Over the last few weeks, we launched some exciting new updates that make it even easier for business users to create and collaborate on to Google Sites, Google documents, and Google spreadsheets.
  • In Google documents, we launched a new revision history interface which lets you easily see what changes have been made to a document. Changes are color-coded based on each collaborator, so it’s clear who did what. You can click on a time stamp in the right column to see what changes were made at a given time, or use the arrow keys to quickly scan through many revisions. To learn more about revisions history, see the Google Docs blog.

  • We’ve also made it easier to anticipate the changes other real-time co-editors are about to make in Google documents. Text that another editor is selecting is highlighted, so you’ll know if someone may be about to delete or drag that block of text.

  • In addition we’ve recently added six new web fonts in Google documents: Droid Serif, Droid Sans, Calibri, Cambria, Corsiva, and Consolas. These web fonts are stored in the cloud rather than on your particular computer, so you aren’t limited to the set of common fonts that most people have installed on their computers.
  • In Google Spreadsheets, we’ve improved the import function with more options for your imported data. For example, when importing a .csv file, you can create a whole new spreadsheet, append data to the current sheet, add a new sheet to your existing spreadsheet or even replace your entire spreadsheet with the data you’re uploading. We also added a preview pane so you can see how the imported data will look in your spreadsheet.

  • Google spreadsheets also now has in-cell dropdown and data validation. This makes it easy to constrain the values of an individual cell to a specific range or list, reducing unnecessary typing and data entry errors. For example, if you are planning a business trip, you can limit the options in the travel destination column to only allow a certain set of city names.

  • You can create dropdown options in individual cells through the data validation tool, which lets you pull data from a range of cells in your sheet or by creating a custom list. For more information on data validation and in-cell dropdowns in Google spreadsheets, head to the Google Docs blog.

  • Lastly, Google spreadsheets now offers new printing options including selection printing, which lets you print a highlighted area in your spreadsheet, and the option to not print the cell gridlines if you want to save on ink.

  • Organizing your site’s hierarchy of pages is an important part of using Google Sites. To make it faster and easier to change the structure of your site, now you can drag and drop pages to change the hierarchy.

As with all updates in Google Apps, users get access to new features each time they open their browsers, and improvements roll out to customers with no need for administrators to manage patches or install software. Stay tuned for more updates to Google Docs and Google Sites.

Every day, tens of thousands of people switch from Microsoft Outlook® and other client-based software to Google Apps. To make the transition as smooth as possible, we thought we’d share some tips on using Gmail.

Embrace conversations
Emails rarely come just one at a time; they’re usually part of a larger exchange. Gmail helps you manage messages more efficiently by grouping related emails into conversations. Conversations are a collection of messages with the same subject line and other similarities. When you click to read a conversation, you'll see all of the back-and-forth email responses that happen over the course of the entire email conversation.

This makes it easier to follow the full context of a conversation, and keeps your inbox less cluttered and more organized. If you prefer a more traditional view of your Inbox, you can always turn off Conversation view so that all emails arrive individually.

Forget delete, and archive your way to “Inbox Zero”
The average corporate inbox is only 300MB, which means too many people are forced to spend way too much time managing their inbox -- deciding which email to keep, and deleting the rest. With 25GB of storage, you probably won’t ever need to delete an email again because of storage limitations. And if you thrive on clearing your inbox, simply archive your emails to clear the clutter. They’re still fully searchable in an instant!

Search to sort
You may be accustomed to sorting email to find saved messages, which is a pretty limited way to find information because you usually know what you’re looking for. Gmail uses the power of search to help you quickly find what you want. You can even use advanced search operators to search by sender, date, attachment or a variety of other attributes. Try it and you'll find some of the qualities that is known for: great accuracy and really fast search results. Search is particularly more effective than sorting when you’re looking through multiple gigabytes of email!

Labels instead of folders
While you won't find folders in Gmail, labels give you even more flexibility to organize your email. You can’t put an email into multiple folders, but you can apply multiple labels to the same message, which makes it easy to manage information that may fall into more than one category.

By clicking on a label, you can view a chronological list of all conversations that have been tagged with that label. And you can even organize labels hierarchically, using the “Nested Labels” lab. (Your administrator needs to have enabled Labs for you to access them.)

Work offline
These days you’re probably almost always connected to the Internet. But in those increasingly rare moments when you’re not, you can still access Gmail. When you’re offline, you can work in your browser to compose messages, search, organize mail, and do all of the things you're used to doing while accessing your email online. Any messages you send while offline will be placed in your outbox and automatically sent the next time Gmail detects a connection. To enable offline Gmail, go to the ‘offline’ tab in Settings, select ‘Enable’ and then save changes.

New features
As a web application, Gmail can be updated and improved without the trouble of purchasing, downloading and installing updates. This means Gmail will continually offer new functionality to help you be even more productive, like Priority Inbox, integrated voice and video chat, and labs such as Apps Search and Desktop Notifications. To stay current on new features, we encourage you to subscribe to our RSS feed for updates to the Google Apps suite.

We hope you enjoy the experience we offer -- we believe that ultimately, a fully-searchable, delete-nothing inbox makes for happy, productive people. But if you’re still not quite ready to use Gmail’s web interface, you can keep using Outlook or other clients of your choice. For more tips, check out our detailed transition documentation, and let us know what else we can do to make your move to Gmail easier in the comments below.

We didn’t build Gmail to work like all the other email options out there. We launched with a full gigabyte of storage per person (now 25 GB for business users), lightning fast search, labels instead of folders, and newer improvements like Priority Inbox to help you cope better with lots of information. While most Gmail users find that these features save lots of time, naturally there are people who want to keep using email in more familiar ways. That’s why we launched alternatives like Microsoft Outlook® synchronization, native BlackBerry® integration and IMAP support. More choice helps people move to the cloud more quickly.

Conversation view is perhaps Gmail’s most hotly debated feature. Threading enthusiasts say they spend less mental energy drawing connections between related messages and that their inboxes are much less cluttered. On the other hand, email traditionalists like many former Outlook users think conversation view just complicates something that has worked for years. Russ Midford, Senior Information Systems Engineer at Sanmina-SCI, sums it up well. “I personally prefer threaded conversations, but as an administrator who still needs to support some long-time Outlook users on Gmail, the unthreaded option is like gold.”

We really hoped everyone would learn to love conversation view, but we came to realize that it’s just not right for some people. So today we’re introducing another valuable choice. Users who prefer a traditional inbox can toggle off conversation view to see email as individual messages in chronological order. Some actions commonly associated with unthreaded email can be accomplished with searches in Gmail, so check out our tips on advanced search operators.

Over the next few days, we’ll be rolling out conversation view settings to users in organizations with the “Enable pre-release features” option selected in the Google Apps control panel, and to individuals using Gmail.

Whichever side of the debate you’re on, we hope we’re continuously making Gmail more useful to you. For more information about migrating from common legacy solutions to Google Apps, see our resource pages for Microsoft® Exchange and Lotus Notes®, or contact our sales team.

Join the Google Apps team for a demonstration of this feature, a recap of recent Gmail innovations, and tools to help your school or business switch to Google Apps:
Wednesday, October 6th, 2010
10 a.m. PDT / 1 p.m. EDT / 6 p.m. GMT
On-demand webinar

Earlier this year, we launched new editors for documents and spreadsheets on Google Docs, built on a code base designed to improve collaboration and take advantage of the latest advances in modern browsers. These applications support up to 50 simultaneous editors, and documents let you see other people’s changes character-by-character as they type.

This week we wanted to share a series of posts on the Google Docs blog that dive into the collaboration technology behind Google Docs. In the first post, we look at the challenges encountered when building a collaborative application. The second post describes how Google Docs uses an algorithm called operational transformation to merge edits in real time. Lastly, the we end the series with a deep dive into the collaboration protocol for sending changes between editors in a document. Together, these technologies create the character-by-character collaboration in Google Docs.

These improvements to Google Docs are designed to help businesses like yours move to the cloud faster and be more productive than ever before. If you've never tried our web-based documents, spreadsheets and presentations, you can instantly take a test drive at

We started the Google Apps Marketplace with the goal of helping businesses find even more value in the cloud. Universities and schools are also moving aggressively into cloud computing for both internal infrastructure applications and apps for students. We have seen excellent uptake by education edition users of a wide range of apps, including Aviary, Manymoon, SlideRocket, SurveyMonkey, TripIt, OffiSync, and Sherpatools, just to name a few.

In addition to the many apps that have been used to enhance learning experiences, we recently introduced the first education-focused app, Grockit, to the Marketplace. We are excited to see the demand for these types of apps grow and we hope to build on the momentum created by apps that have been helping schools move to the cloud. Here are just a few examples of how Marketplace apps are currently being used in the classroom:
SlideRocket - Platform for creating, managing, sharing and measuring presentations
“You can see the impact [of cloud-based learning] in a research project some students did with the Glacier National Park in Montana. Students started by gathering their data through “building tools” such as Google Docs. Then students used that cloud-based data to collaborate with peers inside of SlideRocket, building a coherent presentation from scattered sets of data. Finally, they used Google Earth to embed the SlideRocket presentation into a place marker within the park, giving everyone access to their work. With this advancement in edtech, students across the school can discover various geo-referenced SlideRocket presentations as they virtually fly around the globe, learning and providing feedback… teachers are constantly wow’ed by the new capabilities…”
- John Kuglin, Senior Tech Consultant & Former Associate Dean, Univ of Montana 
Manymoon - Team collaboration and project management application
“At Le Moyne College... class assignments, relevant media, documents, student discussions and papers are all posted on Manymoon... All e-mails, documents, links etc are in one place and easy to find... which saves lots of time for me and my students. Manymoon and Google Apps are useful for connecting my students with others in the wider community. This semester, for instance, my Le Moyne College students are using Manymoon to work with college and high school students on a Juvenile Justice Experiential Education collaboration which involves more than 200 students from local universities and high schools. This is made possible by Manymoon and the suite of Google Apps.”
-Jim Dessauer, Adjunct Associate Professor in Sociology at Le Moyne College

The introduction of Grockit is our most recent step to help schools and universities discover and deploy relevant applications from our Marketplace. Grockit is a social learning platform for students in K-12 and for college entrance exams. They were eager to join the Marketplace because of the 8 million students that currently use Google Apps. Through Grockit integrations with Apps, students can now easily access their Grockit account through the universal navigation bar, sync training sessions with Google Calendar and store critical documents in Google Docs.

"The response from School Administrators has been outstanding. Each day we are contacted by a new school that is thrilled Google has begun adding educational apps to the marketplace and they have access to Grockit’s learning platform through it. They are already asking how they can make Grockit available to their students beyond this school year. We are stoked that educators see the additional value they provide their students when they are able to combine the benefits of Google and Grockit together."
-Farb Nivi, Founder and CEO of Grockit

We are constantly seeking to bring applications that our customers want to the Marketplace, so help us out by suggesting apps you think would be good for the Marketplace. In the meantime, check out the Google Apps Marketplace and get your head in the cloud:
AviaryManymoonSlideRocketSurveyMonkeyTripItOffiSync, and Sherpatools

Posted by Harrison Shih, Google Apps Marketplace Team

Google Message Security, powered by Postini, is a leader in cloud-based email security and we are honored that it has recently been recognized with several significant awards:

Google Message Security (GMS) was was selected as the Gold award-winner of the “Messaging Security Products” category by the readers of Information Security magazine and is featured in the September issue.

GMS also recently won the Top Provider award in the “Security as a Service” category of the recent 2010 Nemertes Pilot House Awards. GMS scored the highest of all vendors in every category including “Technology, Customer Service and Value.”
In addition, GMS was the top-rated product across all 12 categories that were evaluated, earning GMS the 2010 PilotHouse Admiral Award.

At Google, we focus intensely on the user experience, so we are especially proud to receive these awards that are voted on by security and technology experts who are Google Message Security users.

Thanks go to Information Security magazine, Nemertes Research and especially to the many users 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 Adam Swidler, Google Postini team

Google Apps is designed to provide a secure and reliable platform for your data. Until today, Google Apps administrators had to sign requests for calls to Google Apps APIs using their username and password (this is called ClientLogin Authorization).

Yet sharing passwords across sites can pose security risks. Furthering our commitment to make the cloud more secure for our users, today we are pleased to announce support for OAuth authorization on Google Apps APIs.

There are several advantages to using OAuth instead of the username/password model:
  • OAuth is more secure: OAuth tokens can be scoped and set to expire by a certain date, making them more secure than using the ClientLogin mechanism.
  • OAuth is customizable: Using OAuth, you can create tokens that scripts may only use to access data of a particular scope when calling Google Apps APIs. For instance, a token set to call the Email Migration API would not be able to use your login credentials to access the Google Apps Provisioning API.
  • OAuth is an open standard: OAuth is an open source standard, making it a familiar choice for developers to work with.
The Google Apps APIs that support the OAuth signing mechanism are:

1. Provisioning API
2. Email Migration API
3. Admin Settings API
4. Calendar Resource API
5. Email Settings API
6. Audit API

OAuth support for Google Apps APIs is another step towards making Google Apps the most secure, reliable cloud based computing environment for organizations. To learn more about OAuth support and other administrative capacities launched in Google Apps this quarter, join us for a live webinar on Wednesday, September 29th at 9am PT / 12pm EST / 5pm GMT.

Administrators for Google Apps Premier, Education, and Government Editions can use OAuth authorization for Google Apps APIs starting today.For more information about the OAuth standard, visit

Editor’s note: Over the past couple months, thousands of businesses have added their Gone Google story to our community map and even more have used the Go Google cloud calculator to test drive life in the cloud. To highlight some of these companies’ Gone Google stories, we decided to talk to Google Apps customers across the United States. Check back each week to see which state we visit next. To learn more about other organizations that have gone Google and share your story, visit our community map.

“It’s always a good day to ‘gofer’ ice cream,” according to Jay Ragusa, President of Gofer Ice Cream. Jay has opened five stores throughout Connecticut that provide high quality ice cream and unique treats such as razzles, smoothies, hand dipped ice cream, and soft serve ice cream with a flavor twist. Jay relies on Google Apps to keep his business running, and today he shares how it has helped him and his staff work more efficiently.

“Between our online accounting software and the use of Google Apps, which has become an integral part of our daily operations, we are gradually putting the entire company in the cloud.

Google Sites, part of the Google Apps suite, is used to create specific pages on our external website ( so we can easily edit content without the use of a webmaster. Internally, we built multiple intranet sites including the Gofer Network where store managers and franchisees communicate, organize, and operate their part of the company. The Gofer Crew Portal is a site designed for the staff to access information such as contact numbers, store schedules and the internal Gofer Blog, and submit time card exceptions.

We rely heavily on Google Docs to update manuals, recipes, and employee schedules all of which are posted on the Gofer Network for store managers to access and share with employees at each store. For financial reporting, we created custom Google forms to efficiently collect data on point-of-sale purchases every night — store managers input their sales numbers into the form and everything is automatically populated in my spreadsheets. The forms are a great way to get the data quickly without having to expose sensitive revenue information across all the stores.

Whenever possible, we’re developing business processes around the functionality in Google Apps. It’s low cost and we get the security of knowing that Google is backing up our data. I’m looking forward to finding more ways that Google Apps can improve how we work.”

Did you know that a user spends an average of just eight seconds on a website before deciding whether to stick around (Marketing Sherpa)? If you’re an e-commerce site, this means you have to be faster than Usain Bolt - the world record-holder for the 100m dash.

Next week, find out how Google can help you capitalize on those eight seconds and improve your online shopping experience. Visit the Google Commerce Search team at’s Annual Summit, held in Dallas, Texas from September 27 - 29.

If your organization plans to attend the show, be sure to visit Google in Booth #120 and attend the Big Ideas session Wednesday at 12:45 PM featuring Nitin Mangtani of Google Enterprise, who will be speaking about search insights for today’s e-commerce technology.

The Google Commerce Search team will be joined by Product Search, AdWords, and the Google Affiliate Network. We can’t wait to show you the many different ways we can help your business.

Enterprise Holdings is the largest rental car company in North America and operates Alamo Rent A Car, Enterprise Rent-A-Car and National Car Rental. They manage over 1.1 million cars, 68,000 employees and 7,600 locations around the world. When Enterprise Holdings wanted to add more security to their corporate e-mail, they chose Google Postini Services.

Join us for a free webinar on September 28, where Michael Preuss, Manager of Windows Engineering for Enterprise Holdings, will discuss why his company chose a cloud-based message security solution and how Postini’s powerful spam filtering technology was able to help them address their email security challenges. Adam Swidler, Senior Manager with Google Enterprise, will also provide an overview of Google’s security solutions and facilitate a deep-dive discussion into best-in-class practices for organizations interested in enterprise-grade protection.

A live Q & A session will follow. We hope you can join us!

Message Security in the Cloud
Tuesday, September 28th, 2010
10 a.m. PDT / 1 p.m. EDT / 6 p.m. GMT
Register here

Posted by Adrian Soghoian, Google Postini Services team

Editors note: As part of our Going Google Everywhere series, today's guest blogger is Mark Steward, IT Director at Baird & Warner. Learn more about other organizations that have gone Google on our community map.

Family owned and operated since 1855, Baird & Warner is 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.

Having been in business for as long as we have, our company has gone through a lot of disruptive changes, not just dramatic market shifts like the current downturn, but also the emergence of new technologies. Over the years we’ve shifted from desktop phones to mobile phones, and more recently, from on-premise IT solutions to the Web as a platform. In IT, we are constantly reevaluating which tools will best support our Realtors® in the field, and administrative staff back at our headquarters in Chicago.

Earlier this year we began looking at how we could improve our e-mail and messaging system. Because of the nature of our business, the majority of our employees are highly mobile and independent. These 1,600 agents operate as islands, and depend on mobile devices to do their work from any location. To support them, we had been using a Microsoft Exchange alternative called Kerio that uses the Outlook client and provides a Webmail product, but we began to see performance issues and maintaining the infrastructure was becoming increasingly costly.

We began to look at alternatives. We needed a messaging solution that could grow with us for the long-term and that would work well for all employees, but we were also were feeling cautious because of the economy. We didn't want to take a huge risk. Since I've been a Gmail user since it was in beta, I had been keeping my eye on Google Apps and how its enterprise offerings have grown.

My positive experience with Gmail helped me to narrow our choices down to Google Apps and Hosted Exchange. After running a cost comparison, the choice became pretty clear. Since Google Apps takes care of maintenance and software updates, the value proposition for a company of our size is pretty substantial. We chose Apps for its capabilities, but the fact that we saved a substantial amount of money over Microsoft Exchange was a nice bonus.

To help us make the transition, we brought in Cloud Sherpas, a Google authorized reseller since 2008. Cloud Sherpas provides a full suite of migration, deployment, and training services for Google Apps, which made it much easier for us to get up and running. The company also offers tools through the Google Apps Marketplace that help IT administrators better manage Google Apps.

Clouds Sherpas did all the setup and configuration of Google Apps and trained us on how to migrate our old mail, contacts and calendar data. After we learned the processes, we migrated the rest of the company. They also provided train-the-trainer services and webinar training for our remote offices. This was critical for us because some users had never used web-based email, so transitioning them to a new way of working took extra time but was critical for our success. Cloud Sherpas provided specialized training for Outlook users, and gave a step-by-step process for learning to do the same tasks in Gmail.

We initially deployed Gmail, Calendar and Chat. We currently have a small team reviewing our existing intranet and determining how we can migrate it to Google Sites and Google Docs in the future. For now, however, we are already seeing a host of benefits just from migrating our messaging system.

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. Previously, we were using IMAP to enable mobile e-mail. Unfortunately, it wasn't real time, which is critical in our business. Now, our agents in the field get real-time push email and access to their entire mailbox from their mobile devices.

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. The new tools have eliminated their number-one problem, which was wasting time managing a small inbox. Whereas before they only had 100 MB of space, with Gmail, they get up to 25 GB of storage. There's really no need to ever clean out your inbox now. 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. Because if they're happy, we're happy.

Wentworth Property Management Corp is a large property management company made up of over 40 offices specializing in security, rental and homeowner’s insurance, concierge, cleaning and real estate services. Keeping all those offices and people connected and maintaining all of their Exchange servers became very difficult and very expensive. Wentworth needed an easier -- and less costly -- way for its employees to stay connected and to continue to scale as company continues to grow. The answer? Google Apps, which has already proven an invaluable tool for helping geographically distributed teams more easily coordinate their efforts.

Join this live TechRepublic webcast, featuring Wentworth CIO Manu Jaggi, to learn exactly why Wentworth chose Google Apps and what it’s meant for the organization:

* Discover the most common criteria for comparing and evaluating Google Apps against alternative solutions such as Microsoft Exchange
* Hear how Wentworth uses the full range of Google Apps to more effectively communicate and collaborate across many geographically distributed offices
* See how eliminating inefficiencies and and focusing on innovation, not IT server maintenance can save money and improve an organization’s productivity

Tomorrow, Tuesday, September 21, 2010 at 2:00 p.m. EDT / 11:00 a.m. PDT / 6:00 p.m. GMT.

Cloud computing is about making your information easily accessible from anywhere, on any device. Until today, organizations looking to secure their information beyond a password have faced costs and complexities that prevented many of them from using stronger security technologies. Today we are changing that with the introduction of a more secure sign-in capability for Google Apps accounts that significantly increases the security of the cloud: Two-step verification. For the first time, we’re making it possible for organizations large and small to use this technology in just a few clicks for free. In the coming months, we’ll also be offering this same security to our hundreds of millions of individual Google users.

Two-step verification is easy to set up, manage and use. When enabled by an administrator, it requires two means of identification to sign in to a Google Apps account, something you know: a password, and something you have: a mobile phone. It doesn’t require any special tokens or devices. After entering your password, a verification code is sent to your mobile phone via SMS, voice calls, or generated on an application you can install on your Android, BlackBerry or iPhone device. This makes it much more likely that you’re the only one accessing your data: even if someone has stolen your password, they'll need more than that to access your account. You can also indicate when you're using a computer you trust and don't want to be asked for a verification code from that machine in the future.

Two-step verification is built on an open standard designed to allow integration with other vendors’ authentication technologies in the future. We are also open sourcing our mobile authentication app so that companies can customize it as they see fit.

Two-step verification continues Google’s stream of security innovation.
In early 2009, we added the ability to view password strength and set minimum password length requirements for Google Apps accounts. Later in the year we were the first to provide HTTPS encryption to millions of users, and in 2010 Google Apps was the first cloud messaging and collaboration service to gain US government security certification.

Administrators for Google Apps Premier, Education, and Government Editions can activate Two-step verification from the English version of the Admin Control Panel now, and Standard Edition customers will be able to access it in the months ahead. Once enabled by their administrator, end users can set it up in the Accounts tab in Gmail settings.

Editor’s note: Over the past couple months, thousands of businesses have added their Gone Google story to our community map and even more have used the Go Google cloud calculator to test drive life in the cloud. To highlight some of these companies’ Gone Google stories, we decided to talk to Google Apps customers across the United States. To learn more about other organizations that have gone Google and share your story, visit our community map.

Based in Minnesota, Brian Short is a Registered Nurse, as well as the Founder and CEO of, one of the largest online nursing communities with more than 430,000 members. Brian started the website as a hobby in 1995 when he was attending nursing school. He’d search online for relevant nursing information without success — it was easier to find websites on planting trees or feeding babies than reliable sources on clinical nursing.

So what started out as a website with a few links spawned into an online community and central hub of nursing information. The website now includes blogs, articles, and discussion forums across all specialities, with more than nine million global page views a month and 2,500 new posts submitted by members every day. To support this growth, Brian shares how he’s using Google Apps to remove location barriers and increase process efficiencies.

“I started out with my own internal email servers which were clunky and hard to manage. I was also dissatisfied with the accompanying email client. It would take forever to search, find, and organize all my email, and I was constantly deleting emails to avoid slowing down my machine. When I learned about Google Apps it was an easy decision to switch. I love the concept of cloud computing and being able to access all my applications through a browser.

Now, I've been using Google Apps for several years and it has helped the company tremendously. There are over 30 staff members scattered throughout the US and internationally. Google Apps allows us to communicate with ease by using instant messaging, email, shared calendars, and online documents.

I’ve also used Google forms to support marketing initiatives that increase awareness of In one of the print ads, I included a URL that leads to a landing page with a form embedded in it. Educators can use the form to request pens for their nursing students. It’s a good way to engage with my audience and scale a manual process.

Not only is Google Apps a great financial decision for us, but it has helped increase our efficiency and productivity more than any other product we've used. I love how Google is always improving and upgrading its applications by listening and implementing user feedback.”

Posted by Michelle Lisowski, Google Apps team

Editor’s note: We’ve invited Brent Hoag, Vice President and Chief Information Officer, of Diversey to tell readers about their recent recognition as one of InformationWeek’s most innovative users of business technology. Diversey, formerly JohnsonDiversey, is headquartered in Sturtevant, Wisconsin. With sales in more than 175 countries, Diversey is a leading global provider of commercial cleaning, sanitation and hygiene solutions, serving customers in the building management, lodging, food service, retail, health care, and food and beverage sectors. Diversey, Inc. is committed to a cleaner, healthier future. Its products, systems and expertise make food, drink and facilities safer and more hygienic for consumers and for building occupants.

This week, InformationWeek announced its annual listing of the nation’s 500 most innovative users of business technology. We’re proud to report that Diversey was recognized as being among the top 10 U.S. manufacturers for its innovative and environmentally efficient cloud computing strategy – the foundation of which is Google Apps. The use of Google Apps for email, collaboration and calendar helped Diversey reduce its carbon dioxide emissions by 73 metric tons or the equivalent of taking roughly 15 passenger vehicles off the road.

In just one day, the company migrated 14,000 accounts to Google Apps in more than 60 countries and 18 languages. Since implementation in May 2009, employees have changed the way they communicate with other employees and customers. Google Apps’ cloud-based e-mail, calendars, documents and sites have improved the quality, consistency and effectiveness of communication and allows for business continuity in the event of a disaster.

The company’s migration to cloud computing was the result of a corporate-wide commitment to find more sustainable and efficient ways of doing business. Diversey’s cloud-based technology platforms allow for a collaborative working environment and helps maintain business continuity. It also reduced the company’s carbon footprint by eliminating up to 10 company servers and by decreasing the need for business travel and the purchase of redundant hardware and software.

Diversey’s commitment to sustainable IT is another example of our environmental leadership and our passion for finding new ways to reduce the environmental impact of our operations globally. In Google, we’ve found a good partner in the sustainability movement, and look forward to continuing to meet and exceed our sustainability and innovation goals together.

Ahold, an international food retailing group based in the Netherlands, that operates leading supermarket companies in Europe and the United States, including Albert Heijn, Albert / Hypernova, Stop & Shop, Giant Food and Giant Food Stores has gone Google. Ahold has over 2,900 stores around the world with a local presence in the communities they serve.

Ahold made the decision to move to Google Apps to provide its global workers with a single web-based platform for communication and collaboration, replacing Ahold’s existing email domains and systems in Europe and the US. Ahold chose Google Apps for its 25 GB of storage per account, integrated IM (Google Talk) and a series of additional features that facilitate communication, including video based communication tools, automatic translation and shared calendars.

The global deployment of Google Apps will bring a number of benefits to Ahold employees, among them:
  • Consolidation and standardization to a single mail system and global address book
  • Improved productivity through the use of efficient e-mail and instant messenger tools, as well as powerful personal and shared calendars
  • Training support with new video based communication tools, including video IM
  • Improved collaboration within and between operating companies and functions
  • Improved international communication with features such as automatic Message Translate, allowing users to translate e-mails from and into different languages with one click of the mouse or real-time translation in Google Talk.

  • Posted:
    (Cross-posted on the Google Mobile Blog)

    With the rapid adoption of Internet-enabled mobile devices, employees increasingly seek access to their email, documents, and other corporate data from their mobile phones. In addition, employees are bringing their personal smartphones to work or carry multiple devices creating new challenges for IT administrators.

    Join me next week for a live webinar where we will share our vision of enabling mobile workers with easy access to information anywhere, anytime. You’ll also learn about the various mobile applications and recent innovations. We’ll also highlight support for Google Apps on mobile devices and also discuss the various tools that are available for IT administrators to manage Google Mobile products for businesses.

    Register to attend the live webinar on 9/23 @ 10am PST / 1pm EST / 5 pm GMT. We hope to see you there.

    This week the Google Enterprise team is excited to be participating in the Information Systems Security Association’s (ISSA) International Conference in Atlanta, GA from September 15-17. The ISSA is a not-for-profit, international professional organization of information security professionals and practitioners. It promotes management practices that will ensure the confidentiality, integrity and availability of information resources. This year more than 500 IT and security professionals will gather under this year’s theme of “Connect and Collaborate”.

    Eran Feigenbaum, Director Security for Google Enterprise wil be delivering a keynote presentation entitled “A New Security Model in the Cloud” on Thursday, September 16th, at 12:40 PM.

    If you'll be at the conference, please join us for Eran’s session. If you’re not going to be at the conference, you can find more information on the security and privacy of data in Google Apps.

    As part of a new series, “Gaining Altitude,” we’ve invited well-known productivity experts and thought leaders to provide their perspectives on managing information overload and tips for success in a world where real-time communication and overflowing inboxes have become the norm.

    This week we've invited Douglas Merrill to give his perspectives on productivity in the cloud. Dr. Douglas C. Merrill is the author of “Getting Organized in the Google Era: How to Get Stuff Out of Your Head, Find It When You Need It, and Get It Done Right”, a book on personal and workplace organization. Douglas is also the Founder & CEO of ZestCash - a financial services technology company committed to serving the underbanked - and was previously CIO and VP of Engineering at Google. Prior to Google, Douglas spent time at Charles Schwab, Price Waterhouse, and RAND Corporation. He has a Ph.D. in Psychology from Princeton.

    We are drowning in new information. For example, during the time it's taken you to read this far, people around the world have sent enough email to fill about 10,000 hardcover books.

    However, the main barrier to getting organized is nestled between your ears: your brain. It weighs about three pounds -- roughly the same size as a roasting chicken. Your brain is amazing. You can recognize a person's face when you can only see their nose. Pretty cool, yes?

    But your brain has limitations. You can't consciously remember more than about 9 items. To remember more items, you need to stick them into long-term memory and tag them with cues that you will use later to find the information. When you need the information you've learned, you "ask" your long-term memory by looking for information with matching tags.

    But it's hard to predict what you will need a bit of information in the future. If you can't predict its use, it's hard to tag the information as you store it.

    This is why filing doesn't work well. You mark a manila folder with a couple of words when you store it. However, since you can't be sure what you will use the information for, you don't know which words are best.

    This is why many of us have drawers full of manila folders, all totally unused. We didn't mark them with the right tags, and so they aren’t stored where we actually need them to be. The same is true with email folders -- generally, people stick email in folders and never see them again.

    Given how much information we face, and how much help our brains need to store it all, we need tools to help us. Enter Gmail. When you use Gmail, you leave your email in your Inbox and use search to find it. Instead of trying to guess what you'll need the email for later, so you can tag the email correctly, you just ask Google to find it for you.

    Even though you search for your email, it still helps to tag them to improve your searches. Gmail will do some tagging automatically -- as in when it recognizes mails that seem important to you and puts them in your Priority Inbox.

    Additionally, you could consider building your own filters to tag your mail. Unlike manila folders, with only a word or two as tags, Gmail can tag each mail with several labels, making it more likely you can find and use the email when you need it.

    At the core, organization is being able to store and use information later. After all, the only reason you care about being organized is because it makes you more effective at what you are going to do tomorrow.

    The combination of search and email labels let you do what your brain does well -- understanding -- and helps you do what your brain struggles with -- remembering.

    Six months ago, the Google Apps Marketplace was born, and we’re excited to celebrate its growth in this short time. Today, more than 4 million Google Apps users have Marketplace apps installed on their domain. In addition, there are now more than 200 integrated apps available to Google Apps users, covering customer relationship management, accounting, finance, project management, and more. Almost every week, third-party applications are joining the Apps Marketplace to address an expanding range of business needs.

    This App Tuesday, we’re celebrating our half birthday by launching 12 new apps to the Marketplace. If you are an Apps domain admin, you can extend your Google Apps functionality with just a few easy clicks. All of these installable apps offer single sign-on, so your users can start using them conveniently right from the universal navigation bar in Google Apps. In addition, many applications have implemented deeper integrations with Google Apps, such as Calendar sync or Gmail contextual gadgets, which present relevant information from third-party apps in-line within a Gmail message. Try out these apps and join the other 4 million Apps Marketplace users:

    • Grockit - Social Learning Platform for Students
      A social platform for learning that provides students with collaborative, real-time study rooms and relevant coursework to achieve various educational goals.
      Integrations: Single sign-on, Google Calendar sync, Google Docs
    • Elance - Talent Acquisition and Management
      An employment platform that offers talent-hungry companies instant access to qualified online workers and the tools to hire, evaluate, and compensate them.
      Integrations: Single sign-on
    • ERPLY - Enterprise Resource Planning
      An ERP software that helps you easily manage your points of sale (POS), inventory, relationships and billing by providing real time information.
      Integrations: Single sign-on, Google Calendar
    • Insync - Document Management
      A dropbox for Google Apps that bi-directionally syncs Google Docs to Finder and Explorer, allowing a user to work seamlessly across a desktop and browser.
      Intergrations: Single sign-on, Google Docs sync, Google Contacts
    • Rainmaker - Social CRM
      A tool to supercharge your contacts by searching a user’s social networks to auto-populate critical information and merging it right into Google Contacts.
      Integrations: Single sign-on, Google Contact Sync
    • Pipeline Deals - Customer Management
      A CRM tool to help manage your sales pipeline by overseeing deal flow, tracking leads, and running reports. Current PipelineDeals users manage a combined sales pipeline of $60 billion.
      Integrations: Single sign-on, Google Calendar Sync, Google Contacts Sync
    • Idea2 - Customer Management
      A CRM tool that organizes data according to employees’ usage patterns and makes critical data available to them in the most relevant locations.
      Integrations: Single sign-on, Gmail, Google Calendar
    • Kashoo - Accounting and Finance
      Accounting software that creates and sends invoices, manages expenses, reconciles bank statements, tracks cash flow, and generates financial reports.
      Integrations: Single sign-on, Google Docs, Google Calendar, Gmail
    • SimplifyThis - Productivity
      A tool to help employees book appointments, manage billing, and track clients through a fluid interface with Google Apps.
      Integrations: Single sign-on, Google Calendar
    • OffiServ - Productivity
      An application that supports administrative processes by automating various functions, such as purchase order approval, vacation management, and resource distribution.
      Integrations: Single sign-on
    • Mindquilt - Productivity
      An internal question and answer platform for companies to help streamline the process of employee inquiries and knowledge distribution.
      Integrations: Single sign-on, Gmail, Google Talk
    • RecMan - Security and Compliance
      A tool that provides transparent records management and compliance features, centralized document access control, and retention, legal holds and disposition policy management.
      Integrations: Single sign-on, Google Docs, Gmail

    Check out our Apps Marketplace to explore one of these new apps or the other over 200 existing 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, Google Apps Marketplace Team

    Editor's note: From time to time, Google likes to highlight partners and customers who have developed interesting and unique applications using our products. Peter Rossiter is a founder and CEO of Integeo, a company whose product leverages Google Maps API Premier. With over thirty years experience in the IT industry, Peter has led many innovative commercial ventures and research projects.

    Location-based services have quickly become pervasive in our everyday lives and maps are now widely used as a convenient and useful visual tool to present data in ways that people can easily relate to.

    Business Intelligence (BI) covers a collection of techniques and tools that support an organization’s decision making process. The advent of Google Maps familiarized people with the concept of data points on a map and progressively more and more BI customers are expecting fully integrated maps and spatial analytics with their tools of choice. Seeing data in the context of its location often exposes information previously hidden in the raw data.

    But a tool is only useful if it’s usable. You need to focus on solving your business problems not technology. Avoiding the need for specialist programming resources is a good start followed by ensuring the BI skills of a dashboard or report designer are sufficient even if the underlying spatial analysis is quite complex.

    Google Maps API Premier is a solid platform for presenting a rich background context of street and satellite data for analysis of business data. The Google API also enables us to dynamically geocode address data and users can zoom to particular areas of interest using our enhanced Google Search facility.

    There is a lot more to visualizing data on maps than just plotting points and icons. Integeo’s Map Intelligence comes out of the box with an extensible, easy to use palette of spatial analytical functions. These enable clear and immediate perception of data relationships, groupings, classifications, patterns, trends and variations that stand out when mapped. A summary of the features of Map Intelligence can be found on our website.

    At the click of a button, the analytics currently being viewed by a user can be interactively viewed on Google Earth. The dynamic map layers are generated by Map Intelligence from the “facts and dimensions” in the dashboard or spreadsheet, offering the choice to either use KML (KMZ including images, legend, etc.) or a network link that will update from the Map Intelligence server whenever the user changes their Google Earth view. All the information and data relationship layers are dynamically available so that as filters are applied in the BI environment they are automatically applied to the view in Google Earth.

    Please visit if you would like to learn more about Integeo and see why Map Intelligence is the only BI product to rank top 10 among purpose built GIS solutions (Ovum Research 2009). We offer integrated mapping analytics incorporating Google Maps API Premier as an “off the shelf” solution for users of all the major BI platforms - currently these include (but are not restricted to) BI products from Cognos (IBM), Business Objects (SAP), Oracle, MicroStrategy, QlikView, Actuate, BIRT, Microsoft Excel and SQL Reporting Services.

    Posted By Natasha Wyatt, Google Earth and Maps Team

    Editor’s note: Over the past couple months, thousands of businesses have added their Gone Google story to our community map and even more have used the Go Google cloud calculator to test drive life in the cloud. To highlight some of these companies’ Gone Google stories, we decided to talk to Google Apps customers across the United States. Check back each week to see which state we visit next. To learn more about other organizations that have gone Google and share your story, visit our community map.

    As the former VP of Technology at a major financial services firm, Ray Malone has spent most of his career focused on business intelligence, data warehousing, and development of web-based applications. So, when his wife, Tina Malone, decided to start a new business out of their home in West Virginia, Ray naturally helped her pick out the technology that best suited her needs.

    Today, with Ray’s help, Tina is running, a successful marketing business that provides companies with text message marketing, print advertising, and the ability to offer online coupons. The technology that powers the company is an important part of its success, and Ray shares with us how Google Apps and Google App Engine play a pivotal role.

    “In 2008, my wife Tina came up with the idea for, but there was a catch – she expected me to set up our IT infrastructure with little to no money. I had been using Gmail and almost every other Google product for a long time so it was an easy decision to use Google to build the business. Now, our entire operation runs using both Google Apps and Google App Engine, and the combination of performance and scalability has been awesome.

    We use Google Apps for everything from emailing to creating online documents and spreadsheets. I recently used a Google spreadsheet to create a financial calculator showing advertisers how much they could potentially make with our firm – I shared the spreadsheet with a prospective advertiser and walked him through it over the phone. We were both able to tweak specific inputs on the spreadsheet and see the results in real-time. It was a powerful way to communicate without having to be in the same room.

    I’m constantly using Gmail and Google Calendar, and access them extensively from my Android-powered device. Both allow me to coordinate with our sales reps and contractors. Some of our contractors are located internationally so the Talk feature, integrated in Gmail, has been the primary communication channel.

    With Google App Engine, I’ve built our entire web application. Python was a new language for us, but within a few months we were building dynamic content and connecting to vendor systems. Here’s an example of how it works – when a consumer sends us a text message requesting a coupon, we connect to the vendor’s system through an API (this is the vendor that is providing the coupon), and the right coupon is dynamically generated and sent back. If this is the second time the consumer has contacted us, a different coupon or message is sent back. All of the logic, and the ability to generate and send coupons is built with Google App Engine.

    I’ve developed many systems over the years and used other well-known email clients, and this type of performance can’t be beat. You can do everything better with Google Apps.”

    Cross-posted from the Gmail blog

    It’s been a week since we launched Priority Inbox, and now that you've hopefully had a chance to try it out, we wanted to share some tips to help you manage your email more efficiently. Here are five ways you can make Priority Inbox work even better for you.

    1. Customize your sections
    By default, Priority Inbox has three sections: "Important and Unread," "Starred" and "Everything Else.” But that doesn't mean you have to leave them that way. You can make a section show messages from a particular label (like your “Action” or “To-do” label), add a fourth section, or change the maximum size of any section. Visit the Priority Inbox tab under Settings to customize your sections, or do it right from the inline menus.

    2. Train the system
    If Gmail makes a mistake, you can help it learn to better categorize your messages. Select the misclassified message, then use the importance buttons at the top of your inbox to correctly mark it as important or not important.

    For those of you who can't live without keyboard shortcuts, don’t worry, you can use the "+" and "-" keys to adjust importance as well.

    3. See the best of your filtered messages

    You can set up Priority Inbox to show you not just the best of your inbox, but also the best of messages you filter out of your inbox and might otherwise miss. Just change your Priority Inbox settings to “Override filters” and Gmail will surface any important messages that would otherwise skip your inbox.

    With this option turned on, you can use filters to archive more aggressively and worry less about missing an important message.

    4. Use filters to guarantee certain messages get marked important (or not)
    If you read and reply to a lot of messages from your mom, Gmail should automatically put incoming messages from her in the “Important and unread” section. But if you want to be 100% sure that all messages from your mom (or your boss, boyfriend, client, landlord, etc.) are marked important, you can create a filter for messages from that sender and select “Always mark as important.” Similarly, if you regularly read messages from your favorite magazine, they should automatically get marked as important. If you’d rather they end up in the “Everything else” section, you can create a filter to never mark them as important.

    5. Archive unimportant messages quickly
    One of the features that can help make you more efficient is the ability to archive all of the visible messages in the "Everything Else" section at once. Just click on the down arrow next to "Everything Else" and select the "Archive all visible items" option. If you want to be able to archive even more messages at once, you can increase the maximum number of messages that show in that section from the same drop-down.

    Back in May we shared details about a big change so Google Apps accounts can start accessing dozens of Google services beyond the core suite of messaging and collaboration apps. This change will let users access many new services such as Blogger, Reader, Google Voice and calling-in-Gmail (US only), Picasa Web Albums, AdWords and iGoogle from their Google Apps accounts. This big improvement addresses 9 of the top 20 requests from customers in one fell swoop, so we’re thrilled that the new infrastructure is now open for early adopters! After accounts are transitioned to the new infrastructure, these customers will be able to tap into much more innovation happening all across Google, helping people be even more productive with a broader range of tools in the cloud.

    Why just for “early adopters” you ask? We’re still working on a few important features, but after extensive testing we’ve found that what’s ready today is already tremendously valuable to many Standard, Premier and Education Edition customers. Here’s the functionality that early adopters won’t see before the new infrastructure is feature-complete:
    • Administrators do not yet have the ability to turn off access to any of these additional services as they can today for applications in the core suite.
    • A few applications are not compatible with the new infrastructure at this time including Google Health, PowerMeter, YouTube, Web History, Buzz and Profiles.
    You should also be aware of two other details not specific to early adopters: support limitations and “conflicting accounts”. Additional applications beyond the core suite are not covered by Google Enterprise support or the 99.9% uptime guarantee. However, many services have self-service online help resources, and a subset (such as AdWords) offer enhanced support options. Finally, a small fraction of Google Apps users have created personal Google Accounts based on their organization’s Google Apps email addresses. Users in this situation will need to rename these “conflicting accounts” during the transition process, and we’ll help these users make the necessary changes.

    So...if you understand the limitations and would like to transition users to the new infrastructure, sign in to the control panel. If you use the control panel in English and meet our other early adopter eligibility criteria, you’ll start seeing a notification in your dashboard in the next few days where you can get started. You can begin with a handful of pilot users, and then transition your whole organization once you’ve had a chance to kick the tires.

    If any of the current limitations are problematic for you, or if your organization isn’t eligible yet, hang tight and keep an eye out here for the next phase of our roll-out. We’re excited to help you move to the new infrastructure too, and we’ll be ready for you soon! For more information, please explore our Help Center documentation for administrators and for end-users.