To help achieve this balance, today we're introducing a new Google Message Security reporting feature: Health Check.

Health Check helps you maximize the effectiveness of your spam filters. Think of it as a self-service "tune-up" for your Postini filters. It gives admins a comprehensive report that will help them check how current configurations impact the effectiveness of antispam and antivirus filters.

This report also highlights deviations from our recommended best practices, so that you can see areas where more protection might be helpful and select the levels that best meet your needs. For example, reports can "flag" areas of risk in user-defined settings, help optimize Approved Sender Lists, and guide the way you set up firewalls.

In this snippet from a Health Check report, the Virus Outbreak Level for this account is set to "Normal" (see red outline over item "2"). Our guidelines suggest that admins set this to Very High to increase security against viruses and malware. Deviations from recommended best practices are highlighted in red text so you can easily identify where changes can be made to tighten security.

With Health Check, we hope to empower administrators to make the best use of Postini Services. Health Check is now available through the Postini service administration console to Postini and Google Apps Premier Edition customers.

For more information the Google Postini suite of security and archving services, visit

Posted by Gopal Shah, Google Postini team

Today we're introducing Dual Delivery, a new feature for Google Message Security that enables a copy of an email to be delivered to two different mail hosts. Dual Delivery provides two benefits. First, it can be used to support a transition to a new email service; second, it can be used as a backup email access point.

Dual Delivery allows an interruption-free transition to a new email solution. By enabling incoming email messages to be copied and sent to two different mailhosts, Dual Delivery gives users the chance to familiarize themselves with a new email platform without disrupting mailflow to the existing system. It also gives IT the chance to learn from user behavior and understand the technical implications of a transition before a full rollout.

Dual Delivery also makes it easier to pilot and transition to Google Apps. By enabling the "Send a copy to Google Apps Gmail" feature of Dual Delivery, you can test Gmail without interrupting current practice. If you choose to switch over to Google Apps, you can enable the "Use Google Apps Gmail" feature in the Administration Console to directly route all of your mail to Gmail without having to manually reroute your MX records.

Dual Delivery can also be used as a secondary email access point. If users are unable to access their primary mailbox for any reason, or if admins want to give users cloud-based remote or mobile email access, Dual Delivery can provide read/write email access through a secondary inbox.

Dual Delivery is now available to Postini customers through the Delivery Manager settings in the Postini Administration Console.

For more information about the Google Postini suite of security and archiving services, visit

Posted by Gopal Shah, Google Postini team

Update 04/05/2010: Dual Delivery is not a tool for migrating historical email or legacy data. It is a tool that makes it easier to transition to a new email system, like Google Apps, by having production email show up in both the new system and the legacy system, allowing you to evaluate both. Please check our Switching from Microsoft Exchange and Switching from Lotus Notes posts, for more information on migrating to Google Apps.

Hot on the heels of our Google Apps Marketplace release, we're pleased to announce today a new YouTube channel,

The Apps Marketplace YouTube channel showcases videos from Marketplace vendors. Ranging from funny to informative, from cartoons to screencasts, these videos are meant to convey the benefits of extending Google Apps with integrated apps that work seamlessly with Gmail, Calendar, Docs and more. We're happy to already have more than a dozen videos in the channel and over 60 integrated app vendors in the Marketplace, and look forward to more great things as the Marketplace grows.

Please enjoy these examples of our Marketplace vendors' hard work. Thanks for the videos, guys!




To get started using great apps like these, visit, or watch our own short demo video explaining how the Marketplace works.

Are you a developer? Visit and start building.

Posted by Chris Kelly, Google Apps Marketplace team

Editor's note: Today’s guest blogger is Conrad Cross, CIO of the City of Orlando, Florida. In November, the city announced it had Gone Google. Last month Orlando became one of the first cities in America to switch all of its employees to Gmail. Cross has been CIO at the City of Orlando since December of 1999 and has been leading the Google Apps deployment that took only two months and is resulting in more than 60% savings.

Join Conrad for a
live webcast on Wednesday, March 31, 2010 at 11:00 a.m. PDT / 2:00 p.m. EDT / 7:00 p.m. GMT. He'll talk about moving 3,000 city employees to Google Apps. Please note that registration will occur on a third party site.

Like many city departments, the City of Orlando is facing an aging infrastructure juxtaposed with budget cuts and high demand for more advanced infrastructure services such as mobile access to email. We were using a Lotus Notes® email system and paying for numerous servers in City Hall, so we needed to find a different way of doing business.

This situation was all exacerbated by the fact that our IT department was recently whittled down from 84 workers to 69 this year. We determined after analyzing Google Apps that we could achieve significant savings and move into the cloud very quickly.

If we were to keep our current system, we estimated it would cost $133 a year for each of its 3,000 employees – or $399,000 including annual software licenses. Google charges $50 per user, or $150,000 delivering more than 60% in savings. In return, everyone from city planners to police officers will now use a web-based email system similar to Google's popular Gmail, but without the advertisements that support the free consumer version.

Google servers will store all city email and run the application, and Google technicians in Google data centers will make sure it runs smoothly. Google will also help us more securely host records such as sensitive law-enforcement and legal documents by mustering greater resources and expertise than we could on our own.

After considering the cost and feature advantages, we made the decision to move to Google Apps. We were able to move to Google Apps in less than 60 days, a major accomplishment. When the mayor cornered me in the hallway, I was nervous – but then he told me how excited and supportive he was about the switch. We're now on board with Google Apps and we don't have to worry about constant upgrades or implementing new innovations, and the cost-savings we're achieving are impressive.

My message for other city governments is: do the analysis and determine what your costs are. If the savings are compelling, then move quickly - you'll see the move into the cloud is relatively fast and painless—and ultimately very cost-effective.

We’re eager to share our experiences about the nuances involving our transition to Google Apps, including what the main concerns were across the city in making the move and how we address them.

Please join us for this live event:

City of Orlando Cuts Costs by Over 66% by Moving Email and Apps into the Cloud
Wednesday, March 31, 2010
11:00 a.m. PDT / 2:00 p.m. EDT / 6:00 p.m. GMT

Posted by Serena Satyasai, Google Apps team

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

Editor's note: Ryan Goodman is the founder of Centigon Solutions, Inc. and is an expert in business intelligence dashboards with BusinessObjects Xcelsius. Using Google Maps API Premier, Centigon has created a dashboard application to help users better visualize complex data from SAP BusinessObjects. With hundreds of succesful dashboard projects under his belt, he continues to innovate in applying geographic analysis for performance management dashboards using Google Maps Premier.

As co-author of "Crystal Reports 2008 the Official Guide," and a frequent contributor to trade publications, Ryan continues to push the envelope for what's possible with dashboards and Xcelsius on his personal blog:

Enterprise organizations that utilize Business Intelligence dashboard technologies require flexible mapping solutions to meet a range of geo-analysis requirements for performance management dashboards. With numerous potential use cases for bringing maps into dashboards, customers have long struggled between static graphics or traditional GIS solutions.

While static images don't provide enough flexibility to address all business needs, feature-rich GIS solutions are sometimes more than most business users need. To facilitate flexibility and ease-of-use for dashboard end users, Centigon Solutions has helped Google Maps become a rich enterprise visualization tool with GMaps Plugin for Xcelsius 2008. GMaps Plugin empowers developers to deploy Google Maps API Premier enabled dashboards to drive geographic visualization of performance management metrics without without writing a single line of code.

Centigon Solutions has bridged the gap between SAP BusinessObjects' on-premise dashboard technology and Google Maps API Premier service, making geo-analysis accessible at any level of an organization, and in any industry. Using a simple property sheet, dashboard developers can align geographic dimensions with performance measures and then deploy a fluent Google Maps experience to business users. From global financial metrics to city-level risk analytics, both technical and non-technical users can leverage GMaps Plugin's seamless integration with Google Maps API Premier to create compelling analysis – in minutes.

Organizations that rely on on-premise, on-demand solutions require easy methods for analyzing and communicating information queried from these systems. In the dashboard shown below, an analyst required a mashup of campaign/lead data and enterprise financial data to measure campaign effectiveness. GMaps Plugin provided the location intelligence required to quickly digest a large volume of information.

The example shows how multiple marketing campaigns across the United States were created and tracked through Powered by GMaps Plugin, Google Maps API Premier, and Integration (hosted on Google App Engine), this dashboard empowers marketing professionals to view and drill into each campaign and visually digest campaign results. The resulting analysis provided a visual proximity of attendees and their response rate.

From this information, the user can make informed decisions to what regions should receive priority for future campaigns. This new visibility into lead data provides a new perspective for a marketing analysts to make more informed decisions through guided analysis.

While traditional reporting solutions can present drillable tabular data, the graphical and spatial analysis gained with a Google Maps API Premier enabled dashboard increases the speed, depth, and efficiency of data analysis. By mobilizing Google Maps API Premier for enterprise performance management reporting and dashboards, Centigon Solutions improves the way business decision makers can interpret key information. Visit our website to learn more about GMaps Plugin and the Google Maps API Premier case study page for more success stories.

About Centigon Solutions: Centigon Solutions Inc. couples business insight with technical expertise to deliver quality business intelligence dashboard solutions. Centigon Solutions Inc. is strategically focused on creating interactive visualization technology for developers and business users. As thought leaders in dashboard and Web 2.0 technologies for the enterprise, Centigon Solutions is also recognized as the premier developer of Xcelsius® add-on solutions, including GMaps Plugin.

Posted by Natasha Wyatt, Google Earth and Maps Enterprise team

Yesterday, we stopped censoring our search services – Google Search, Google News, and Google Images – on our Chinese domain, This makes good on our commitment to stop censoring search results in China, and you can read more here. In terms of Google's wider business operations, we intend to continue R&D work in China and maintain a sales presence there. We’d like to share some additional information on how this may affect your employees that use Google Apps within mainland China.

First, we very much hope that the Chinese government respects our decision, though we are well aware that China could at any time block access to our services in mainland China. We will be carefully monitoring access issues and we have created this new web page, which we will update regularly each day, so that you can see which Google services are available in China.

Note that you can continue to view performance information for Google Apps services outside of China on the Google Apps Status Dashboard.

Second, it is important to know that there are several networking configurations and associated technologies available to help ensure ongoing access to your critical business services such as Gmail, Google Calendar, and Google Docs. These network configurations, such as a Virtual Private Network (VPN) connection, secure shell (SSH) tunneling, or using a proxy server, are already in place by many businesses with worldwide operations who serve their users from various locations. Companies should consult their own technical, legal and policy personnel to find a solution that works best for them.

Finally, we do not host any Google Apps services, or your data, in mainland China. Moreover, Google employees in mainland China do not have access to any Apps systems or customer data.

We recognize that these issues are not unique to Google; many technology companies serving users in China face challenges in providing access to their services, and we don't see yesterday’s news changing how we serve you moving forward.

Feel free to contact us with any questions via our support channels. Thanks for reading.

Posted by the Google Apps team

Editor's note: Today’s guest blogger is Melvin Shaffer, VP of global infrastructure delivery and support at MWV, a $6.6 billion packaging company. In December, MWV announced it had gone Google. Mel is responsible for all aspects of infrastructure delivery including strategy, finance, service management, telecom, desktop, field services, and the infrastructure outsourcing relationship supporting mainframe, distributed, storage, messaging, and service desk.

Mel's experience spans 30 years in IT management and consulting across a range of industries including Fortune 50 pharmacy, healthcare, petroleum and telecommunications companies.

Join Mel and Wietze de Vries, Principal IT Architect at MWV, for a live webcast on Thursday, March 25, 2010 at 2:00 p.m. EDT / 11:00 a.m. PDT / 7:00 p.m. GMT. Mel and Wietze will talk about MWV's approach to moving 12,000 employees to Google Apps from multiple mail systems. Please note that registration will occur on a third party site.

MWV is 164 years old, and there were days when it showed. We had grown extensively through acquisitions, leaving us with 12 siloed email systems, including multiple instances of Microsoft® Exchange and Lotus Notes®/Domino® across the globe. We had to consolidate more than 10 email systems into one – a major undertaking.

From a technical standpoint, we saw that Google Apps would offer superior functionality, and would enable us to standardize globally and rapidly integrate new acquisitions. We checked out Google’s security capabilities in-depth – a major concern for us – and ended up satisfied. From a user standpoint, we conducted a pilot with 115 participants, 12 countries, and 40 functional groups. Ninety percent of them recommended Google.

For migration, we used a series of waves organized around one or more legacy email systems: sort of a mini “Big Bang” or a rolling thunder approach. Each time we did a go-live, we did not migrate email, we just changed user settings in Postini. We provisioned users a month in advance, letting them know how to sign on. We rebuilt fresh distribution lists and used a self-service tool to migrate personal contacts. We re-created calendar events with a fresh start.

To make sure we had mobile access covered, we piloted Google Apps with BlackBerry® devices, iPhones® and Android phones.

Communications, change management and training – including recruiting volunteers to be “Google Guides” were key throughout the process. From a technical standpoint, we can tell you about the more trouble-prone areas of our implementation such as how legacy systems can contain a log of stale email accounts.

If you want to learn about the benefits and best practices of legacy email migration, we have a lot of experience. We welcome the opportunity to share the lessons we learned in moving a major enterprise to Google Apps.

Please join us for this live event.

MWV on Consolidating 10 Email Systems Down to One: Google Apps
Thursday, March 25, 2010
2:00 p.m. EDT / 11:00 a.m. PDT / 6:00 p.m. GMT

Posted by Serena Satyasai, The Google Apps team

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



Join the Google Postini team on March 23, 2010 at 10:00 a.m. PDT for a live webinar addressing “Why Cloud-Based Security and Archiving Make Sense.” This interactive session will explore the growing requirements for email security and email archiving and the benefits and cost savings available when companies bring these services to the cloud. Learn about:

  • best-in-class practices, including results from recent research, presented by Michael Osterman, President of Osterman Research
  • Google's cloud-based enterprise IT solutions, presented by Adam Swidler, Senior Product Marketing Manager, Google

The discussion will include a live Q&A session open for audience participation.

Reserve your place at this event.

Why Cloud-Based Security and Archiving Make Sense

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

10:00 a.m. PDT / 1:00 p.m. EDT / GMT -07:00

For more information on Google Postini Services, please visit

Posted by Adam Swidler, Google Postini team

From building and improving search on, my fellow engineers and I have learned a lot about how people search and why factors such as stemming, spelling, and synonyms are so important, even in the context of our business tools.

One of our first and most important observations was that returning zero results for a search query is one of the fastest ways to frustrate visitors – and lose potential customers. Shoppers who have made it to your site and searched for a product or category have expressed clear interest in buying from you, and returning no results is akin to accidentally forgetting to turn around the "Closed" sign on your storefront door in the morning!

Fortunately, retailers do have tools available to avoid this pitfall: automatic stemming, spell-checker, and synonym dictionaries can help ensure that customers find related or similar products on your site, even if they don't type in the exact product name or description text.

Like, Google Commerce Search has always arrived "out of the box" with the best automatic stemming, spelling, and synonym technology available. Starting today, it's become even easier for retailers with unusual or distinct product catalogs to upload and manage custom synonym dictionaries.

Now retailers who choose to enable advanced synonym options can simply add sets of synonyms specific to their product lines and can also trigger search expansion, so that the query as typed automatically triggers results for synonymous products.

Google already has a large body of synonym data for general search terms, and since Google Commerce Search lets you harness many of the search features of, you shouldn't bother replicating the work. Instead, focus on adding synonyms for queries specific to your product line or online store.

It's easy for search engine administrators to add synonyms to their accounts. Simply log into the control panel and add or delete search terms you want to trigger the synonym expansion. Or, if you have a large number of terms to add, you can create an XML file and quickly upload that to your account.

We hope you'll join us on our quest to end unnecessary zero result queries!

Posted by Tianyu Wen, Software Engineer

Today we're making it a lot easier for customers of Microsoft Exchange to go Google with Apps. Google Apps Migration for Microsoft® Exchange is a new server-side tool that migrates your company's email, calendar and contact data from Microsoft Exchange to Google Apps. With the tool, migrations are:

Easy: set it up in just 4 steps
Efficient: select the combination of mail, calendar and contact data that you want to move, with the option of doing so in phases
Fast: migrate hundreds of users at the same time
Painless: employees can continue to use Microsoft Exchange during the migration without interruption or any involvement on their part

As Paul Lovett, Project Manager for the Google Apps project at New Zealand Post, described, "We are a very calendar-bound organization, so Google Apps Migration for Microsoft® Exchange was the missing link in our migration strategy, allowing us to perform a server-side migration of our calendar and contact data from Microsoft Exchange 2003. We moved our corporate executive team first which required spot-on accuracy and a quality product, and Google Apps Migration for Microsoft® Exchange met that high bar.”

The tool has been a boon to our Google Apps partners as well. Mayooran Rajan, CTO of Revevol Consulting, noted, "We work with companies with 100 to 20,000 employees. This tool will help us move our clients to Google Apps faster and more efficiently, helping us save them time and money."

Google Apps Migration for Microsoft® Exchange works with Microsoft Exchange 2003 and 2007, and both on-premise and hosted Exchange. It's available free to Google Apps Premier and Education Edition customers here. If you're considering the switch from Microsoft Exchange, you can find resources to help make your decision here.

Also, for those who have already gone Google by making the switch to Google Apps, you can share your experiences and spread the word at

Learn about Google Apps Migration for Microsoft® Exchange best practices and customer experiences:
Posted by Abhishek Bapna, Product Manager

Editor's note: Original links to registration page removed on 03/29/2010.

If your company runs a website, you already know the importance of search engine marketing and optimization. But are you confident that your website is providing the very best user experience possible? If you haven't added or improved your search function yet, you could be missing out on conversions, sales, and repeat visits.

Next week, we're hitting the road to help spread the message about Google Commerce Search and Google Site Search. Visit us at Search Engine Strategies New York, held March 22 to 26th at the Hilton New York. Stop by the Google booth (#1007) to ask questions and learn how to bring visitors to your site, optimize their experience, and convert them into loyal customers.

On Thursday, don't miss our lunch session on Increasing Conversions with Google Site Search Solutions. Nitin Mangtani, Senior Product Manager on Google Enterprise, will explain how improving your site's search engine – whether you run an e-commerce or any other type of site – is key to stretching your SEM dollars and converting each and every visitor.

We'll have a few fun Google schwag giveaways too, so we hope that you'll join us. All conference registrants are welcome and no additional sign-up is needed.

Hope to see you next week in the Big Apple!

Posted by Anna Bishop, Google Enterprise Search team

A few months back, we learned that Google Message Security, powered by Postini, was selected as a finalist in the 2010 SC Awards for outstanding achievement in IT security. Today, we are thrilled to announce that Google Message Security has received the Reader Trust Award for Best Managed Security Service.

At Google, we think about the user experience in all that we do, so we are especially honored to receive this award from the Reader Trust Voting Panel, which consists of security and technology experts from large, medium and small enterprises from all major vertical markets.

The Postini team would like to thank SC Magazine and the many readers who voted for Google Message Security. We'd also like to congratulate our fellow nominees and award-winners and acknowledge their contributions to the field of online security.

For more information on Google Message Security and the Postini suite of security and archiving products, please visit,

Posted by Gopal Shah, Google Postini team

Editor's note: Today’s guest blogger is Jason Hellman, Information Access and Search Practice Leader at Innovent Solutions, a Google Enterprise Partner that works with Google search and analytics technologies. For the past eleven years, Jason has implemented eCommerce search, Enterprise search, and Business Intelligence solutions at major Internet Retailer Top 100 and Fortune 500 companies.

When Google announced Google Commerce Search we were excited to learn about the technology and the business challenges it could help solve. The promise of Google's outstanding relevance being tailored to the unique needs of eCommerce search was an intriguing prospect and we wanted to be very involved.

Google Commerce Search delivers features such as parametric search, product promotions, and customization which extend the powerful backbone of their high-availability, highly-scalable infrastructure. All of this allows the eRetailer to focus on merchandising and quality of search instead of issues such as infrastructure and peak loads. It's exciting technology and very powerful.

One of the biggest challenges we typically face is the ability to provide a demonstration of technology that is tailored to the specific interests and culture of our clients. The issue is fairly simple: how do I build a compelling proof of concept quickly that will be received enthusiastically by my customer?

It’s a challenge in any situation, but it’s even more difficult for eCommerce search. Search results are interwoven within the site design, and customers often want to see how search technology will help improve their existing product thumbnails page. Creating a demonstration usually means rewiring a sample page with enough technology to demonstrate the desired features. Submission forms, pagination, browser history, and the various search features themselves must be hand-crafted. Simply put, it can be a tedious and time-consuming task.

To help commerce site managers and developers understand the capabilities of Google Commerce Search, and see the features that are often important, we developed a reference application using Google Web Toolkit (GWT). By including the GWT-generated JavaScript within a sample page, and adding a few "div" tags to surround elements to replace, it is possible to take a static HTML page and turn it into a robust AJAX application, deriving results from Google Commerce Search.

A few tweaks to a style sheet and the results will appear identical to the original source page. It's that simple: add some JavaScript, wrap some elements with "div" tags, and tinker with a few CSS settings.

We can then present the Google Commerce Search results as if they were within the client's site itself, fully functional with faceted navigation, promotions, and all the power of Google's searching relevance.

The story can end here, as we now have a functioning implementation of Google Commerce Search. But a proof of concept only tells a part of the story. The rest of the story is told by interweaving features throughout your site with promotional zones, merchandising options, and strategies to make the most of your data and your shopper's experience.

If you'd like check out our open source solution for Google Commerce Search, take a look at the demo page on our website and let us know what you think.

Jason Hellman
Information Access and Search Practice Leader, Innovent Solutions

Posted by Brent VerWeyst, Enterprise Search Partner Lead

This evening, we were joined by more than 50 participating companies to announce the launch of the Google Apps Marketplace, a new online storefront that enables millions of Google Apps administrators to discover and purchase integrated third party cloud applications and deploy them to their domains.

Adding an application from the Marketplace to your domain is simple - it only takes four clicks. Applications can then be easily managed from your domain's control panel and accessed by users through the same links as the Google Apps suite.

1) Click "Add it now"
2) Agree to the vendor's Terms of Service
3) Grant access to the data that the app is requesting (ome apps require data access, some don' only grant access to apps you trust)
4) Turn it on and start enjoying your increased productivity

Applications listed in the Google Apps Marketplace integrate with Google Apps using open protocols. These integrations improve the efficiency of your businesses by allowing users to share data and collaborate on projects as well as connect to users' daily workflows in apps like Gmail, Google Calendar and Google Contacts.

This integrated app experience is available in the Marketplace today for users of Google Apps Premier, Standard and Education Editions thanks to the efforts of folks like Intuit and Atlassian, and others who are committed to join, including NetSuite and Successfactors. We are honored to work with the more than 50 partners listed below:

The Google Apps Marketplace gives software vendors access to a rapidly growing Google Apps customer base of 25 million users from 2 million businesses and universities. By embracing open standards like OpenID and OAuth, and by giving software vendors freedom of choice for both billing arrangement and hosting platform, Google makes it easy to build apps for the Google Apps Marketplace.

For a lot more detail on what this means for developers and ISVs, check out our posts on the new Google Apps Developer Blog and the Google Code Blog.

We look forward to seeing the ways in which companies leverage the applications currently in the Google Apps Marketplace in addition to the apps to come in the future. In fact, we'll be exploring these topics further at Google I/O on May 19-20 in San Francisco. We hope you'll join us!

Posted by Scott McMullan, Google Apps Partner Lead, Google Enterprise team

The Google Developer team will be live streaming an important announcement about Google Apps this evening. Tune in on the Google Developers YouTube channel tonight at 6:00 p.m. PST to watch. Enjoy the show!

Posted by Chris Kelly, Google Apps Developer Marketing team

Last week, I sat down with Tim Horton, CEO of, to present a webinar entitled “How Discount Office Items Increased Revenue 6% by Switching to Google Commerce Search.”

I appreciate any chance to speak in-depth with Google customers and partners, but what I thought was most interesting about my conversation with Tim was a quick poll we ran midway through the presentation: When asked how satisfied they were with current search performance on their website stores, 82% of respondents said that they were neutral, unhappy or very unhappy with it. Only 10% of respondents were happy or very happy (note that about 8% of attendees don’t have search on their sites).

It’s exactly this discrepancy that spurred us to create Google Commerce Search last year. While the web as a whole is advancing at a staggering pace, online retailers are lagging behind in the overall quality and usability of their websites. As a recent Forrester study (see reference below) showed, 17% percent of frustrated consumers walk away from their online purchases, and 11% give up on shopping when unable to complete online research. Improving search - a key element on any website - can help bridge this gap and bring shoppers through the purchase cycle.

We hope you’ll join us next time to learn more about search and e-commerce, and in case you missed the webinar, you can catch the playback here.

Posted by Nitin Mangtani, Senior Product Manager, Enterprise Search team

"Web Sites That Don’t Support Customers’ Goals Waste Millions," Forrester Research, Inc., February 2010

Editors' note: Today’s guest blogger is David Rumberg, Partner and CIO of Sports Basement, a place where runners, swimmers, backpackers, fitness fans and triathletes can find great prices online on everything they need for their outdoor adventures. David has worked in retail for over 20 years. Before Sports Basement, David worked for The Men's Wearhouse, where he was an application analyst working on large projects like PeopleSoft and ecommerce.

Join David for a live webcast on Thursday, March 11, 2010 at 2:00 p.m. EST / 11:00 a.m. PST / 7:00 p.m. GMT. Please note that registration will occur on a third party site.

Sports Basement is a specialty retailer – and to keep our mid-sized company going, we need to access email and other collaboration solutions to work in real-time from various locations. Until recently, we were using on-premise Microsoft Exchange and Outlook.

It was easy to see that there was a lot of innovative, cool stuff happening in the industry – such as managing email from your iPhone. These were the kinds of things we wanted to enable, yet we thought these capabilities would be too expensive or complicated for us. Many of them were not possible using our existing on-premise solutions. Then we investigated Google Apps, and saw that we could equip everyone with email, access it from anywhere and work collaboratively in real-time from different locations – even on mobile devices. Plus, we could free up staff time to build an online community, increase website conversions with Google Analytics and share best practices.

We're just getting started with Google Apps, but we did one thing right away that's been very helpful: uploading all of our HR forms as templates so anyone knows where to access the most recent form, copy it, and fill it out online.

In comparing our options, we did a hard cost analysis, but, as always, it was difficult to come up with an apples-to-apples comparison. If we analyzed email alone, then Microsoft and Google would break even after several years. But then we factored in instant messaging, security, spam protection, and mobile email access for all our users. And we also saw that we could end the philosophy of scarcity, ending user rationing and inbox quotas and provide a single platform for communications and collaboration for all of our employees. After we started comparing options, Google was an easy choice and we haven't looked back.

As a mid-sized business, we are still finding new ways to take advantage of Google Apps, and seeing more potential every day. Even the ability to put our forms online has been a huge boon for our productivity.

More importantly, the Google option was a way to tap into Google’s rich pool of innovation – and, in the end, that’s what we wanted. I’d be happy to share what we have learned so far about what Google inventiveness means to our business. I can also speak about tips and tricks in migrating from Microsoft Exchange and the approach we took in doing so.

Please join me for this LIVE event:

Choosing Google Apps for innovation over Microsoft Exchange
Thursday, March 11, 2010
2:00 p.m. EST / 11:00 a.m. PST / 7:00 p.m. GMT

Posted by Serena Satyasai, The Google Apps team

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

​The future of productivity applications is in the cloud. We've always believed the web is the best platform for creating and sharing information, and Google Docs has already helped millions of people become more productive. But we recognize that many people are still accustomed to desktop software. So as we continue to improve Google Docs and Google Sites as rich collaboration tools, we’re also making it easier for people to transition to the cloud, and interoperate with desktop applications like Microsoft Office.

For example, we recently made it possible to use Google Docs to store and share any type of file that you have on your computer, not just the ones you create online. Today we’re excited to announce another step towards seamless interoperability: we have acquired DocVerse.

DocVerse is a small, nimble team of talented developers who share our vision, and they’ve enabled true collaboration right within Microsoft Office. With DocVerse, people can begin to experience some of the benefits of web-based collaboration using the traditional Microsoft Word, Excel and PowerPoint desktop applications.

A huge "welcome" to the DocVerse team and their customers! Current DocVerse users can keep using the product as usual, though we’ve suspended new sign-ups until we’re ready to share what's next. Stay tuned!

Posted by Jonathan Rochelle, Group Product Manager, Google Apps team

While feedback and revision are crucial steps to successful writing, it’s not always easy to do in practice. Keeping track of revisions, deciphering edits, and arranging reviews can keep us from repeating this editing cycle more often.

The collaborative nature of Google Apps can help evolve the writing process with easy sharing and anytime, anywhere collaboration. Add in built-in reference tools, autosave and revision history, and ready-made templates, and Google Docs – part of the Google Apps suite – becomes a powerful platform for writing.

We’ve developed our first Google Apps Topic Review to highlight some of these features and stories from teachers in the classroom, and we shared and revised this paper using the same principles of collaboration.

If you’re attending this year’s ASCD Conference (held from March 6-8 in San Antonio, Texas) we invite you to hear presentations from Google Certified Teachers, Google Apps Education Edition customers, and Google Apps Education team members about other ways Google Apps can help in the classroom. View our teaching theater schedule and stop by to visit us in Booth #626.

For more information about how to start using Google Apps Education Edition at your school, visit

Posted by Dana Nguyen, Google Apps Education team

Thousands of businesses and schools have been using Google Sites as a collaboration platform for teams, classes, or entire intranets.

In the past year, we've helped simplify the site creation process with site templates and let businesses create domain-specific gadgets with private gadgets. Gadgets are snippets of code that can embed rich media, pieces of web content, or Google Apps products like Docs or Calendars, directly into Google Sites. One request we've received from Google Apps administrators is the ability to manage the types of gadgets available to users in the gadget directory.

Available to Google Apps customers, we're releasing an update to the Feed Server Client Tool (FSCT) – the same developer tool that enables private gadgets – to allow administrators to set which gadgets appear in the Sites gadget directory. Using the FSCT, businesses and schools can choose to explicitly select relevant gadgets for their domain's directory or blacklist inappropriate gadgets.

To find out more about using FSCT to manage your domain's gadgets in Google Sites, read the Help Center Article.

Posted by Jeffrey Harris, Associate Product Manager, Google Apps

Will you be ready when disaster strikes? It's an uncomfortable question for many IT administrators, because answering it with confidence usually requires boatloads of money, immense complexity, and crossed fingers. Fortunately there's a better way.

Taking email as an example, consider a few of the ways that companies protect their data from disruption. Ideally a typical small business backs up its email. They have a mail server, and copy the data to tape at regular daily or weekly intervals. If something goes wrong, they go to the tapes to restore the data that was saved before their last backup. But the information created after their most recent backup is lost forever.

In larger businesses, companies will add a storage area network (SAN), which is a consolidated place for all storage. SANs are expensive, and even then, you're out of luck if your data center goes down. So the largest enterprises will build an entirely new data center somewhere else, with another set of identical mail servers, another SAN and more people to staff them.

But if, heaven forbid, disaster strikes both your data centers, you're toast (check out this customer's experience with a fire). So big companies will often build the second data center far away, in a different 'threat zone', which creates even more management headaches. Next they need to ensure the primary SAN talks to the backup SAN, so they have to implement robust bandwidth to handle terabytes of data flying back and forth without crippling their network. There are other backup options as well, but the story's the same: as redundancy increases, cost and complexity multiplies.

Google Apps customers don't need to worry about any of this for the data they create and store within Google Apps. They get best-in-class disaster recovery for free, no matter their size. Indeed, it's one of the many reasons why the City of Los Angeles decided to go Google.

How do you know if your disaster recovery solution is as strong as you need it to be? It's usually measured in two ways: RPO (Recovery Point Objective) and RTO (Recovery Time Objective). RPO is how much data you're willing to lose when things go wrong, and RTO is how long you're willing to go without service after a disaster.

For a large enterprise running SANs, the RTO and RPO targets are an hour or less: the more you pay, the lower the numbers. That can mean a large company spending the big bucks is willing to lose all the email sent to them for up to an hour after the system goes down, and go without access to email for an hour as well. Enterprises without SANs may be literally trucking tapes back and forth between data centers, so as you can imagine their RPOs and RTOs can stretch into days. As for small businesses, often they just have to start over.

For Google Apps customers, our RPO design target is zero, and our RTO design target is instant failover. We do this through live or synchronous replication: every action you take in Gmail is simultaneously replicated in two data centers at once, so that if one data center fails, we nearly instantly transfer your data over to the other one that's also been reflecting your actions.

Our goal is not to lose any data when it's transferred from one data center to another, and to transfer your data so quickly that you don't even know a data center experiences an interruption. Of course, no backup solution from us or anyone else is absolutely perfect, but we've invested a lot of effort to help make it second to none.

And it's not just to preserve your Gmail accounts. You get the same level of data replication for all the other major applications in the Apps suite: Google Calendar, Google Docs, and Google Sites.

Some companies have adopted synchronous replication as well, but it is even more expensive than everything else we've mentioned. To backup 25GB of data with synchronous replication a business may easily pay from $150 to $500+ in storage and maintenance costs- and that's per employee. That doesn't even include the cost of the applications. The exact price depends on a number of factors such as the number of times the data is replicated and the choice of service provider.

At the low end a company might tier the number of times they replicate data, and at the high end they'll make several copies of the data for everyone. We also replicate all the data multiple times, and the 25GB per employee for Gmail is backed up for free. Plus you get even more disk space for storage-intensive applications like Google Docs, Google Sites and Google Video for business. Other companies may offer cloud computing solutions as well, but don't assume they backup your data in more than one data center.

Here are a few of the reasons why we're able to offer you this level of service. First, we operate many large data centers simultaneously for millions of users, which helps reduce cost while increasing resiliency and redundancy. Second, we're not wasting money and resources by having a data center stand-by unused until something goes wrong – we can balance loads between data centers as needed.

Finally, we have very high speed connections between data centers, so that we can transfer data very quickly from one set of servers to another. This let us replicate large amounts of data simultaneously.

One of the most compelling advantages of cloud computing is its power to democratize technology. Whether it's a 25GB email inbox, Video for business, synchronous replication, or one of countless other advanced services, Google Apps gives companies of all sizes access to technology that until recently was available to only the largest enterprises. And it's available at a dramatically lower cost than the on-premises alternatives, without the usual hassles of upgrading, patching and maintaining the software.

No one likes preparing for worst-case scenarios. When you use Google Apps, you have one less critical thing to worry about.

Posted by Rajen Sheth, Senior Product Manager, Google Apps