Who puts in a 9-5 day anymore? Or works on their own? The demands on our time are multiplying, information is increasing exponentially, and there are still only 24 hours in a day. So when you go to work, you don’t want to step back 15 years and use outdated tools that slow you down.

With Google Apps we want to free you from the weight of technology and help you work smarter. We want to help you better manage your time, find new ways to discover and share knowledge within your business, and collaborate with others more effectively.

We’re pursuing those goals by focusing on three areas: cloud, mobile and social. As 2011 draws to a close, we thought we’d share a few thoughts on our plans for each in the year ahead.

Cloud: The movement of computing to the web is inevitable and will only accelerate in 2012 as many large businesses join Fortune 500 companies like Guardian Life, MeadWestvaco, and Sanmina-SCI in the cloud. We also expect that 2012 will be a huge year in the cloud for small businesses, which represent 99.7 percent of all U.S. employers, yet only 10% of SMBs have deployed cloud technologies.

Our computing experience is designed for today’s world and built with entirely modern technologies far more powerful than the PC -- from apps to browser to OS to device -- to benefit businesses of all sizes. Our 100% web focus lets us innovate faster while delivering best-in-class reliability, security and support. In 2011 alone, we added more than 175 new features to Google Apps, while still delivering 99.99% reliability in Gmail.

Going forward, we’ll further integrate the products in the Apps suite to make the experience more seamless, and we’ll accelerate our efforts to make them even faster and more responsive. Our cloud services are another important area of investment, and they will make it easier for you to build scalable web apps and draw trends from huge amounts of data to make better informed decisions. More than 400,000 active applications already run on App Engine, an increase of more than 70% in the last year alone.

Mobile: Increasing numbers of employees are bringing personal devices to work, and there’s no such thing as a one-size-fits-all enterprise mobile plan. Forrester Research predicts that in 2012 more than 77% of organizations will support Android and iOS devices.* Looking at our own customers, more than 90% of Google Apps for Business users have deployed or are interested in using Android devices in their organization, and for good reason; Android version 4.0, called Ice Cream Sandwich, includes powerful enterprise features such as on-device encryption, VPN and Global Address List (GAL) support.

Managing all of these new devices can be very costly. But the cloud democratizes expensive enterprise software, making it affordable and easy to use for businesses of all sizes. We’ve integrated web-based mobile device management capabilities into Google Apps and recently introduced new features to help you grapple with growing mobile demands.

The best thing about mobile devices is fast and intuitive applications. Our ‘mobile-first’ strategy means our apps will work first and best across different mobile platforms and allow you to be productive from anywhere. Last year we improved our Gmail mobile web app, brought a Gmail app to iOS, introduced a Docs app for Android phones and tablets, and there’s more to come. We’ll continue to invest heavily in mobile and soon you’ll see the products you love work even better on your smartphones and tablets. Beyond our own apps, we foresee many developers increasing their focus on building mobile apps for businesses.

Social: We’ve made strong progress in bringing some of the best consumer technology to business in areas like email, documents, video and mobile devices. But there’s been a glaring exception: social. This despite the fact that businesses are inherently about people and relationships, and the web is ideally suited to groups collaborating together.

That’s changing in a big way. Over the last year we added features like rich discussions in Docs, and made Google+ available to Apps customers. Google+ is our effort to center our products around the hundreds of millions of people who use them every day. It promises reshape all of the services we offer. It’s already changing the way people share knowledge in companies like Journal Communications, which is using Hangouts to train employees on new software.

Our efforts will focus on two areas in the year ahead. First, on continuing the blistering pace of innovation that is bringing multiple improvements to Google+ every week, while also wrapping Google+ with the controls needed for broader use in large enterprises. Just last week we rolled out a number of improvements that make it even easier to connect to your colleagues, customers and business partners face-to-face-to-face via Hangouts and there’s much more to come. Second, on bringing Google+ to the rest of our products: incorporating features that make it easier to connect, share, and integrate with the wider world. The Google+ integrations with Gmail and contacts are one small example of our work to create a seamless and intuitive experience across Google.

Cloud, mobile, social. Fast, lightweight applications that makes it easier to work with others from anywhere. Those are the areas driving our investments for 2012, and transforming the way we work. Join us at

* Forrester Research, How to Connect your Mobile Workforce to Cloud-Based Email, December 12, 2011, by Christopher Voce and Christian Kane with Doug Washburn, Ted Schadler, and Lindsey Kempton


Editors note: Today our guest blogger is the Chief of Police, Dan Doyle, from Lake Havasu City in Arizona. Lake Havasu P.D. has 120 employees and they switched to Google Apps in May, 2011.

Lake Havasu City in Arizona is known to be the home of the historic London Bridge. Our Police Department is dedicated to making our community a safe and secure place to live and work. We are constantly looking for technologies that can help us provide the highest quality of services to the citizens.

Our police department had been using Microsoft Office for decades. Since most of our officers are primarily on the road in their patrol vehicles, accessing documents and information while they were away from their desks had long been a struggle. Many staff members would only be able to check email before they started a shift or after they returned to the office. Even though they were able to remotely connect to the data server via a mobile browser, they were only able to access straight text, not links or the rest of the Intranet.

These challenges prompted us to look for a solution that could meet the needs of our mobile task-force. After comparing available solutions on the market, the decision was made to adopt Google Apps for Government with the help of Google partner SADA Systems. Our officers are pleased. They respond to emails from the computers in their patrol vehicles or on their smart phones. In-person meetings are largely reduced as we are now able to exchange information much more efficiently.

Our operations Captain Joe Fiumara, having worked graveyard shifts himself, realized one of the unique challenges of police work is that officers are out on patrol 24/7 but detectives and the command staff work regular hours. Using Google Sites, Joe built an internal community site called “Water Cooler” that allows all officers to easily post questions and make comments via mobile devices even when they are out on duty. We’re proud that Joe has been recognized by Google as a Government Transformer for his ingenuity improving communication and collaboration in our department. We also use Google Sites for publishing training and policy documents, significantly reducing our paper consumption.

One of the most popular questions I received after our decision to migrate to Google was about the security of Google Apps. What I tell folks is that just because police departments tend to have good physical security, it doesn’t always mean we also have good network security. By moving our data to the Google cloud, we are able to take advantage of the FISMA certified security infrastructure that Google has built, which we have found to be more robust than the systems most mid to small agencies with limited resources (including our own department) are able to build on their own.

Our organization has a goal of increasing our mobility, enhancing communication, and reducing our use of paper. Google Apps meets our needs and moves us much closer to achieving our goals. Not only is our data more secure, but better access to information helps us keep the citizens of Lake Havasu more secure as well.


Editors note: Today’s guest blogger is Scott Lawson, director of IT architecture for QAD, a 1,300-employee company that delivers supply chain collaboration software to 5,500 manufacturers in 93 countries. QAD turned to the Google Search Appliance (GSA) to enable employees and customers to search across multiple databases and content repositories such as Lotus Notes.

At QAD, we span 30 different locations around the world, from the corporate office in California to operations in South Africa and Thailand. We pride ourselves on the quality of support we deliver to thousands of manufacturers in 27 languages. We offer more than 50 product modules that are installed in building blocks to support different rules, industry regulations, and manufacturing styles of various countries.

QAD must provide complex, detailed product information to customers, customer service representatives as well as other employees within the organization. We offer a secure extranet where customers can find information such as white papers, data sheets, support ticket status, and technical updates. As an additional resource, our public-facing Internet site provides everything from case studies to product demonstration videos and access to an online support center.

Historically, internal and external users found it challenging to find the right product and service information. Data is stored in many different repositories: Lotus Notes, an enterprise content management and collaboration system, knowledge bases, file shares, QAD’s own customer service and support system, and internal websites. Our content sources had grown organically and were somewhat disorganized, and we had millions of documents that needed to be indexed.

We were using an Autonomy search system for our intranet and public facing site, but it was not meeting user expectations for usability and search relevancy. Autonomy was also time-consuming and expensive to maintain.

In 2010, our employees began working with Google Apps, and wanted Google’s signature ease-of-use and power for search as well. We decided to evaluate the Google Search Appliance (GSA) and consider abandoning the Autonomy solution. The GSA can connect legacy enterprise systems and provide advanced security and multiple language support—all-important priorities for our business.

We worked with Google partner Perficient to develop a search roadmap, proof of concept, and ultimately a streamlined implementation. The GSA was simple to deploy and has been easy to maintain because the appliance features a one-stop administrative interface for configuration and index controls.

For QAD, costs related to search are down, search relevancy is up, and IT is doing less maintenance work. Customer service representatives and customers can locate details about products and services with ease.

Users are able to search through a massive, rich content library housed in many different repositories, all from a single search box. With the GSA, we are linking communities of employees and customers together with content into a cohesive experience. It has made us even more of a unified global company.


Editors note: Today’s guest blogger is Lance Trebesch, CEO of Ticket River, an event e-commerce company with 5 business units in the U.S., Australia and the United Kingdom. They offer services and products including online event management, ticket printing and design and customer-configured perforated paper. A PDF version of their case study is also available.

At Ticket River, we’ve helped customers set-up, manage and promote over 300,000 events. We’re based in Harlowton, Montana, but our customer support and software development teams are distributed across North America and Argentina and we have fulfillment partners in Australia and the U.K.

We developed and built all of our systems to be used in the cloud. All of our internal management systems, order processing and order-management systems are web-based and hosted by a provider. The one major exception was email. We were using Microsoft® Exchange but we were becoming increasingly constrained and frustrated with it. It’s expensive for a small business like ours, and it required a lot of IT resources to support.

We looked into Google Apps and were impressed by its capabilities and minimal training requirements. As a small business working with an extended team in six countries on three continents, Google Apps enables us be much more efficient with our communications and projects.

Google Apps has allowed us to streamline our software development, a process that extends across time zones and continents. Gmail gives our employees easy access to email on their Androids and iPhones, letting them stay on top of important issues wherever they are. This fast, easy, mobile access to Gmail allows us to run extended, remote teams with very little IT support.

Gmail capabilities such as message threading and integrated chat allowed us to improve our customer support process. This led to a 38% reduction in the average number of responses needed to resolve a customer issue, and an increase in single-response resolutions. The impact on IT support costs is equally dramatic. By taking Exchange out of the equation, as well as making our processes more efficient, we decreased our IT operating budget by about 28%.

Our relationship with Google extends well beyond Google Apps. Ticket River and our sibling site use Google AdWords as part of our inbound marketing model and we are heavily search engine optimized. We see Google as a huge enabler of startups and small businesses. Harlowton is a rural town of only 1000 people, yet Google's products are helping us build a thriving international business that provides great jobs.


Today, we’re thrilled to announce that the Utah State Board of Education has decided to begin offering support for Google Apps for Education to K-12 schools and districts across the state. The decision has the full support of the Utah Technology Coordinators Council (TCC), a group of IT professionals from Utah’s 42 school districts and other organizations that regularly advises the State Office of Education and Utah public schools on technology issues.

“The Utah State Board of Education and I are pleased to have worked out terms with Google to allow our Utah students and teachers to take advantage of Google Apps for Education,” said State Superintendent of Public Instruction Larry K. Shumway. “Google Apps for Education will allow greater collaboration between students, teachers, parents and schools to advance academic achievement.” Under the agreement, over 575,000 students and 25,000 teachers statewide will have access to Google Apps.

To support educators transitioning to Google Apps, the Utah Education Network will provide professional development to any school across the state that would like to receive training on Google Apps. In addition, the Southwest Educational Development Center and Washington County School District have offered to provide technical support to schools.

Charlie Roberts, the Technology & Media Director for 27,000 students at Washington County School District, estimates that his school district has saved more than $100,000 from switching to Google Apps. Beyond cost savings, teachers across the district are also using Google Apps to interact with students and parents in new way -- relying on Google Calendar to schedule parent teacher conferences, creating Google Forms for student elections, and setting up class websites using Google Sites.

Roberts has also added a few labs of Chromebooks. "It is a very exciting prospect because we anticipate little or no increase in overall support even though we will be adding hundreds of devices,” he said. “As students move to the Chromebooks, use of other hardware and client based software will be reduced or eliminated entirely, which will cause a reduction of the necessary support."

Utah joins eight other states with statewide support for Google Apps for Education: Colorado, Iowa, Maryland, Missouri, New York, Oregon, Rhode Island, and Wisconsin. In addition to Washington County, many other districts within Utah are already using Google Apps, including Alpine, Nebo and Davis school districts.

To learn more about the agreement, join representatives from Google and the Utah State Board of Education for a webinar on Monday, January 9, at 10:00am PT/11:00am MT.

Posted by Steve Arentzoff, VP of Marketing, VigLink

Editor’s note: Today’s guest blogger is Steve Arentzoff, VP of Marketing at VigLink. VigLink helps site owners monetize their online content by tagging outbound links so publishers get paid when readers make purchases. New links are also weaved into content by recognizing when web page content references products and merchants. See what other organizations that have gone Google have to say.

From the beginning, we understood the value of cloud computing for a small business. Two years ago our founder, a former Microsoft employee, chose to start VigLink with Google Apps. He felt this was an easy decision for two key reasons: first, Google Apps was built from the ground up to be a cloud solution with real-time, multi-user features; second, our business is running about 75% Apple computers and 25% PCs, so we needed a solution that would support both platforms equally. With Google Apps, we didn’t have to download any new software or buy new hardware. The tools just worked through the power of the web, no matter what devices we were using.

Google Apps was not only cost-effective for a startup, but it also equipped us with the tools we needed to communicate and work together, no matter where we were. We have nineteen employees and offices in both San Francisco and Indiana, and with Google Apps, we’re able to connect all our employees and seamlessly communicate despite the distance between us.

We use Gmail and Google Docs heavily in our business, and we also take advantage of embedded chat and other collaboration features that make it easy for us to work together. My marketing team uses Google Docs pretty extensively, especially when working on new articles and press releases. VigLink is a startup, so there are no regular hours. Google Apps provides us with a great way for people to interact at two in the morning during the nighttime marathons. Our employees also enjoy the advantages of some of the other cool features that come with Google Apps. They make their calls through Google Voice and receive voicemail transcripts in their inboxes, which are easy to read and easy to search. VigLink’s mission is to help site owners around the world monetize their online content, and Google Apps has been a key tool to our success.

Posted by

Today we announced changes to the data that powers Google Maps API Premier, Google Earth Builder and Google Earth Pro in the UK, Germany, Sweden and Finland.

Among other improvements, the updated maps will show more detailed bodies of water and local parks and will ultimately provide better, more accurate geospatial information for your employees and customers. As Google Maps and Google Earth for Business customers, you can now share direct feedback about our maps and let us know about needed updates to the map in these areas by using the "Report a Problem" tool in the lower right corner of the map. We highly recommend that you re-geocode all of your data to take advantage of the new updated data.


Editors note: Scott Hintz, Gregg Brockway and Andy Denmark founded TripIt in 2006 to simplify the Internet travel experience by bringing together travel plans from multiple online sources into a single, centralized itinerary, and allow travelers to manage and share their travel plans. See what other organizations that have gone Google have to say.

We launched TripIt with about 10 people back in 2007. We now employ about 50 and were acquired by Concur at the beginning of the year. It took all of one minute to decide that Google Apps provided the best tools for our growing team. As a Silicon Valley startup, our employees are very familiar with Gmail and we could count on them getting up to speed quickly without any IT training programs.

We attribute a lot of our internal business success to Google’s communication tools. Google Docs has become our primary collaboration tool and makes it easy for those outside our domain to work in tandem with internal employees. We rely on Google Docs for project planning and a lot of our accounting process. Before our acquisition, we used external bookkeepers to manage our accounting, do invoicing, etc. So we created Google spreadsheets where TripIt folks could enter invoice amounts and our accountants could access the doc and issue invoices based on our entries, then add confirmation information. Because Google documents are always up to date, TripIt employees could always track the status of invoices.

Plus, having a Google Docs link removes the email clutter that results from attachments, while allowing us the certainty that we’re all looking at the most recent version of the information. Before Google Docs, project prioritization was done using Microsoft Excel, which mandated a master owner and often resulted in outdated files. I can’t tell you how many times we were in meetings with people who were looking at different versions of the same spreadsheet.

Now we know the most recent versions of all our docs and the rest of our data are automatically saved in the cloud and accessible anywhere with an Internet connection. With hard drives, too many bad things can happen to your valuable files, especially as much as we travel. Mobile Gmail works great—it’s fast and easy—and we rely quite heavily on email and shared calendars while on the road. As a travel company, the mobile capabilities have become indispensable.

We’ve moved our offices three times in just four years. Because we’re now a cloud-based organization, it’s wonderful not having to lug around hardware and servers, and the fact that we never have to worry about interrupting critical email service is huge.

As a company that believes in the power of technology to simplify things, Google Apps is the perfect fit for us.


(Cross-posted from the Official Google Blog and the Official Gmail Blog.)

We want to bring you a great experience across all Google products which, for Gmail and Contacts, means understanding what you care about and delivering it instantly. With that in mind, we’re introducing some new integrations with Google+ that we think will make Gmail and Contacts even better. If you use Google+, you can now grow your circles, filter emails and contacts by circles, keep all your contact information up-to-date automatically and share photos to Google+, all right from Gmail and Contacts.

Grow your circles from your email
Now when you open an email from someone on Google+, you can see the most recent post they’ve shared with you on the right-hand side of the conversation. If they’re not in your circles yet, it’s easy to add them straight from Gmail.

Find information from the people you care about most
Looking for the info on an upcoming family holiday gathering but can't remember who sent it? If you've spent time building your Google+ circles, you can now quickly use them to filter your mail, saving yourself from having to sift through that pile of daily deal emails and newsletters. You can see messages from all of your circles at once or from each individual circle. And if you want, you can show circle names on emails in your inbox. Contacts can also be filtered by circles, making it easier to view your social connections.

Keep your contact information up-to-date automatically
Manually entering contact information can be a huge time drain—so let your circles do it for you. If your contacts have a Google profile, their contact entry in Gmail will be updated with the profile information they’ve shared with you, including phone numbers, email addresses and more. If they change it in the future, you’ll get those updates automatically. You can also make sure the people you care about have your most up-to-date contact information by updating your own Google profile and sharing it.

Share effortlessly without leaving your inbox
Lots of great images are sent through email, but sharing those photos with friends on Google+ used to require downloading the image from Gmail and re-uploading to your profile. Not anymore: Now you can share photo attachments with one quick click. The image(s) will be uploaded to your Google+ photos and be viewable only to the circles that you choose to share with.

We’ll be rolling out all of these changes out over the next few days to Gmail, Gmail Contacts and the “standalone” version of Google Contacts at Please note that Google Apps users won’t see the Contacts updates quite yet, but we’re actively working to make them available.

All of these features (and the more to come) are the result of the great discussion that we had on Google+ with users in July. If you want to join in discussions like these, add the Gmail Google+ page to your circles. And if you haven't signed up for Google+ and would like to try these new features, visit this page to get started.


(Cross posted from the Official Google Blog.)

Last month 350 CIOs and thousands of live stream viewers joined us for Atmosphere 2011, our annual cloud event. Leading companies from around the world came to explore how businesses are using the web to drive collaboration, innovation and growth in their organizations. In case you missed them, the keynotes are now available on our YouTube channel. You can watch the entire conference in order on the Atmosphere playlist.

This year’s speakers included a best-selling author, award-winning computer scientists, Google executives and product managers, and several Google Apps customers including Flint Waters, CIO of the state of Wyoming, Bryson Koehler, SVP of Global Revenue and Guest Technology at IHG, Michael O’Brien, CIO of Journal Communications and Christine Atkins, VP of Group IT at Ahold.

One of the highlights was listening to Christine Atkins talk about Ahold’s experience moving 55,000 users to Google Apps and how, in her words, “Google Apps is helping us deliver on the promise that we've all been seeking: that of strong collaboration platforms that help our company come together and work together.” You can watch Christine’s presentation here:


Editor's note: In business since 1945, Ebby Halliday is one of the largest independent residential real estate companies in the U.S. with over 1,600 sales agents. Ebby herself, at 100 years old, is still very involved in the business and a well-known figure in the Dallas area. Ebby Halliday joins other real estate businesses like Baird & Warner and Gibson Sotheby’s International Realty in going Google. See what other organizations that have gone Google have to say.

As we approached our seventh decade of doing business, we needed to modernize our technology infrastructure to provide better communication and collaboration tools for our employees and sales agents.

Before Google Apps, we had an outdated, in-house email system, a continuing battle with spam, and a distributed base of real estate agents with no effective way to collaborate. Each user was allotted 1GB of email storage and email service was provided by a lone Unix server, a single point of failure that crashed every couple of weeks, frustrating agents. The web-based interface was slow, an ongoing source of complaints. Spammers, having tricked users into divulging passwords, would occasionally use the server to send spam, resulting in our email domain being temporarily blacklisted. Mobile functionality was sub-par in an industry that demands anytime-anywhere access.

Among the options, Google Apps was the best choice based on cost, simplicity, and functionality. With help from Google Apps partner Cima Solutions Group, we migrated email from the in-house server, trained 1,600 users, and got everyone operational within serveral months.

Being cloud-based, Google Apps is accessible from anywhere with Internet connectivity. Our agents can access their email, calendar, and contacts whether they’re at an open house, home or the office. That kind of access is key in a business where communication is essential.

Outages are no longer a worry and with each user having 25GB of storage, running out of space is a thing of the past. Spammers no longer bother us. However, the biggest benefit we've seen is the speed and functionality of Google Apps. Using Google Docs to compose a document, for example, is just as fast as using other word processors, and much simpler. Plus, the document is automatically saved every few seconds. We can continue working on the document at home, a coffee shop, or a field office. Little things like these add up to increased productivity and on the go access that's critical in this industry. Google Apps is the perfect suite of apps for the real estate industry. At Ebby Halliday we see this first-hand every day.


(Cross-posted on the Google Nonprofits Blog.)

Editors note: Today’s guest blogger is Mark Gillingham, Vice President of The Great Books Foundation, a nonprofit educational organization whose mission is to promote reading, thinking, and the sharing of ideas for people of all ages. The Foundation's 60 employees have been using Google Apps for over two years.

For the past 60 years, the Foundation has helped millions of students and adults make the reading and discussion of literature a lifelong source of enjoyment, personal growth, and social engagement.

We offer courses for teachers in person and online. The Foundation also publishes books, anthologies, and materials for all ages to provide quality texts to discuss.

We have a history of using free and open-source applications on our desktop computers and servers that are more flexible and powerful than the paid applications we had been using. Once we learned that Google Apps was available at no cost for nonprofits under 3,000 users, I gathered our IT planning committee to plan how to migrate 60 users from our existing system.

We had been using an onsite email system for years because it was part of our file system. Although we upgraded the system every two years, it never seemed up-to-date. We had issues reading certain types of documents and viewing images and web sites. Using the system away from the office caused problems because we needed special applications, which varied by operating system. The calendar was not compatible with our mobile devices and the document repository was difficult to manage. As a result, most staff did not utilize the IT solutions we were offering.

We planned our deployment with a local developer Rachel Baker, whom we met through NTEN (Nonprofit Technology Network). She helped us understand what was required for a successful deployment and guided us through the process. We also used the Google Apps Marketplace to find a Google Apps reseller, Cloud Sherpas, whose specific migration knowledge and software helped us move all of our data.

At launch in 2009, our staff was thrilled to finally use a modern email program with highly reduced spam. Years later, some of us have still not gotten over this giddy feeling. More teams are using Google Docs to share internal and external documents. Google Calendar is the official way we schedule our meeting rooms.

Now in 2011, we're excited to try out Google+ in our organization to find new ways to collaborate. We are considering using Google+ to provide technical support for our employees. Also, we think our remote workers could use Google+ as an easy way to communicate with their peers and home base while travelling.

Part of my job is seeing the future so I can help direct the Foundation toward technology that will work for them. Google is always improving its products and launching new features. I love it when I can show someone the next new thing. It makes them smile, which makes me smile too.

If you are a U.S. 501c3 nonprofit interested in using Google Apps, please apply for our Google for Nonprofits program. If accepted into the program, you can receive up to 3,000 users for free, or a 40% Business discount on more than 3,000 users.

Non US-based organizations can sign up for a free Google Apps account with 10 users, or you are welcome to purchase Google Apps for Business.

To help you setup Google Apps quickly, Google provides many deployment resources, plus a simple in-product Setup Wizard.


I’m proud to announce that my alma mater, the U.S. Coast Guard Academy, is the first service academy to move to Google Apps. Founded in the late 1800’s, the Academy is one of the oldest federal service academies. Its small campus on the banks of the Thames River, flanked by Connecticut College and the Groton Submarine Navy Base, is home to 1,100 students — called “cadets.” The Academy trains these bright young people, more than a third of whom are women, for positions of leadership in the Coast Guard.

Last January, all of the cadets migrated to Google Apps. The cadets have been really pleased with the new tools they use for email, coursework, collaboration with other cadets on a range of projects and even video chat with their families and friends.

The Academy started piloting Google Apps in early 2010 with 100 staff members from various departments. That spring, a faulty electrical transformer on campus knocked out power to the Academy for well over a week. Worse, it was the week of commencement, and they were quite literally powerless to do anything about it. The Academy had a catastrophic loss of email during that span when the on-premise email servers reached capacity. The only people who didn’t lose any email was the pilot group on Google Apps.

Between academics, military training and extracurricular activities, the life of a cadet can be pretty demanding. These “mobile warriors” are always on the go and need to access their email, class work and other information whether they’re on or off campus. Google Apps has helped the Academy meet the cadets’ needs for mobility.

The cadets are also using these tools to improve collaboration on team projects. One group of four cadets created a Google Site for their capstone project designing a mini gas turbine engine. They could simultaneously edit spreadsheets, use video chat to share ideas, and even work together with students and professors from other universities to gather input. The cadets are a driving force of change across the campus. Today, nearly half the faculty and staff have converted to Google Apps and that number continues to climb.

As a former cadet, I congratulate the Academy on this milestone. I could not be more pleased that the work we do at Google is helping current cadets.


Around the world, public servants are advancing the way government operates: building more transparent systems, bringing down costs and improving services. They’re doing this with ideas, technology, and passion for their work. When they see problems, they find solutions. They work together to build, fix, create. They imagine how things could be different. They transform their agency, their community, their country.

With Google Apps for Government, we’re pleased to provide some of the tools that help these “Government Transformers.” We are happy to recognize three of these transformers today:

Joe Fiumara, Lake Havasu Police Department, Arizona
Joe realized that officers are out on patrol 24x7 while supervisors and commanders work more regular business hours, making two-way communication a challenge. Joe used Google Sites to build a virtual “Watercooler” that lets officers ask questions, share information and generate ideas. Patrol officers now communicate directly with command, which fosters transparency and openness, even when they’re out on patrol.

Jason Kirkland, City of Lewisville, Texas
Playing golf or pool with Jason can be annoying since after every shot he tries to figure out a better strategy. When Jason realized city employees didn’t have easy access to the mounds of geospatial data the city of Lewisville had, he started thinking about ways to put it all to better use. The result: a layered map of Lewisville that uses Google Spreadsheets and Google Maps to let anyone find local schools, trash pick up days and other useful city information.

Jillian Ballow, State of Wyoming
Upon joining the Governor’s office, Jillian realized that the Governor’s staff lacked easy access to the most current data on a number of important policy issues. She used Google Apps to create a single site to track legislative issues, committee meeting schedules, policy staff participation, and the status of policies. Having all this data in one place makes it easy to keep the Governor and his staff informed and up to date.

Google Apps for Government is a full suite of email and collaboration applications designed for teams and built for the web. We’re proud that our tools are helping people like Joe, Jason and Jillian make a difference in their offices and their communities. We’re looking for more of these Government Transformers in the hopes that examples of their creativity can help other public servants who face similar challenges, in the U.S. and around the world.

So if you’re one of them (or know one of them), we invite you to share your story. What kind of problem did you fix? How did you come up with the idea? And exactly how did you make it happen? Submit your story in 300 words or a short video to by January 16, 2012. We’ll feature the best stories on and invite the very best to present at “Innovation for the Nation” 2012 in Washington, DC.

We can’t wait to see what you and your colleagues are doing for the world!


Editors note: Today’s guest blogger is Franck Hémont, Group Informatics Engineering & Development Director at Ipsen, who is leading the company’s project to deploy Google Apps. Ipsen (Euronext: IPN, ADR: IPSEY), is a global specialty-driven pharmaceutical company.
See what other organizations that have gone Google have to say.

IPSEN is a truly global company, with over 4,500 employees spread across almost 50 countries. We work collaboratively across borders and teams, and with a recently implemented restructure it has become even more important to allow the organisation to work together seamlessly.

It was these challenges we had in mind when we evaluated our messaging and collaboration tools earlier this year. When we met with Google, we were looking for a secure, efficient and innovative solution that would allow the IT organization to focus primarily on value creation and the business to more effectively work together.

We’ve been gradually migrating to Google Apps for Business since September this year, after a successful six-month pilot phase. It involved 180 users spread across divisions such as R&D, Purchasing, HR, Manufacturing and across numerous locations in Spain, China, France, United States and United Kingdom. The pilot has allowed us to evaluate how the solution will work in our organization, and how it will bring value to the company.

Revevol, a Google Apps implementation partner, assisted us for the deployment, both for the technical integration and change management.

We’ve been impressed by the sophistication of cloud computing and by the additional functionality Google Apps will bring to our business. The ability to collaborate within a 100% web environment will be invaluable, especially for our researchers spread over distant sites in France and the U.S.

With Google Apps, our employees will be able to access their working environment from anywhere, at any time and from any device, bringing major organizational benefits and allowing our teams to work more effectively together.

Posted by Immad Akhund, Co-Founder and CEO of HeyZap

Editor’s note: Today’s guest blogger is Immad Akhund, co-founder and CEO of HeyZap. HeyZap is a social network for mobile gamers and a platform for mobile and online games. See what other organizations that have gone Google have to say.

Games are our business, but our business is certainly not a game. We take running our business seriously, and a key part of this is our IT. From day one, we set up our email on Gmail and have since been running our business on Google Apps. For a company of 18, working efficiently and communicating fluidly is extremely important. When it was just three of us, we used our personal Gmail accounts for work. Then as the company scaled, it became difficult to separate work from our personal lives. We moved to Google Apps where all our work information could be neatly kept under one company domain.

As we grew, we needed the ability to share and work together on documents. Google Docs provides the infrastructure to create and share documents through the cloud. Even better, the collaboration features let us work on the same docs together in real-time from anywhere. Sometimes we have up to 10 people working on a doc, an ability which has enabled us to be much more productive in our work.

For our 10 engineers, Google Docs has also served another purpose. Instead of a wiki, they use Google Docs to store technical materials for others to use. They take advantage of labels and folders to sort the information by topic. Wikis can be hard to maintain, but with Google Docs, it’s easy to create new documents and edit content. Our sales staff has also used Google spreadsheets to manage a lot of our client information and data.

Google Apps has been a powerful tool to help grow our business. As we focus more of our attention on the mobile space, where we already have a very successful app with over two million installs, I’m sure it will continue to enable our business and allow us to keep working quickly and efficiently, whether we’re at the office or on the go.


As a creative writing student at UC Santa Cruz in the early 90s, when I needed to write a story I’d trek across campus over wooden bridges suspended among the age-old redwood trees, down windy paths (avoiding banana slugs), and up to the computer lab. I’d insert a 3.5-inch floppy into the Macintosh SE, make my edits, then listen to the words rip across the dot matrix printer. I’d then carry the pages to the writing workshop where teachers and fellow students would scribble their edits and comments, generally with a red pen. Then it was back to the lab for another re-write.

Despite the fact that nearly every student has a computer these days – saving countless trips to the central computer lab – the way student teams worked together didn’t really become much more efficient, collaborative and fun until UCSC first moved to Google Apps for students in March 2010. And now, starting this week, faculty and staff are also adopting Google Apps so it will be even easier to draft and share work, provide input and incorporate feedback in realtime. Having a common platform for communication and collaboration for all members of the UCSC community means everyone’s literally on the same page.

Many other schools have also recently migrated to Google Apps for their staff and faculty community including Wake Forest University, Barnard College, George Washington University, ESSEC Business School, San Jose State University and many more.

If you’re interested in a deeper look at how staff and faculty at schools like these are using Apps to do things such as build ePortfolios in Sites and track committee minutes in Docs, register here to join our upcoming webinar on Wednesday December 7th at 10am PST. And in the meantime check out our whitepaper to read more about common questions and concerns we’ve heard from schools migrating their faculty and staff communities.


(Cross-posted from the Official Gmail Blog and the Official Google Mobile Blog.)

Two weeks ago, we introduced our Gmail app for iOS. Unfortunately it contained a bug which broke notifications and displayed an error message, so we removed it from the App Store. We’ve fixed the bug and notifications are now working, and the app is back in the App Store. For an overview of what’s available in the Gmail app for your iPhone, iPad or iPod touch, check out this blog post.

In the short time the app was public we received a lot of helpful feedback and feature requests. This included requests for everything from bigger features like multiple account support to customizations like improved notifications and mobile specific signatures.

We’re just getting started with the Gmail app for iOS and will be iterating rapidly to bring you more features, including all the ones listed above plus many more. Based on your comments we have already improved our handling of image HTML messages - they are now sized to fit to the screen and you can pinch to zoom in.

To try out the Gmail app today, install it from App Store on any iOS 4+ device. Those who already have the Gmail app released Nov 2 must uninstall or log out of the old app prior to installing the new app.


Editors note: This is the final post in a series that explores the top ten reasons why customers trust Google with their business data. A complete top ten list can be found here.

It’s important for all businesses regardless of size or industry to assess the risk of potential data breaches and take steps to prevent them, especially in the area of information technology. The use of laptops, smartphones, tablets and other mobile devices is increasing as users demand anytime, anywhere access to email and documents. This can increase the risk of a data breach if you’re using traditional applications which store a local copy of the data on the device and the device gets lost or stolen.

Google Apps can help reduce the risk of a data breach by limiting the data that is stored on your devices. When you check email or work on a document in a browser with Google Apps, the data is stored in our data centers, not on your device. That means that if your device gets lost or stolen, there is lower overall risk of a data breach. Similarly, if you collaborate with others in Google Docs, you don’t need to send them a copy of the document. You can enable and disable access to the document with a simple set of sharing controls and your collaborators access it from their browser. The document does not need to be stored locally on their device for them to collaborate on it.

For those times when you want to access Google Apps but you don’t have an Internet connection, we recently released an offline capability for Gmail and for Google Docs. The offline capability does involve some local data storage on devices. The amount of stored data is likely to be smaller as only a limited amount of documents and email are synchronized to the device for offline access. If you decide that this local data storage poses a risk, you can easily disable offline access.

For additional security and data protection information, including a video tour of a Google data center, you can visit our Google Apps security page.


(Cross-posted on the Google App Engine Blog and the Google Code Blog.)

Rapidly crunching terabytes of big data can lead to better business decisions, but this has traditionally required tremendous IT investments. Imagine a large online retailer that wants to provide better product recommendations by analyzing website usage and purchase patterns from millions of website visits. Or consider a car manufacturer that wants to maximize its advertising impact by learning how its last global campaign performed across billions of multimedia impressions. Fortune 500 companies struggle to unlock the potential of data, so it’s no surprise that it’s been even harder for smaller businesses.

We developed Google BigQuery Service for large-scale internal data analytics. At Google I/O last year, we opened a preview of the service to a limited number of enterprises and developers. Today we're releasing some big improvements, and putting one of Google's most powerful data analysis systems into the hands of more companies of all sizes.
  • We’ve added a graphical user interface for analysts and developers to rapidly explore massive data through a web application.
  • We’ve made big improvements for customers accessing the service programmatically through the API. The new REST API lets you run multiple jobs in the background and manage tables and permissions with more granularity.
  • Whether you use the BigQuery web application or API, you can now write even more powerful queries with JOIN statements. This lets you run queries across multiple data tables, linked by data that tables have in common.
  • It’s also now easy to manage, secure, and share access to your data tables in BigQuery, and export query results to the desktop or to Google Cloud Storage.

Michael J. Franklin, Professor of Computer Science at UC Berkeley, remarked that BigQuery (internally known as Dremel) leverages “thousands of machines to process data at a scale that is simply jaw-dropping given the current state of the art.” We’re looking forward to helping businesses innovate faster by harnessing their own large data sets. BigQuery is available free of charge for now, and we’ll let customers know at least 30 days before the free period ends. We’re bringing on a new batch of pilot customers, so let us know if your business wants to test-drive BigQuery Service.


These days it’s commonplace for employees to bring personal mobile devices to work, expecting to get all kinds of business done on-the-go, and this can be both a blessing and a challenge to IT managers. The importance of keeping mobile devices and data secure is as essential as ever.

Starting today, comprehensive mobile device management is available at no extra charge to Google Apps for Business, Government and Education users. Organizations large and small can manage Android, iOS and Windows Mobile devices right from the Google Apps control panel, with no special hardware or software to manage.

In addition to our existing mobile management capabilities, IT administrators can now see a holistic overview of all mobile devices that are syncing with Google Apps, and revoke access to individual devices as needed.

Organizations can also now define mobile policies such as password requirements and roaming sync preferences on a granular basis by user group.

Also available today, administrators have the ability to gain insights into mobile productivity within their organizations, complete with trends and analytics.

Finally, we’re also updating the Google Apps Device Policy app for Android. The new version provides users with more transparency about information available to administrators, and includes support for Android 4.0, Ice Cream Sandwich. These new mobile management features will roll out for customers using the Next Generation Release version of the control panel starting today, and will be coming to the Current Release version in a matter of weeks. We invite you to explore our help center for more details.


Since we launched Google Apps for Business in 2007, we’ve been working hard to build a global support offering that’s responsive to the needs of our business customers. In the early days, our customers reached us mainly through email, and our 24 x 7 phone support was limited to critical issues.

To improve the experience of our customers, we now provide 24 x 7 phone support to small, medium, and large Google Apps for Business customers for all issues affecting the core services. Our customers may also receive support through our web-based support portal, online help forms, and online help center. All support cases are handled directly by trained Google Apps experts.

A support metric that we’re especially passionate about is customer satisfaction. We measure customer satisfaction by asking for feedback on a seven point scale at the time we close a support case. As measured on this scale, 80% of our business customers and 90% of our large business customers indicate that they’re more than satisfied with their support experience. While we’re proud of these ratings, we want to do even better. Our goal is to achieve an overall satisfaction rating of 95%.

One of our core values is delivering products that just work for our customers, so in addition to serving customers directly, our support team provides our product and engineering teams with input regarding the usability and quality of our products. This effort has led to SLA and uptime improvements, as well as enhancements such as unthreaded email and read receipts in Gmail, and a scheduled release process.

Brad Feld, Managing Director of Foundry Group recently said, “My firm has gone Google, but I encountered a problem with the Contacts feature. I reached out to Google Enterprise support and am very impressed with how they responded. They explained to me that they were working to address the issue, and when they were getting ready to roll out the solution, they circled back to tell me about it. Are they perfect? No, but they’re very good, and I certainly got a positive impression when I interacted with the support team. I’m confident that they know what they’re doing and that they’ll keep getting better.”

To all our Google Apps for Business customers, thank you for your feedback. We take your input very seriously, so please continue to let us know how we’re doing. If you need help, please don’t hesitate to contact Google Apps for Business support.


From large Government departments through to small local realty companies, geographic information can be extremely valuable to organizations. However, this useful information often ends up trapped in files or databases, inaccessible to the average employee or user. Many organizations make use of a geospatial tool that presents information in a geographical context.

Behind the scenes, it can be an expensive process to get to this stage because the data needs to be found and “geocoded.” Geocoding is the process of examining a piece of information containing geographic references and adding information about the map coordinates within the document. Once geocoded, a piece of data is available to be shown in a geospatial tool. To put it simply, it is the connection made between address information and map coordinates. This is often a manual process which can be expensive and time consuming.

For us, automating the search and geocoding process was the next logical step, so we developed a tool called GeoFind, which enables an end-user to easily find geospatially relevant data and show it on a map. GeoFind offers an on-the-fly geocoder combined with the Google Search Appliance (GSA) to locate and present information through Google Earth or Maps. The GSA can connect to multiple large document stores and securely crawl all of the content. GeoFind uses the GSA to process a search query and sends the results to the geocoding engine to look for geographic clues, such as addresses, city references, or landmarks. After it identifies the clue, GeoFind displays the search results via the Google Earth Globe or to Google Maps.

This is all done automatically without an administrator having to do manual data processing. For example: Imagine a police department wanting to make police reports accessible to the public on a map. The traditional approach would be to individually read and geocode the reports. Using GeoFind, it isn’t necessary to perform this expensive and time consuming data preparation. Instead, they can point their Google Search Appliance at the reports and have them immediately displayed on the map.

You can find out more about GeoFind at or contact me.


What’s the first thing you do when you wake up in the morning? Maybe check the news on your tablet, then send a couple of emails on your smartphone before jumping on a video call with a colleague. It’s all happening on the web, it’s changing the way we think about work, and it’s creating new opportunities for businesses of all shapes and sizes.

While this isn’t new, you’ve heard us talk about this before, we’re experiencing a fundamental shift in how businesses use the web to drive collaboration, innovation and growth. The role of the IT leader in business has never been more critical, and we can’t wait to welcome more than 350 CIOs from around the world to our annual cloud event: Atmosphere 2011, next Monday, November 14.

Representing the vision for this year’s speaker lineup are Steven Johnson, Jonathan Zittrain, and Vint Cerf, as well as CIOs from Ahold, Journal Communications, IHG and the state of Wyoming.

Everyone’s welcome to join us online as we’ll be sharing this event with our colleagues around the world, live. We’ll be broadcasting the event on YouTube from 0900 PST, 11/14 and posting news from the event on our new Google Enterprise page on Google+. We look forward to seeing you in the cloud.


One of the most rewarding aspects of my job is meeting with customers and learning how they’re using our products to change the way they work on the web. In this spirit, today I’m excited to introduce our official Google Enterprise page on Google+, the latest way for us to stay connected.

By adding +Google Enterprise to your Google+ circles, you’ll be able to read about our latest product features, hear directly from some of our customers, and share your thoughts with the community.

We’re really looking forward to hearing what you have to say. To join the conversation, mention +Google Enterprise in your post, or comment directly on our page.

Haven’t had a chance to turn on Google+ for your account yet? With last month’s announcement of Google+ for Apps, you can now enable Google+ for your organization.


Since we launched Chromebooks this summer, it’s been exciting to hear how students are using Chromebooks to collaborate and create in the classroom. In the spirit of letting our customers speak for themselves, we wanted to share stories from three of the newest schools using Chromebooks in their classrooms, libraries and to provide Internet access to students at home using built-in 3G.

Renaissance Charter School, Nevada - Management
The Renaissance Academy Charter School in Nevada virtually serves students from low-income families across 13 counties in the state. The Academy’s mission is to free students from perceived limitations on their performance, and to narrow the achievement gap through technology. Roy Harden, administrator, jumped at the opportunity to deploy Chromebooks to their 490 students and staff. “We promised our students and parents a protected environment for their computing needs, which the Chromebook - with forced proxy settings and content control - allows us to uphold. With 3G connectivity, the Chromebook also gives access to our students who typically do not have an Internet connection at home. We couldn’t ask for a better solution,” he said. The new features in the web-based administrator’s management panel will also help Harden better manage different age groups of students, teachers and staff, and these features will greatly improve his visibility into devices distributed across the state.

Prairie View Elementary School, Wisconsin - Engagement
The Oregon School District in Wisconsin has led the state in adoption of modern technologies in the classroom. As technology director and a former teacher himself, Jon Tanner understands how important it is to provide web access for all students while keeping costs low. This is why he decided to bring Chromebooks to 22 third graders at Prairie View Elementary School. Shannon Luehmann, the teacher whose class is using the Chromebooks, notes, "It was like Christmas morning in my class when I shared the news with the kids and let them open the Chromebooks. Some student reactions were, 'So, you're telling me this is mine to use all year?', and 'We are going to do some pretty cool things with these computers this year!'"

“Thinking long term, I would love to give every child the opportunity to take home a Chromebook and be connected,” Tanner said, “but we never had a product we felt we could do that with before.” Teachers and administrators have already noticed a big improvement in student engagement. Even with some of the biggest behavior challenges, students have used Chromebooks to “engage in the classroom, be more productive, and even be more positive.”

Students using Chromebooks in Shannon Luehmann’s third grade classroom at Prairie View Elementary School in Wisconsin

Montgomery School, Pennsylvania - Collaboration
Jared Hamilton, technology coordinator at Montgomery School, decided to start piloting 40 Chromebooks for middle schoolers at Montgomery School, an independent, co-educational day school in Pennsylvania. As he sees it, “Chromebooks are perfect for this age group because they spend most of their time on the web anyway.” The students gravitated toward Chromebooks from the start because they found that they could get more done in less time, and turning in assignments to their teachers was easier. “Once they start using the Chromebook, they don’t want to go back,” Hamilton said. Having Chromebooks in the classrooms has also improved collaboration and engagement; in particular the faculty noticed a difference in the school-wide “Make a Difference Project,” for which students work together to present ideas to their community about how to make the world better. As Jared explains, “big projects like that become so much easier with real-time revisions and collaboration.”

What can Chromebooks in the classroom do for your school? Learn more about Chromebooks for Education on our website.

You can also join us for the Chromebook Classroom webinar series, Wednesdays at 9AM PT/12PM ET. Register here.


Editors note: Over the last couple of years some of the world’s biggest and most prominent media organisations have moved to Google Apps. The Guardian, The Telegraph and News International in the UK, Agencia EFE in Spain, Berlingske and Borsen in Denmark, and many others. The latest is Trinity Mirror, and today’s guest blogger, Steve Walker, IT Director and Google Apps Product Manager at Trinity Mirror, has told us why.

Trinity Mirror Group publishes many leading UK titles including Daily Mirror, Sunday Mirror, People, Daily Record and Scottish Sunday Mail, as well as 240 regional newspapers.

We’re a company spread across 60 different locations and we recently decided to move all of our 6,500 employees to Google Apps. This decision was driven by a real desire to improve collaboration, innovation and to enhance productivity within the group. Google Apps was evaluated as a product suite that could help us do just that.

The move to Google Apps will free people from mundane daily administrative tasks, such as managing busy inboxes, merging document changes or keeping track of the latest versions of documents and sending around numerous attachments. It will be easier and quicker to schedule meetings, coordinate work and search to find the information they need. For the many journalists in the business who work on tight deadlines and need to find the latest and most relevant information at the drop of a hat, this should prove invaluable. Those employees that need to keep in touch with their email from outside the office will now be able to check their inboxes via their mobile devices or even their home laptops.

One of the triggers to consider Google Apps was the fact that our staff was already using the consumer version of Gmail and Google Calendar to help them work more efficiently. We expect the real-time, collaborative features of Google Apps to will enable us to make some real changes to the way we work, leading to a more productive workforce and helping us to become more profitable and innovative.

The migration to Google Apps will be finalized this month, and at the same time we’re planning to release a new intranet built in Google Sites. We’ll fully deploy Google Docs and Sites early next year. We anticipate this move will help our employees become more creative and innovative across the organisation and, in turn, will allow the IT department to focus on other business critical and strategic projects.

Posted by Darrell Benatar, Founder and CEO of UserTesting

Editor’s note: Today’s guest blogger is Darrell Benatar, founder and CEO of UserTesting. UserTesting provides fast and inexpensive website usability testing by giving website owners on-demand access to a large panel of users who will record their screen and voice as they use a specified website. See what other organizations that have gone Google have to say.

Everyone talks about how important usability testing is, but 99% of website owners have never done it. We started UserTesting three years ago to make it so fast and easy that no one would have an excuse not to do it. Traditional usability testing involves recruiting users, hiring a moderator, and renting a facility where users perform website tasks while being videotaped. Big companies can afford all this, but most small ones can’t. So at UserTesting, we assembled a nationwide base of articulate users who are available on-demand and who can quickly deliver valuable information and results.

We’ve seen amazing growth since 2008, and I consider Google’s technology an integral part of that success. We now have 15 employees, four of whom work offsite. IM, voice, and video chat, which are built right into Gmail, allow us to easily bridge that physical gap. I was an early adopter of Gmail and saw right away the benefits of cloud-based communication.

Throughout our business, we’ve made use of many of the other parts of Google Apps as well, including Google Docs and Google Tasks, which is also built into Gmail. Our intranet runs on Google Sites, and it allows us to embed Google Docs and Google Calendar items right into pages. Having everyone interact on a task spreadsheet streamlines the process and allows managers to keep track of projects. We even make use of canned responses to address standard emails from customers with questions. And now, we are actively using Google+ to share what’s going on in our office with each other.

I feel strongly that any business would benefit from cloud-based productivity tools. Since start-ups are inherently open to new ideas and don’t have to deal with legacy issues, it makes sense to hit the ground running with solutions that just make your business work and don’t require an IT department. Why Google Apps? Because I have confidence that Google will keep adding more and more features that will keep making our lives easier.


Just over a week ago we opened the doors of Google+ to Google Apps users, and today we’re welcoming the millions of organizations they’re a part of. Now your business, school or nonprofit can create its own corner on Google+ with Google+ Pages.

A Google+ page is your organization’s identity on Google+. Your business, school or nonprofit can post updates and news, send tailored messages to specific groups of people, and engage in conversations with customers and followers.

Circles allow you to group followers of your page into smaller audiences. This lets you share specific messages with specific groups. For example, you could create a circle containing your business’s loyalty program members or your university’s alumni so you can reach the right people with the right message.

Sometimes you might want to connect with your fans face-to-face. For example, if you run a bookstore, you may want to invite an author to talk about her latest novel, or a college athletic department could host a roundtable connecting athletes with fans. Hangouts make this easy, by letting you have high-quality multi-person video chats, with a single click. You can use Hangouts to get customer feedback, help solve problems or simply get to know people better, all in real time.

Google+ Badge
To help customers find your page and follow you, we have two buttons you can add to your website by visiting our Google+ badge configuration tool:
  • The Google+ icon is a small icon that directly links to your page.
  • In the coming days, we’re introducing the Google+ badge, which lets people add your page to their circles, without leaving your site.

We wanted to help you get your business, school or nonprofit on Google+ as soon as possible, so we’re opening the field trial for Google+ Pages to everyone today. Once you’ve enabled Google+ for your organization and created a personal profile, you can get started creating a Google+ page for your organization at