Today we announced changes to the data that powers Google Maps API Premier in France, Monaco and Luxembourg. We’ve already started using data from a variety of authoritative sources in the United States, Canada, and in Europe, Africa and the Pacific.

The new base maps will have greater features such as expanded geocoding coverage, more detailed bodies of water, university campuses and postal code coverage – all leading to better, more accurate maps for your employees and customers. As Google Enterprise customers, you can also now share direct feedback about our maps in these areas by using the "Report a Problem" tool in the lower right corner of the map – leading to quicker updates overall. We highly recommended that you re-geocode all of your data to take advantage of the new updated data.

Learn more about the Google Maps API Premier at


(Cross-posted on the Official Gmail Blog)

Email is just as much about the people you communicate with as it is what you communicate about. We think it can be helpful to view relevant information in context, which is why over the next two weeks we’re rolling out a new people widget located on the right hand side of your messages. The people widget surfaces content from colleagues and friends that is already available to you but may be hard to find and makes it easier to connect with them.

Next to every email message you can now see contextual information about the people in that conversation including recent emails you received from them, shared documents and calendar events. You also have quick access to a variety of ways to communicate with individuals, start a group chat or schedule a meeting with groups of people.

We hope the people widget will improve your Gmail experience and we’re eager for you to try it out.


Join the Google Earth and Maps Enterprise team on Thursday, May 26th at 9:00AM PST for an introduction to Google Earth Builder. Launched last month, Google Earth Builder is Google’s cloud-based mapping platform. It is designed for organizations that own, license or manage large amounts of geospatial data. The product is particularly well-suited for those needing to get data out of the GIS department and into the hands of employees, constituents and the public at large.

During the webinar, we will review the workflow and intuitive user interface of Google Earth Builder. We'll show you how easy it is to store and manage your geospatial data, including publishing it to the end users.

What: Introduction to Google Earth Builder Webinar
When: Thursday, May 26th, 2011 9:00AM PST

Click here to register. We hope to see you there.


Two weeks ago at Google I/O, we unveiled the first Chromebooks, a new kind of computer built and optimized for people who live on the web. Chromebooks are fast, secure and easy to manage. With a monthly subscription that includes a Chromebook, a web-based management console and 24/7 support starting at $28 for businesses and $20 for schools, Chromebooks will delight users, reduce IT complexity and save money.

The best part is: most organizations can use Chromebooks today because they’re already using web-based applications, or they’re using browser-based apps and virtualization technology to remotely access any remaining desktop apps. In fact, a recent survey we commissioned found that two-thirds of companies could switch the majority of their employees to an exclusively browser-based computing environment like Chromebooks by using a combination of web apps and application virtualization.1 To this end, we’ve worked closely with Citrix to bring application virtualization to Chromebooks.

Today we’re excited that Citrix has announced Citrix Receiver for Chromebooks, based on HTML5 standards - coming soon to the Chrome Web Store. This is great news for businesses and schools that want to take advantage of a modern browser-based operating system while preserving access to their existing desktop applications. At I/O for instance, we demonstrated Citrix Receiver running on Chromebooks and accessing a virtualized version of Adobe® Photoshop® right from the browser.

Now Chromebook users can not only access the huge number of business web apps and browser-based applications behind the firewall, but through Citrix Receiver they can also access an exhaustive set of desktop applications. This means that organizations don’t have to repurchase or rewrite existing applications when moving to Chromebooks, and they can offer Chromebooks to a wider range of users. We’re working to make the browser the platform for business computing, and we’re happy to be collaborating with Citrix on this transformation. Learn more about Chromebooks.

1Google-commissioned 2011 Hall & Partners online survey of over 400 IT decision makers.


Editors note: is America’s largest and fastest growing, accredited online pharmacy, which boasts an inventory of over 4,000 unique prescription drugs. The company was recently featured in Consumer Reports as one of the top drugstores in the United States. We’ve invited today’s guest blogger, Marston Alfred, Director of E-commerce at, to share why HealthWarehouse implemented Google Commerce Search. To read more, download the case study.

HealthWarehouse isn’t your typical pharmacy. Instead of physical stores, we rely on a website where we sell and ship medications to tens of thousands of customers throughout the country. And while an online-only presence allows us to save on typical infrastructure and personnel costs, it also presents some unique challenges.

From the beginning, implementing quality e-commerce search was critical to our business. Medication names are complicated and difficult for pharmacists to spell – let alone the consumer (amlodipine benazepril as an example) – so it’s necessary that we have a search and navigation experience that can interpret customer intent as well as a pharmacist could. But as we quickly found, e-commerce search can be very complicated.

To tackle the search problem we evaluated several third-party e-commerce solutions, but these providers would have required us to manually register thousands of common medication misspellings and synonyms – which wasn’t feasible or scalable, and would have required constant fine-tuning. Providing relevant results for our audience was also an issue. In search, our customers demand the expertise and intuition of a pharmacist, and you can imagine how this would be difficult to provide without reams of historical data related to medicine and our business. Enter Google.

Google Commerce Search utilizes the same underlying spellchecker and thesaurus of (tried and tested on over one billion queries across every imaginable category each day) to automate the display of results on retail websites. Google Commerce Search uses these signals to provide a search and discovery solution that performs phenomenally out-of-the-box, and only gets better the more people use it.

We implemented Google Commerce Search, and results for complicated prescription names were instantly more accurate, providing a 40% decrease in call-center volume (literally overnight). Clearly, visitors are now finding and discovering products much better on their own. In line with this unexpected drop in customer support calls, actual searches increased 85%, unique visitors and page views doubled, and conversions rose 19%. Search became a much more valuable component of our website.

Switching to Google Commerce Search not only increased our revenues, but also allowed us to focus and scale our core business (which, believe it or not is affordable medication and not IT). More importantly, Google’s search and navigation solution has significantly improved product discovery, putting affordable medication into the hands of more people.

Posted by Ronan Hughes, CTO at

Editor's Note: Next up, we’d like to welcome Ronan Hughes, Chief Technical Officer at, a web based travel company based in Dublin. migrated to Google Apps six months ago with the help of Google Apps Authorized Reseller, Baker Security & Networks. Learn more about other organizations that have gone Google on our community map or test drive life in the cloud with the Go Google Cloud Calculator. have been in business for over ten years, with a mission to make ski holidays more affordable for all. As a 100% web based company, doesn’t have glossy brochures, expensive middlemen, high street shops or call centers. We’ve developed a market leading website that has been designed specifically for the sale of ski holidays. We have 30 full time employees and large numbers of seasonal staff that provide ski packages to over 200 European ski destinations.

Effective use of technology has been a key driver and cornerstone of our success. For example, we have used open source products to provide us with scalable, flexible and secure IT systems that have allowed us to grow rapidly but in a cost effective and pragmatic manner. We are always thinking about how technology can simplify and enhance our business processes so that we continually live up to our mission of helping our customers to “ski for less.”

Recently we examined how cloud computing could help us keep this advantage over our competitors. One product that quickly caught our attention was Google Apps and we implemented it across our organisation. The migration to Google Apps was seamless and our employees love it. It’s a huge improvement on our old system and it simply takes care of itself. Our employees find it very intuitive and the combination of Gmail, video sharing, chat and Google Docs allows for great team collaboration across our 5 offices.

Google Apps has numerous advantages for us; it has helped us control our costs, allowing us to focus on the core IT projects that will will add value for our customers, and, in turn, for our business. It is easy to use and offers cutting-edge functionality. Required training is minimal which is very important to us given the large number of seasonal staff we employ. Being a fast-paced, nimble travel company, accessibility is of paramount importance to our team and Google Apps provides this for us.

We’re so impressed with our migration to Google Apps that we’ve put together a quick video to tell you more! We would recommend Google Apps to any faced paced, innovative company.


The IT staffs of the Senate of Virginia and Division of Legislative Automated Systems (DLAS) were taxed with the responsibility of maintaining and upgrading servers and desktop clients for a legacy email system, as well as purchasing server and client licenses. As users’ mail databases grew larger, so did the storage space and the amount of data to backup daily. In addition, plans were being established for continuity of operations, which their current email system environment could not easily offer. All these factors led to their migration to Google Apps.

After conducting initial pilot projects using Google Apps, DLAS and the Senate officially migrated to Google Apps in 2009 and 2010, respectively. Last summer, convinced by compelling cost savings and reduced IT administrative work, 11 legislative agencies supported by DLAS made the switch, including the Division of Capitol Police, State Crime Commission, and Joint Commission on Health Care.

The switch to Google Apps has enabled DLAS and the Senate to reduce IT maintenance time and dramatically increase document and email storage space -- all while saving significantly on licensing costs. Best of all, employees are more productive with Google Apps. They enjoy larger email quotas, easier access to their email on the go, and the ability to collaborate on documents in real time via Google Docs.

Join us on Thursday 5/19 at 11:00am PT / 2:00pm ET for a live webcast. Presenters from DLAS and the Senate and Google partners DLT Solutions and MiCore Solutions will discuss the business drivers behind their decision to go Google and how they approached the implementation. You’ll also learn how the various legislative agencies are leveraging and integrating Google Apps into existing business processes.

Click here to register. We hope to see you there!


One of the best parts of working on the Google Apps for Education team is talking with teachers and hearing the incredible ways they are using Google Apps to enhance classroom learning. Kern Kelley and Rob Dominick, teachers based in Newport, Maine, use laptop cameras and Google forms to grade math quizzes. Aida Awad, a science teacher in Park Ridge, Illinois, instructs students to use a motion chart to plot and contrast plant growth in different environments. In the UK, Ian Addison's elementary school students create impressive websites about their hometown.

With millions of students and teachers moving to Google Apps, we want to make it easier for teachers around the world to connect and share these kinds of examples with each other.

Today we're excited to announce eight Google Apps Regional K-12 User Groups across the United States and Canada. These groups are designed for educators to learn and collaborate through community discussion forums, shared resources, events and webinars. In addition to showcasing creative instructional uses for Google Apps, we hope these groups will help teachers and administrators to identify other schools in their region that have "gone Google."

If you live in the United States or Canada, check out the list below to find and join your Google Apps Regional K-12 User Group (International user groups are coming soon, stay tuned...)

  • East (US and Canada):
    Connecticut, Delaware, District of Columbia, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Rhode Island, Vermont, West Virginia, Quebec, Newfoundland and Labrador, Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, and Prince Edward Island
  • Great Lakes (US and Canada):
    Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Ontario
  • South (US):
    Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, and Virginia
  • Central (US and Canada):
    Arkansas, Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, Minnesota, Nebraska, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Wisconsin, Manitoba, Nunavet, and Saskatchewan
  • West (US and Canada):
    Alaska, Arizona, Colorado, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon, Utah, Washington, Wyoming, British Columbia, Alberta, Yukon, and the Northwest Territories
We can't wait to hear more great stories and discussions about Google Apps!

Posted by Michelle Lisowski, Google Apps Team

Talking to our small businesses customers, we see they have a passion for what they do and a drive to succeed. On the Google Apps team, we have a passion for helping small businesses succeed by providing them with access to the same technology that large enterprises often have at their disposal. Google Apps offers small businesses hundreds of ways to leverage the power of the web to work more efficiently and focus scarce time and resources on getting ahead of the competition.

To celebrate National Small Business Week, we’d like to share a few of the ways that Google Apps is being used every day (we’ll spare you the time of wading through hundreds). And to make it even easier to get started on tasks such as invoicing and project planning, all examples provided are based on templates from the Google Docs and Google Sites template galleries.

Google Docs template gallery:

#1: Letterhead - Create a professional looking template for your outgoing letters and share it with others in the company. Print letters directly from your browser with Chrome.
#2: Budget planner - Easily build a 12-month budget spreadsheet that you can edit from anywhere throughout the year – no matter where your spending takes you.
#3: Invoice - Save time by creating invoices in a spreadsheet – totals are automatically calculated, and you can share them with co-workers to ensure accuracy and speedy payments.

#4: Customer satisfaction survey - Get feedback from customers and visitors about your product or service with a form. Easily analyze and graph the data.
#5: Business plan - Put your vision down in a doc. Share it with family, investors, banks, and others to get input and spread your ideas.
#6: Project timeline - Give others in your company insight into key milestones, completion dates, and other project details.

Google Sites template gallery:

#7: Intranet - Build an internal website where employees can access company news, employee training information, company policies, holiday schedules, and more.

#8: Project site - Centralize project information in one place. Display a team profile and key dates, and embed project docs and spreadsheets directly in the site.
#9: Team site - Create team rosters, schedule team meetings, and track progress of action items all in one place.
#10: Employee profiles - Build a community by creating profile pages where your employees can post their goals, internal resume, and internal blog.

The list continues but we hope this gives some idea of the range of use cases where Google Apps can help improve productivity for any small business. To learn more, check out some of our new resources including product videos and additional templates at


Over the past few months, we’ve released a string of new features in Google Docs to give your business more tools for collaborative document editing and data analysis. From simpler file uploads to discussions and mobile editing in documents, we’re making it easier for you and your colleagues to work together on the web. Continuing with this effort, we’re launching pivot tables in Google spreadsheets, which will be rolled out to all Rapid Release users over the next 24 hours.

With pivot tables, you can quickly narrow down large data sets to get high level insights. Say you run a retail chain and you have thousands of rows of sales data broken down by purchase. It could be helpful for you and your sales manager to view the total annual revenue for each region without having to enter multiple formulas. In a matter of seconds, you can create a pivot table and summarize all of your data according to the factors you specify, all while collaborating with your sales manager on the spreadsheet.

To see how pivot tables work in Google spreadsheets, check out this video:

We hope pivot tables in Google spreadsheets will help you save time analyzing your data. For more details on using pivot tables, take a look at our post on the Google Docs Blog.


At Google, we believe the Internet is a rich platform for innovation and that when organizations fully adopt online services (what we call "100% web") they dramatically improve productivity and reduce their costs. In order to advance these interests, we work closely with similarly minded groups to advance this common goal and to enable innovation.

To that end, we are excited to participate in the TechAmerica Foundation’s recently formed Commission on the Leadership Opportunity in U.S. Deployment of the Cloud (CLOUD2). The Commission’s three-month mandate is to provide the Obama Administration with recommendations for how the U.S. Government could help drive American innovation in the cloud. This comes on the heels of the Administration's "Cloud First" policy, an important first step in helping the federal government take advantage of the benefits cloud computing has to offer. The Commission will make recommendations to the U.S. Government on ways to spur the adoption of cloud computing and to address policies that hinder U.S. leadership in the commercial space. We’re supporting the efforts of two CLOUD2 working groups: the first works on facilitating the flow of information between countries, and the second deals with security in the cloud.

With Google Apps, we are investing in technologies that help businesses, educational institutions and governments be productive with a 100% web approach. We’re committed to minimizing barriers to adoption of the cloud by the public sector. Additionally, we hope to promote the development of technology-neutral, non-proprietary and interoperable standards to ensure that the benefits offered by cloud computing are fully realized.

For these reasons, we’re excited to support TechAmerica’s efforts in this important area and look forward to working with other industry players to further the adoption of cloud computing.


Over a year ago, we created the Google Apps Marketplace to help you easily discover, evaluate, and deploy integrated web applications for your business or school. In that time, many of you have told us that evaluating apps can be particularly tricky, as you need to consider questions like:
  • who already uses the app, and why do they like it (or not)?
  • will the app’s features address my particular needs?
  • can I trust the vendor who created the app with my data?

We want to make it as easy as possible for you to answer these questions. For example, we offer verified app reviews to highlight comments from customers who we know to be using the app.

Today we’re announcing a feature designed to help address the trust question — a TRUSTe administered data privacy certification program for Marketplace apps. TRUSTe has created a certification program for installable Marketplace apps to verify that they clearly communicate their data handling and privacy practices. This program, which is optional for vendors, displays a green TRUSTe logo on a certified app’s Marketplace listing page as well as search results pages. The logo links then to a certification summary with more specific information about the app.

TRUSTe certification makes it easier for you, as a buyer, to verify the following about an app:
  • the vendor has been contacted and certified by TRUSTe personnel
  • the purpose for data collection and sharing, and the security used for sharing (https)
  • there is an easy-to-read privacy policy available

Since certification is optional, the absence of a TRUSTe seal does not imply the app has unacceptable or difficult-to-understand practices for data handling and privacy. In fact, the program just launched today, so most apps have not yet applied for certification.

If you have additional questions about what this particular certification covers, please see the TRUSTe customer FAQ. If you’re a vendor with installable Marketplace apps and are interested in certification, please review the application process.


For the past 18 months, retailers in the United States, the United Kingdom, Australia, Germany, Japan, and France have benefited from a better search and browse experience on their e-commerce sites, powered by Google. Retailers such as,, and implemented Google Commerce Search on their respective websites. As a result, Woodcraft increased search revenues 34%, BabyAge increased site searches 64% and HealthWarehouse saw online conversions increase 19%—and all have reported an increase in customer satisfaction. Similarly, many prominent global retailers like L’Occitane en Provence and Forever 21 have pre-announced their implementation of Google Commerce Search or recently gone live with GCS on their mobile websites.

We’re delighted to be expanding our international presence by announcing that Google Commerce Search is now available in Spain, Italy, and the Netherlands. Key benefits include:

  • A rich shopping experience: Provide the same interactive shopping experience found on only the top retail websites. Google Commerce Search includes features such as instant results that display with every keystroke, automated product recommendations, spell-checker, synonyms and many enhancements to come.
  • The most effective merchandising: Automate promotion of cross-sells and up-sells across your site and highlight related content without the need for an entire engineering team to manually tweak and optimize your shopping experience.
  • A powerful management suite: Our all-encompassing customization tools enable flexibility and control so that your business can adapt to changing requirements more quickly and at lower cost.
  • Mobile compatibility: Provide a fast, relevant and mobile-friendly shopping experience from any device.

If you’re a global retailer already using Google Commerce Search, the full capabilities of our product are immediately available for your Italian, Spanish, and Dutch language websites. If you’re a retailer who would like to take advantage of capabilities like the ones mentioned above, visit


In honor of National Small Business Week, we’d like to take time this week to share ways that Google Apps and the Google Apps Marketplace can help small businesses work more productively and efficiently.

Today, we’re highlighting a few of the Small Business Web apps in the Google Apps Marketplace, and how our customers run their businesses on them every day. Google shares the Small Business Web’s dedication to providing tools that have enterprise-grade functionality, as well as align with small businesses’ priorities.

Apps that work together
Particularly for companies without a dedicated IT team or person, the list of necessary business tools can quickly become unmanageable. Web apps that provide deep integrations with Google Apps and with each other are especially useful for growing businesses that don’t have time to manage multiple, distinct applications.

Olark lets customers live chat with website visitors directly from the Gmail interface through Google Talk, and provides easy access to chat transcripts. Peter Macaulay of says, “The ability to live chat with customers without leaving the Google Apps interface is a huge productivity advantage. The simple and elegant implementation meant we were up and running in a matter of minutes. Staff members are easily able to set their availability for chat, enabling them to easily multi-task.”

WORKetc is another app that makes Gmail into the front end workspace, but for CRM, project management, and customer support. It let’s you easily share emails related to particular projects with relevant team members without forwarding or copying other email addresses. D. Hogan of Varis Energy says, “Any emails that need to be shared with my team get tagged in the WORKetc gadget that is built right into Gmail. This immediately lets everyone else who is assigned to a project or lead have access to the new information from the received email.”

Access all the time
As compared to larger businesses, small businesses are even less suited to managing servers, and tend to have many employees on the road or in non-office locations. Accessing their data and documents from anywhere, on any Internet-connected device is a core benefit of using web-based tools like Google Docs. OfficeDrop digitizes paper documents to make them text-searchable in Google Docs. Greg Skidmore of Belpointe Asset Management says, “Each month we send a box of paper files to OfficeDrop and have them scanned directly into Google Docs. If I have a document that I need scanned right away, I use OfficeDrop’s scanning software, ScanDrop, and upload it immediately.”

Easy to Use
Small business owners and employees often wear a lot of hats and they’ve asked for solutions that are easy to learn and use. Michael Bower of Michael Bower Digital says, “I always need to know where my money is, without wasting time organizing my paperwork. As my business grew, I was losing control of my cashflow. Both Google Apps and FreshBooks have just enough features to keep my workflow and invoicing organized, allowing me to focus on my work.”

These are just a few examples of the many Small Business Web app vendors in the Google Apps Marketplace who provide the functionality and integrations a small business needs. Over 30 Google Apps Marketplace apps have already joined the Small Business Web and declared their commitment to helping small businesses focus on what they do best. They include:


Batchbook CRM
Capsule CRM
Disqourse CRM
Get Satisfaction
Solve360 CRM
Tactile CRM

Doc Management


Sales and Marketing

We celebrate National Small Business Week to recognize the importance of small businesses for promoting a healthy economy, and we’re excited to help them continue to grow and succeed through the smart use of technology.


Managing Google Apps for an entire organization is not always a one-size-fits-all job. Google Apps Administrators often need to securely share management responsibilities with others. These users may need to have access to certain administrative privileges like user creation, password resets or managing groups, but not to all of them. To address these needs, we’re launching Delegated Admin to our Business and Edu customers. With this new feature, your primary administrators or “Super Admins” can now offer other users specific administration controls.

Lukas Karlsson of the the Broad Institute summed it up, “I like the fact that I can create additional administrator accounts and grant them access to certain administrative functions without having to make them full-fledged administrators. Our organization is growing quite large and, as that happens, we want to grant more folks access to specific tabs in the control panel, so this is very useful.”

Joseph Dellano of Tempus Nova, Inc. believes, “this will be well-used by enterprises that have specific people in charge of of responsibilities like mailing list administration.” Specifically, a Super Admin can create a help desk for your organization by granting other administrators the minimal access necessary to do their jobs. Consider an example:

Collin is an IT Associate at your company who is responsible for helping employees who have lost their password or username. You can now give Collin the ability to access the “Organization & Users” tab in the Control Panel, so that he can manage user access to Google Apps. You can also further control which actions he has the right to perform. For example, you may give Collin the right to reset passwords, but not to create new user accounts.

With these customizable privileges, Delegated Administration is another way you can tailor Google Apps to your business needs. To get started today:
  1. Log in to the Google Apps administrator control panel
  2. Under “Organization and Users,” find and click on the user account to which you wish to grant privileges
  3. Click the “Privileges” tab
  4. To make the user a Super Admin select the check box labeled “This user has full administrative rights within this Control Panel.” To restrict the user's access to selected functions the Control Panel, select the check boxes next to the tabs you want the user to access
  5. Select the specific actions the user is allowed to perform under each tab
  6. Click “Save changes” to confirm that you want to grant administrator access to the user
When the user signs into the control panel, only the Dashboard and the selected tabs will appear in the menu bar. The user will have administrator access to the settings you granted them, but nothing more.

We look forward to continuing to make it easier to help Google Apps administrators share tasks across teams and Help Desks.


This week the Google Enterprise team is excited to be participating in the Cyber Security Strategies Summit (CSSS) in Washington DC on May 10th-12th. At the summit later today, I’ll be presenting a session on cloud security at scale and the data protections that are in place for our Google Apps customers.

If you’re not able to attend the conference, you can visit our Google Apps Trust site and find more information on the security and data protection measures in Google Apps. Many of them are highlighted in our security white paper and data center video tour. We take extreme measures protect our users data and we are constantly innovating to develop new features and capabilities in these areas.


Today at Google I/O we unveiled the first Chromebooks. These mobile devices are a new kind of computer designed specifically for people who live in the browser. Chromebooks are made for people seeking uncompromising speed, simplicity and security, while providing features that will delight the IT department, too. For businesses and schools, we’re offering a subscription that includes the Chromebook, a web-based management console and 24/7 support from Google starting at $28 per month for businesses and $20 per month for schools.1

The concurrent rise of cloud computing and powerful devices like smartphones and tablets is dramatically changing the way we work. But to date the innovation has stopped at the PC. We still worry about crashes, long boot times, software incompatibilities, endless program updates, outdated hardware, viruses, and all the other headaches associated with a personal computer. What’s more, managing a PC is expensive when you include setup, maintenance and security - not to mention the lost productivity when things break. According to Gartner Research, the total cost for a desktop computer is between about $3,300 and $5,800 per year and laptops can cost even more.2

Chromebooks relieve these pains. They boot in 8 seconds, resume instantly and have WiFi and optional 3G so that users can always stay connected. Since Chromebooks update automatically, the software gets better over time, delivering the latest features as soon as they are released. Chromebooks are the first PCs designed with ongoing security threats in mind, which is critical for businesses. Chromebooks employ the principle of “defense in depth” to provide multiple layers of protection, including sandboxing, data encryption, and verified boot - to help keep your organization safe.

We also recognize that organizations want to centrally manage their Chromebooks, so we’re happy to announce we’re making this easy, with the ability to control accounts, applications and devices from a single web-based console. The new Chromebooks pricing model and simple, central maintenance means that Chromebooks are far more cost-effective than traditional PCs. Companies can save thousands of dollars per employee each year!

The browser is the platform
Chromebooks arrive as the browser is rapidly replacing the desktop as the platform for business applications. 85% of new software vendors will be focused on developing web-based apps by next year, and pretty much all software innovation takes place in the browser today.3 Typically businesses would have to rewrite or repurchase applications when moving to another operating system – not with Chrome OS! Chromebooks work with your existing web apps, browser-based apps behind the firewall and we even have a solution for your desktop applications via our collaboration with Citrix. By navigating to an HTML5-based version of Citrix Receiver, users can access virtualized applications such as Adobe® Photoshop® right from the browser.

We believe that a combination of web and virtualized apps will suit most business users today; in fact, a recent survey we commissioned found that two-thirds of companies could already switch the majority of their employees to an exclusively browser-based computing environment.4

What we learned from the pilot program
Since December more than 50,000 organizations have applied to our pilot program for testing Chromebooks. Participants ranged from the Intercontinental Hotels Group, Logitech® and MeadWestvaco to KIPP Academy and the City of Orlando. We heard from sales managers that the long battery life and integrated 3G helped them work more often from more places. Teachers told us that fast boot times and a reliable operating system meant more time to teach not troubleshoot. And IT administrators reported that Chromebooks were easier to manage and reduced security concerns, especially around viruses and the loss of sensitive data.

How to get your Chromebooks
Starting today, businesses and schools can contact Google regarding Chromebooks for Business and Education. This hardware and software as a service includes the Chromebooks themselves, a web-based management console to remotely manage users, applications and policies, full enterprise support, device warranties and replacements and regular hardware refreshes. Initially Chromebook subscriptions will be available in the US, UK, France, Germany, Netherlands, Italy and Spain, and we’ll be bringing them to other countries soon.

Learn more about Chromebooks for Business and how pilot customers are using them.

You can also join us for a live webinar on Chromebooks for Business and Education on Thursday, May 19, 2011 at 9 AM Pacific Time. Register here.

1Plus applicable taxes and other fees, subject to change without prior notice.
2Gartner Research, 2010. "Desktop Total Cost of Ownership: 2011 Update”
3IDC, 2010. “Worldwide Software as a Service 2010–2014 Forecast: Software Will Never Be the Same.”
4Google-commissioned 2011 Hall & Partners online survey of over 400 IT decision makers.


Back in 2009, we hosted our first conference on data center efficiency at the Google campus in Mountain View, CA. Colleagues from the industry joined us in sharing best practices and laying out the path to improved efficiency in large-scale computing infrastructure. In the past two years we’ve continued to work hard at improving our own efficiency, and we’ve been impressed by the advances others in the industry have made as well. Leaders in the tech sector have managed to achieve and surpass what seemed like stretch goals at the time.

Data center efficiency isn’t just for the big guys. Improving the energy efficiency of your facility – large or small – reduces your organization's total environmental impact. It also makes financial sense for computing infrastructures at any scale, as the most effective efficiency best practices are actually quite straightforward. Whether you run a facility of a hundred kW or a multi-MW data center, there are simple, immediate steps you can take to deliver rapid environmental and economic returns.

We’re happy to announce that we’re hosting a second data center efficiency conference, this time in Zurich, Switzerland, on May 24th. We’ll be gathering industry leaders together again to share and discuss the latest energy efficiency best practices. The agenda includes:
  • Keynotes on data center sustainability
  • Best practice case studies from Google and other leading organizations
  • Practical implementation strategies for local cooling solutions and geo-independent approaches to efficiency
  • Time for networking with peers, including a relaxed cocktail reception after the Summit.

Limited space is still available. Find out more and register to attend here.


Editors note: Today we’re at Google I/O, and we have a few announcements about how we’re making our developer tools more available and better for businesses. The third and final, below, summarizes important improvements to the Google Prediction API.

Last year we introduced the Google Prediction API to give select developers access to Google’s sophisticated machine learning algorithms to analyze a wide range of example data and provide predictions for likely outcomes. Whether you want to create an automated spam and security filter, provide recommendations based on customer demographics, or find hidden patterns in financial data, the Prediction API can quickly make your app smarter.

Today we’re making the Prediction API available to everyone. We’re also announcing some new features to make it more helpful to businesses including:
  • Streaming training data that allows for rapid adaptation to real-time data and allows refinement of predictive models.
  • Improved user interface that provides consistent prediction scores, error reporting, and simplified formatting.
  • 99.9% uptime service level agreement for additional assurance.
  • Gallery of pre-built third party prediction models (coming soon) that will enable the immediate deployment of established models without the need for original development, beginning with these demo models.
There are many use cases for the Prediction API, including several being developed by Ford Motor Co. Research. Ford is working to use the Prediction API to optimize plug-in hybrid electric (PHEV) vehicle energy efficiency and usage by predicting driver destinations and optimizing the driving controls based on driving conditions to conserve fuel. Using the cloud-hosted API, Ford has been able to access computationally-intensive machine learning algorithms from Google to find patterns that rank potential destinations based on previous driving paths.

The Google Prediction API is the only cloud service that allows businesses to access this depth of sophisticated machine learning with only a few API calls and by utilizing the flexibility of Google Storage. Learn more on the Google Code Blog or visit the Prediction API site to sign up for an account.


Editors note: Today we’re at Google I/O, and we have a few announcements about how we’re making our developer tools more available and better for businesses. The second, below, summarizes important improvements to Google Storage for Developers.

Last year we introduced Google Storage for Developers, a cloud service that allows businesses to store their data on Google’s infrastructure. Google Storage for Developers’ high responsiveness, flexible sharing and multiple layers of data replication make it a great choice for any scenario that requires web-connected storage, including data sharing, storage for computation, static content hosting, data for web applications, backup/recovery, and more.

Starting today, you no longer need an invitation to sign up for Google Storage. Along with opening the doors, we’ve also implemented several significant product enhancements including:
  • OAuth 2.0 support - This authentication mechanism provides your applications with a great combination of enhanced security and flexibility.
  • Simplified sharing - Share data with anyone who has a Google account, regardless of whether or not they have a Google Storage for Developers account.
  • A new European storage region - Choose to store your data in Europe if it’s closer to your customers, with the same high levels of availability and reliability as our US storage region.
  • Team-oriented accounts - A more natural development and management model, which more closely aligns with the way other Google APIs are managed.
  • Streaming uploads - Stream data directly to Google Storage without buffering it on your own servers.
  • Larger data object support - Upload objects of up to 5 terabytes in size. 
  • Free trial plan - Try Google Storage for free with up to 5 GB of free storage and 25 GB of free bandwidth into and out of Google’s data centers until December 31, 2011.
These new features advance our commitment to offering highly available, scalable, and flexible business-focused storage in the cloud. Now, with our new free trial plan you can easily get started. Learn more on the Google Code Blog.


Editors note: Today we’re at Google I/O, and we have a few announcements about how we’re making our developer tools more available and better for businesses. The first, below, summarizes important improvements to Google App Engine.

Google App Engine, which provides the ability to develop and host applications on Google’s infrastructure, has gained momentum quickly since it launched as preview status in 2008. More than 100,000 developers use App Engine every month to deliver apps that dynamically scale with usage without the need to manage hardware or software. App Engine now hosts more than 200,000 active apps that serve over 1.5 billion site views daily.

Over the last three years, we’ve collected great feedback from our customers and now believe that the biggest thing we can do to help them is to graduate App Engine from preview status. When App Engine graduates from preview status, which we expect to do in the second half of this year, we’ll add additional enterprise-grade features that allow us to support many more business application scenarios. Graduation from preview status also indicates Google's a longer term commitment to the product and establishes a deprecation policy whereby we will support prior versions of product APIs for a guaranteed amount of time, allowing applications written to prior API specifications to continue to functioning.

Today, we’re moving forward with our business focus with the release of App Engine 1.5.0 which includes Backends, improved Task Queues, and more:
  • With Backends, App Engine can now support applications that require long running and high memory processes. This feature allows for new classes of applications such as report generation apps and custom search engines to be hosted on the platform.
  • The improvements to Task Queues allows for applications to control how tasks are executed and easily share the work using the new REST-based APIs. This API access expands App Engine’s compatibility with other on-premise and cloud services, furthering our commitment to an open development platform.
In addition, when we take App Engine out of preview in the second half of this year, we will provide a 99.95% uptime service level agreement, operational and developer support, offline billing, and a new Terms of Service agreement geared towards businesses. We will also introduce a new billing structure for App Engine based on more transparent usage-based pricing.

We’re announcing these features and pricing changes in advance so that our customers have time to review. Adding business features will help App Engine meet a broader set of needs and the new, more transparent pricing model will help customers better align their App Engine investment with their business goals. Learn more about these changes on the App Engine Blog.


Google Search Appliance (GSA) customers are probably already familiar with the ecosystem of connectors that allow the GSA to seamlessly integrate with a variety of third party enterprise systems, including Microsoft SharePoint®, EMC Documentum® and IBM FileNet®. Today we’re pleased to announce the release of a new connector, developed by EMC using its VNX Event Enabler® platform, that will improve time-to-information with on-the-fly indexing for content stored on EMC VNX™ Unified Storage.

The VNX Connector for the Google Search Appliance uses VNX’s Event Enabler functionality to publish event notifications when changes are made to enterprise content, for example adding, changing or deleting files. When these events occur, the VNX Event Enabler automatically sends notifications to the GSA, providing users with more up-to-date search results for content that is stored on the VNX. Moreover, metadata about these updated results will feed directly into the dynamic navigation feature available on the GSA, for quick drill-down and navigation of the content using facets and attributes. Administrators can also target which information is indexed and made searchable through the VNX storage console.

We’re excited to be working with EMC on this unique implementation of our connector technology. The solution will provide users with a great experience as they grapple with the rapid expansion of information in their business.

For those of you who are attending EMC World, taking place in Las Vegas this week, we will be on the ground at the EMC Unified Storage booth to talk more about this solution. We look forward to seeing you there to explain how VNX Storage and the Google Search Appliance work together to maximize your IT investments.


WWF is a charity foundation that works with a number of partners to drive conservation and sustainability projects around the world. At any one time, WWF has over 1,300 projects underway in more than 100 countries.

With projects spanning the globe, there had been a long standing need to provide a more interactive and collaborative environment to support these dispersed project teams.

WWF began rolling out Google Docs, Google Sites and Google Calendar in May 2009, aiming to deliver an efficient platform for creating project workspaces and file repositories, as well as provide a new framework for their intranet.

For this live webinar we are excited to be joined by Neil Morgan, Global Intranet Manager at WWF, who will provide insight into how WWF is using Google Apps to collaborate more effectively across global teams.

Neil comments, “18 months on, we have achieved significant adoption of the new collaborative platform, resulting in improved content management processes, greater efficiencies, and less reliance on email for collaboration purposes.”

This live webinar will be hosted by Angela Ashenden, who is a Principal Analyst at MWD Advisors and leads the Collaboration practice.

When: Wednesday, May 18, 2011 at 14:00 BST (GMT+1)
Who: Angela Ashenden, Principal Analyst, MWD Advisors; Neil Morgan, Global Intranet Manager, WWF International; Kaisa Qvist, Product Specialist, Google Enterprise.

Register now

Posted by Steve Bazyl, Google Apps Marketplace team

As the Google Apps Marketplace continues to grow, finding the right apps to run your business among the hundreds available becomes more challenging. Today we’re kicking off a new effort to help make that process a little easier, and offering some of our own personal picks of apps we think are worth checking out. A few times each month via Twitter, we’ll highlight an app that offers a combination of great functionality, ease of use, and deep integrations with Google Apps that can save valuable time. We’ll use the Twitter hashtag #mpstaffpick to make these easy to find.

Our first staff pick is Mavenlink, a custom-branded project management solution that allows teams to collaborate online, share files, track time, invoice, and make or receive payments, all inside one end-to-end app. Google Apps users can also easily share documents, access contacts, and track projects on their calendars.

If you’re in need of a great project management app, give Mavenlink a try. And if you happen to be at Google I/O next week, you can meet the Mavenlink team in our Developer Sandbox.

To stay up to date and hear about our next pick, follow us on twitter at GoogleAtWork.

Editor's note: Over 3 million businesses have adopted Google Apps. Today we’ll hear from Marawan El-Asfahani, Managing Principal of Oxygen, a creative design agency based in Toronto, Canada. To learn more about organizations that have gone Google, or to share your own story, visit our community map or test-drive life in the cloud with the Go Google cloud calculator.

At Oxygen Design Agency, we offer branding services, develop retail campaigns, build corporate communication and more, helping companies market effectively, discover their voices and reach their audiences quickly. Four years ago, we were using the Apple® product for email, and it was constantly crashing on us. I figured the solution was clear: a server and Microsoft® Office. But then this tech buddy of mine made a suggestion. He said we could either go with a pricey server and software suite, or we could give Google Apps for Business a try at $50/user/year. “Hmm...”, I thought. That’s when we crossed over.

It was so easy to set up Google Apps, and with it, our downtime worries went away. As a business owner with 16 people on staff, I always want to make sure my teams are set to go in their jobs. When a new employee used to walk into the studio, it would take a lot of time to set them up with email and other software. Now it takes five minutes.

Google Apps also helps us stay connected. Our designers work very closely with our clients and suppliers, which requires them to constantly be on the move. Now, whether we’re at client sites or photo shoots, Google Apps keeps us in touch; we can chat right from our email and access important work files from any web-enabled device.

When we first adopted Google Apps, we did see some push-back from a few employees. There were certain features these employees didn’t see, and this made them skeptical. But then Google consistently released new features that made the products better and met those needs, and now those people are the ones who are most enthusiastic about our company’s use of Google Apps.

At Oxygen, we’re now heavy users of Google Apps -- especially Sites, which we’ve found to be an intuitive system to work from. We’ve used it to build a company intranet where we store employee manuals, health insurance policies, stock photo sources, and even a restaurant corner to showcase some of the really cool boutique restaurants we have in our city. Our designers can write reviews on local places for everyone to see -- from their desk or even from their mobile devices.

With Google Apps, we’re a much more powerful company. I’m proud to say we’ve gone Google.

Posted by Marawan El-Asfahani, Managing Principal, Oxygen Design Agency

Editor’s note: Today’s guest blogger is Cesar Ramanauskas, Systems Engineer at EAT., a restaurant chain in the U.K. Learn more about other organizations that have gone Google on our community map or test drive life in the cloud with the Go Google cloud calculator.

EAT. is a fast growing and dynamic restaurant chain with more than 1,700 employees and over 100 stores throughout the U.K. We pride ourselves on serving “good, fresh, uncomplicated food” in our stores every day. It is our job in the IT Team to adapt that philosophy and provide simple, fast and uncomplicated systems to our customers and employees. In addition to free customer Wi-Fi, Twitter feed (@eat_news) and iPhone app, we have pioneered technologies such as an integrated Chip & PIN contactless payment solution in the U.K.

In preparation for our goal of doubling in size, EAT. migrated to Google Apps for Business, after more than a decade of using Novell GroupWise®. We found the GroupWise upgrade process very costly and time-consuming, and because of long release intervals between versions our users had to wait years to access new features. We needed something better.

Our research for an alternative led us to Google Apps for Business. Its innovative approach to communication and collaboration, tied to its highly scalable and secure environment, was second to none. All the steps in this transition, from seamless deployment and migration to user training, were performed by the small in-house team of experts.

I, for one, believe that the cloud is not just another buzzword, but is definitely where the future of productivity lives. Outfitting our users with software that works in a web browser means there is less need to install and update local applications. Plus, it gives them extra flexibility to take their work away from their desks onto mobile phones, tablets and other gadgets.

Furthermore, with Google Apps’ on-demand capacity, we avoided the ever growing capital and time expense of owning, running and protecting the servers ourselves. We also steered well clear of the upfront cost of building the infrastructure required to accommodate our aggressive expansion plans, without either wasting or having insufficient resources.

Time and cost savings didn’t stop there. Although BlackBerry® devices are fully supported by Google Apps, we appreciated the flexibility of Android devices with native Gmail, calendar, and the latest corporate and management apps, such as Google Apps Device Policy and Authenticator for 2-Step verification. We kept the momentum and in just one day all users were migrated to new the HTC Desire Z™. Retiring BlackBerry Enterprise Servers in the process was a welcome saving on our infrastructure!

Ultimately, it all adds up. With Google Apps for Business, our costs, risks, and storage usage shrank considerably while our user satisfaction, productivity and revenue opportunities multiplied. We are now able to allocate more time and resources to activities that really matter - good service and quality food.

Posted by Cesar Ramanauskas, Systems Engineer, EAT.

At Google, two things that are important to us are hearing directly from customers and designing and building applications with data protection features in mind.

Today, we get the pleasure of combining the two as we host a Google Apps Customer Advisory Forum focused on security and compliance. These forums are one of the many ways that we interact with customers, share our plans, discuss their priorities and together help shape the future of Google Apps. Customers will share why the security and compliance features of Google Apps led them to Go Google, and how we can further enhance our products in these areas.

Many of the security and data protection measures in Google Apps are outlined in our security white paper. We’re the first major cloud provider to offer 2-step verification, default https encryption, attachment viewing and mobile device management in the browser, and many other security and administrative capabilities.

For additional information about the security and privacy of Google Apps, please visit our Google Apps Trust site where you can see a video that highlights the data protections that are in place in our data centers.

Posted by Adam Swidler, Sr. Manager, Google Enterprise