Google Apps, along with all of Google, will get a new look over the course of the summer to make the user interface more focused, elastic and effortless to use. We continuously improve and seamlessly update our products (there were over 125 new features added to Google Apps last year) and hope that these user interface updates will make features easier to find when you need them and hide them when you don't. Our goal is to give you the best possible experience across all of our apps on all of your devices.

Just like you, we rely on Google Apps every day and we know that change can take a little while to get used to. So we want to give you a heads-up before the new look becomes the default, and we’d like you to share your feedback along the way. These visual improvements will follow our standard Google Apps release process, with organizations on the Rapid Release track gaining access to the updates first, followed later by organizations on the Scheduled Release track. The first visual updates will be in Gmail and Calendar, and to start they will be available on an opt-in/opt-out basis, so you can continue to use the old interface and preview the changes before they become the default later this year. When you do give it a try, we hope you enjoy a cleaner, more modern look.

On the site, you’ll find instructions on how to access the latest designs for Gmail and Calendar. We’ll keep this site up-to-date with the latest information about the new look as well as a feedback form and other resources for Google Apps administrators and users.

Posted by Shan Sinha, Google Apps Product Manager

Monday we shared some thoughts on why you might consider going Google. Since some of you asked for more, we invited our customers and partners to help us. After all, who knows the reasons better than they do?

We were humbled by the speed and thoughtfulness with which hundreds of people responded. Within 24 hours, we received more than 500 reasons to consider Google Apps. Thank you!

Just for fun, we put all the answers into a word cloud to offer a glimpse at what’s most important to our customers. We were pleased to see alignment with the four categories we shared Monday: pure and proven cloud, designed for teams, productive anywhere, and simple and affordable. If you’re interested, you can see the full list of responses here.

Word cloud based on over 500 reasons provided by our customers and partners.

Over the course of the coming weeks we hope to share as many of these reasons as possible in a more digestible way. Feel free to share additional thoughts by completing this form.

Thanks again for all the kind words!

(Cross-posted on the Lat Long Blog)

Editors note:
The Google team encounters fun and new ways of using the Google Earth and Maps API. Here’s an example of how a century old educational map and globe publishing company realized more students wanted to learn online and transformed their teaching methods to include a program built on the Google Earth API. Don Rescigno, from Herff Jones | Nystrom, explains how students and teachers benefit from technology in the classroom with StrataLogica.

With today's technology enabling information to travel at a much more rapid rate than in the past, students feel more advanced than what many of us can remember from our own days in school. Elementary school students use a school computer, manage multiple usernames and passwords, work with spreadsheets, develop their own blogs and websites, and more. They’re tech savvy and they’re connected.

The challenge for educators is to use tools and resources that take advantage of students' advanced technological skills. Combining educational content with technology like the Google Earth API gave us the opportunity to foster a new and immersive experience that changes the way students see our world.

StrataLogica—combined with the Google Earth API —provides students with powerful tools to visualize and comprehend the ways in which geography has impacted events, politics and populations throughout human history. Students have the ability to see current events, taking place around the world, from their classroom.

Using a computer or interactive whiteboard, students uncover layers of educational content and can then drill down to Google Earth’s satellite imagery, see what’s actually there, and even use historical imagery to compare then and now. Recently, I had to play the role of a teacher when one of my children overheard a CNN report on Japan and asked, “Dad, what made the earthquake and tsunami?” The ability to access and interact with so many resources—aerial imagery of the earthquake, videos, and photos posted by Japanese citizens, local news stories—allowed me to teach him about the Earth’s processes and their impact. It helped to create a better understanding beyond the news story. It fostered critical thinking and a global perspective.

Like so many with children, I want to see students learning in a new way that
inspires them. It’s important for our future generation to understand how we are all connected — to think
globally and comprehend world impact. We want them to truly become global
citizens. StrataLogica and the Google Earth API are helping change the way students see the world; they can “fly” to any location in a matter of seconds, zoom in to imagery and see street views of historical sites that they may never have an opportunity to visit, embed videos and photos, and experience their own virtual field trips.

If you’re an educator interested in teaching geography, history, earth science and
more, visit to learn more.


Editors note: Today’s guest blogger is Dan Moore, CIO for Quality Distribution (QDI), the largest tank truck operator in North America and a major transporter of hazardous materials. See what other organizations that have gone Google have to say.

Prior to switching to Google Apps, QDI was a 100% Microsoft®-enabled shop. We heavily leveraged Microsoft Exchange Server 2007, Outlook, SharePoint Portal Server 2003, and all of the Microsoft Office suite. Like many companies in recent years, our budgets were tight, and our business requirements were not getting simpler. With approximately 1,000 administrative personnel and 2,500 drivers, and an aged desktop client base, we looked to cloud computing as a silver bullet.

We compared both Google Apps and Microsoft Office 365 for several months in 2010. We decided to go with Google’s product line due to their simpler cost model, wider breadth of applications, and deeper experience at building applications for the cloud. Microsoft Office 365 did not seem as cohesive as the Google cloud offerings. The Microsoft total cost of ownership was higher, had more dependencies on the physical device, and fewer features.

We rolled out Google Apps to our all of our corporate users over the course of a month, and we’ve already received positive feedback from employees. We anticipate saving $250,000 annually in software licensing, plus the cost avoidance of future spend on data center hardware. Perhaps more compelling, is the time savings opportunity of collaborating in Google Docs. We are already seeing early adopters embracing the collaboration of Google Apps, and I believe the time savings will only increase with the users experience.

For the users that have migrated their documents to the cloud, we will be replacing their older PC’s with net-books such as Google’s Chromebook. The lower hardware requirements of web enabled applications, allow our IT department to spend more time delivering improvements to the the user experience. One of our first examples of this was our implementation of video and voice chat via Google Talk into our driver recruiting process.

Finally, as Google Apps comes with access to the Google Apps Marketplace, our team has begun evaluating apps as solutions to business problems previously prohibitive due to expensive hardware and support costs. These apps are generally priced at levels with little risk to adoption while seamlessly integrating into the Google Apps enterprise.

Our company still has a long way to go before I can say we are 100% cloud, but the trip so far has had few storms and many silver linings.


Help us get to 365! Many of you have asked us to list all 365 reasons to consider Google Apps. We'd like to hear yours- add them here, and check back for the results later this week!

Tomorrow Microsoft is launching Office 365. Many of you have asked for our perspective, so we thought we’d share some thoughts to help you make an informed choice.

Technology inevitably gets more complicated as it gets older. Upgrading platforms and adding features results in systems that are increasingly difficult to manage and complex to use. At times like these, it's worth considering a clean-slate: an approach based on entirely modern technologies, designed for today’s world.

Here are some things to think about as you compare Google Apps and Office 365:

Designed for Teams
Office 365 is for individuals. Apps is for teams.

Most of us no longer spend our days working on our own. We work with others: creating, collaborating, sharing.

With Apps you can work with multiple people in the same document. There’s no need to
worry about whether or not it’s possible to share a spreadsheet, or co-edit a presentation. You can see people type in real time, and share a file in just two clicks. Discussions bring people into your documents for rich conversations. You don’t need to buy additional licenses to work with others, or hope people outside your company have upgraded to the same software. If you have a Google account, you can collaborate.

“We’ve shaved eight weeks off of the end-to-end budgeting process using Google Docs, which translates into close to 30% time savings,” said Michael Rodger, Delta’s Director of Digital Innovation.

Productive Anywhere
Office 365 is built for Microsoft. Apps is built for choice.

Office 365 is optimized for Windows-based PCs and devices, which reduces your flexibility. Our applications are designed to work well on any device, on any operating system. Desktop, laptop, Chromebook, tablet, smartphone. Windows, Mac, Linux, Android, Blackberry, iOS, Windows Mobile. Edit on the go. Share from anywhere. Start on your computer, move to your tablet, finish on your phone. When the web is the platform, it just works.

“The initial reason we looked at Google Apps was cost savings, but the on-going value of access to information from anywhere totally independent of the device is where we're seeing the real gain,” said Scot Adams, the CIO of Cadillac Fairview.

Simple & Affordable
Office 365 is 11 different plans, three editions and two tiers. Apps is $5/month with no commitment.

Google Apps for Business and five of eleven Microsoft Office 365 plans
(Click image to expand)

We have a single, transparent, low price that meets everyone’s needs, and it hasn’t changed in 4 years. There’s no extras for basics like phone support and robust productivity apps. No long term contracts or opaque enterprise agreements.

We also don’t lock you in. By design, we make it as easy as possible for you to move off of Google Apps if you want. We have a dedicated team of engineers whose sole goal is to help you get your data in and out of our products for free. We believe that the way to keep you long term is to continue to innovate and make our products better so that you choose to stay with us.

Pure & Proven Cloud
Office 365 is about the desktop. Apps is about the web.

Google Apps are accessed in a browser. There’s no client software to install, secure and maintain. Upgrades and years of patience aren’t necessary to get access to the latest innovation, just click refresh. Our customers received more than 125 new features in the last year alone.

Running a reliable and secure cloud-based service is challenging and requires you to rethink everything. This year Gmail has been available 99.99 percent of the time, which translates to less than 5 minutes of downtime per month. That includes all downtime, planned and unplanned, of any duration, for any and all users. We make zero exceptions when calculating our uptime, and we’re transparent with you in the rare cases when things go wrong.

You can't just take legacy, desktop software, move some of it to a data center and call it "cloud." Apps was born for the web and we've been serving hundreds of millions of users for years.

Ok, we didn’t get to all 365 reasons here today, but we hope we gave you some things to think about. Ultimately, we have a fundamentally different vision for the future of software. That’s good, because it provides a clear choice. Before you invest ten years in the past, we’d humbly encourage you to invest ten minutes in today by checking out why so many businesses have chosen Google Apps.

Apps isn’t for everyone. But in the last week alone 38,000 businesses decided to give it a try. Maybe you should too.


Around here, our mantra is “think big.” That’s why when we first released Gmail on April 1, 2004 we offered 1GB of free storage—more than 100 times what most other free webmail services offered at the time. No wonder people thought it was an April Fool’s joke! So you can imagine the laughs when we launched Google Apps for Education in early 2006 with 2GB of email storage, which in some cases was hundreds of times more than what schools were traditionally offering their students and staff. We continued adding more storage, and today we offer over 7GB of free email space for everyone using Google Apps for Education.

Now it’s time to think bigger yet again. Starting next week, new schools that migrate to Google Apps for Education will see 25GB mailboxes. Existing customers will see their mailboxes grow over the course of the next few weeks.

To celebrate 25GB inboxes, we’d like to recognize 25 of the schools that have recently gone Google:
  1. Amarillo College
  2. Anaheim City School District
  3. Ann Arbor Public Schools
  4. Boston University
  5. Buffalo State College
  6. Chaminade University
  7. College of Lake County
  8. College of New Jersey
  9. College of the Holy Cross
  10. Corning Community College
  11. Fall River Public Schools
  12. Harvey Mudd College
  13. HEC Paris
  14. Instituto de Empresa Business School
  15. Nebo School District
  16. New Haven Unified School District
  17. New York University, Stern School of Business
  18. Oshkosh Area School District
  19. Queen Anne’s County Public Schools
  20. Spring Independent School District
  21. University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science - Center Administration
  22. University of Maryland in Baltimore
  23. University of Northern Iowa
  24. University of Salzburg
  25. University of Richmond
We know students and teachers are really busy. There’s no reason they should spend their time sifting through spam and deleting email to stay under quota. We hope bigger inboxes might offer the first step to helping today’s students think bigger.

If you’re interested in bringing Google Apps to your school, let us know.

Posted by: Jay Garg, Google Apps Team

Yesterday we announced that Wyoming became the first state to go Google. With the help of Google Apps implementation partner Tempus Nova, Wyoming moved 10,000 state employees to Google Apps in less than eight months, saving the state approximately $1 million a year. But, state employees aren’t the only ones in Wyoming using Google Apps. Today we’ll hear from other organizations in Wyoming that have gone Google.

Dubois Youth Activities - Dubois, WY
Dubois Youth Activities is a nonprofit that offers a variety of programs and activities for kids up to 18 years old. “We chose Google Apps because it was simple, and it made it easy to transfer job responsibilities from one employee to another. We also thought it would be easy to use for the parents and the teachers in our town. With Google Apps, we were able to create documents and surveys that all employees could easily access. We were also able to participate in conference calls and webinars together with Google Talk. I really love how user friendly it is.”
(Amanda Verheul, Manager)

Alpine Family Medical Clinic - Alpine, WY
Alpine Family Medical Clinic is a clinic of just 3 people, including a doctor, medical assistant, and office manager. “It was difficult to update and make changes to our lab forms, so we started using Google Apps. Now when parameters on our lab forms change, we can easily go into Google Docs and make changes. We can keep track of medication expiration dates, our inventory of crash-carts, and other types of equipment.”
(Wayne Noffsinger, Medical Assistant)

Tetra 4D - Cheyenne, WY
Tetra 4D helps support Adobe’s existing customers using 3D PDF technology, which allows 3D data to be converted into interactive PDF documents. “In 2010, Adobe asked us to form a new company that would be ready to take orders and provide customer service in less than four months. This never would have been possible without Google Apps. With Google Apps we were able to register our domain and set up email and a document management solution in a matter of minutes. Google Apps allowed us to launch our business quickly and begin taking orders from customers all over the world.”
(Greg Baker, General Manager)


When it comes to education, Wisconsinites have always been on the cutting edge. The very first kindergarten in the US was founded more than 150 years ago in the town of Watertown, WI. In higher education, the University of Wisconsin-Madison awarded the first Ph.D. in chemical engineering ever granted in 1905. Continuing the trend of advancing education in the state, K-12 schools in Wisconsin are going Google.

Thanks to a collaboration between the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction and the 12 Cooperative Educational Services Agencies (CESAs), over 850,000 students and 55,000 teachers across Wisconsin will have access to Google Apps for Education, professional development and technical deployment support.

"It’s fantastic to have such support for public education from Google, an outstanding leader in the business and information systems world," says Wisconsin State Superintendent Tony Evers. "I’m glad we were able to dedicate resources to help schools take advantage of this opportunity. Schools need to save time and money, and students need to learn collaboration and technology skills so they will graduate ready for higher education and the workforce. "

One of the reasons Wisconsin decided to bring Google Apps to the state was the overwhelming support from individual school districts. In fact, 81% of educators polled in an exploratory survey were already using or strongly considering Google Apps for Education. Many school districts who had gone Google offered to share their experiences to help the state make an informed decision.

Jon Tanner, Technology Director of Oregon School District in southern Wisconsin, moved to Google Apps in 2007 and found that "by choosing Google Apps, the Oregon School District has saved tens of thousands of dollars, improved the reliability of our email systems, enabled easier collaboration for staff and students, and provided students with experience on the kinds of web-based, collaborative software that they will use in the workplace."

40 miles south, teachers in the Janesville School District have been using Google Apps for the past 2 years to create paperless classrooms. Franklin Middle School uses Google Sites to distribute the school's newspaper. Third grade teacher Nicole Andresen has gone paperless by relying on Gmail and Google Docs to distribute assignments. "I can create comprehension questions, surveys and other assignments for my students to answer from their email using Google Forms," she said, "and it's so much easier for me to grade since I don't need to remember to bring worksheets home."

Kathy Boguszewski, Library Media & Instructional Technology Coordinator in Janesville, is excited for other Wisconsin schools to join the 12 million students and teachers that have gone Google worldwide. "Google Apps is changing how we work and teach," she said, "and we are loving it!"


(Cross-posted from the Docs Blog.)

As the dramatic growth of the mobile web changes the way people consume content, it’s becoming increasingly important for publishers to provide a good mobile experience. With this in mind, we just added automatic mobile rendering in Google Sites for iOS 3.0+ and Android 2.2+ devices, and a mobile version of the Google Sites lists.

By going to General settings under More actions > Manage site and clicking on Automatically adjust site for mobile phones, your Google site will be automatically adjusted whenever it’s viewed from an iOS or Android 2.2+ device:


The most noticeable automatic adjustments include:
  • Aligning the header layout and top bar
  • Fitting the width of the site to match the device’s width
  • Smart handling of sidebars, horizontal navigation, and dropdown links
After you’ve enabled this feature, you can preview the page from your computer as a mobile viewer using More actions > Preview as viewer then select Mobile from the yellow Preview page as viewer (Mobile | Desktop) box at the top of the page.

You can also choose to hide some of the links in your site’s footer to save vertical space.
After you’ve enabled this feature, you can preview the page from your c
omputer as a mobile viewer using More actions > Preview as viewer then select Mobile from the yellow Preview page as viewer (Mobile | Desktop) box at the top of the page.

It’s also important for you to be able to access and search your own sites on the go, which is why we’ve also added mobile versions of the site list, sites search, and browse sites categories.

Just navigate to from any iOS 3.0+ or Android 2.2+ device for quick access to your sites.

As more people unplug from their desks and interact with content on the go, new doors are opening for everyone. We hope these tools will empower you to meet the challenges of publishing in a mobile world using Google Sites.


It was another exciting year at Google I/O for Google App Engine, with more than a dozen businesses participating in the Developer Sandbox showcasing the innovative apps they are building on Google App Engine. We had a chance to hear feedback from our customers on our new version of App Engine, our future plans and our new pricing model. People were excited about the changes and eager to share with us how important App Engine has been to their businesses.

In the Sandbox, we took some time to catch up with Dan Murray, founder and managing director at WebFilings, to learn how building on App Engine has given them the speed, reliability and scale to secure major Fortune 500 clients including Valero, eBay, United Airlines, and Dish Network.

We also talked with Jessica Stanton from Evite about how it leveraged App Engine to build a technology that serves billions of pageviews a month. Evite did all of this with a team of only five developers, something it couldn't have done without the easy management and scalability App Engine provides.

And finally we heard from Gary Koelling from Best Buy, who explained to us:
“Our experience with Google App Engine really changed how we do things. We can use far fewer developers, and we don’t have to spend any time doing system administration or setting up servers, which allows us to focus on the development and testing new ideas.”
Google App Engine was discussed in more than 24 sessions at I/O this year, all of which you can view on the Google I/O site. If you’re interested in reading more about App Engine from the people who built it, check out our I/O recap post on the App Engine blog. We look forward continuing to improve App Engine for businesses and have an exciting year ahead.


Editors note: Today Wyoming Governor Matt Mead is announcing the completion of the migration of all 10,000 state government employees to Google Apps for Government. State employees now have a unified communications system that makes it easier for them to find & collaborate with one another. View the live stream of the Governor’s announcement starting at 8:00am MT.

Hello from the great State of Wyoming. We have some exciting news: our entire state government has gone Google. Wyoming is the first state in the country to make this transition. I am extremely proud to say that we are early adopters and this continues a long tradition of Wyoming firsts -- where Wyoming leads the way. Wyoming was the first state in the country where women voted. We also have the first National Park, Yellowstone, and first National Monument, Devils Tower. We had the first woman governor too. Join us online today at 8:00am MT/7:00am PT to view the live event as we make the announcement.

Wyoming and Google finalized the agreement in October of last year and so in less than 9 months we have moved 10,000 state employees over to Google Apps for Government. This is a sign of the adaptability and flexibility of our state government -- another source of pride for us.

Not only has Wyoming cut the cord and gone to cloud-based computing, allowing more mobility for and collaboration between employees, this is also the first time all of our employees have been on a shared email platform. This means greater efficiency and it will almost certainly lead to better service to the public. It also saves money in costs related to servers, licensing and staff. In addition, compared to what we would have spent for equivalent features in our previous system, we anticipate dramatic savings associated with email storage and overall security.

My office was in the first wave to transition to Google Apps, and I am pleased to say it has already made a big difference. Among its many features, Google Apps has provided efficiencies for scheduling and for keeping the office running smoothly. Our pioneer spirit is alive and well, which means great things for the state of Wyoming!


(Cross-posted from the Docs Blog.)

One of the key features of Google Cloud Connect for Microsoft Office is the ability to easily sync Office documents up to Google Docs and to collaborate on them with others. You asked us to simplify the experience of downloading and opening Office documents stored in your Google Docs account, so today we’re doing just that. Now you can open any Office file stored in Google Docs directly from within Microsoft Office.

From the Google Cloud Connect menu, click Open from Google Docs…

This will bring up a dialog listing all the documents that can be opened with the application you are using. For example, if you are working in Microsoft PowerPoint, you will see a list of all the Microsoft PowerPoint files available in Google Docs. You can then select the file you want to download and open.

If you have a lot of files stored in Google Docs, use search to find the file you are looking for. After selecting a file to open, the file will be downloaded to your computer and opened automatically.

When you want to open the file again, you’ll be able to open it from the folder you downloaded the file into. Now you can collaborate, share and access revision history on that file in Microsoft Office.

As always, please send us your feedback and thoughts.

Editor's note: We're thrilled to share stories from the people and organizations that use Google Apps to explore, discover and push the boundaries. These businesses truly embody the freedom enabled by the cloud.

Our fourth Apps Adventure profiles Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca, a racing organization based in Monterey, California that hosts world-renowned motorsport events at the track in Laguna Seca.

The famous corkscrew at Turn 8 defines how racers push the limits of speed at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca. One of the most challenging turns in racing, drivers experience a blind uphill approach then a dramatic drop in elevation in the second half of the corkscrew. The turn is part of a 2.238-mile long track that’s been navigated by racing professionals from around the globe.

Every season, our organization hosts world-class races at the track, bringing thousands of motorsport enthusiasts to the Monterey Peninsula. From Ferrari Racing Days to the Red Bull U.S. Grand Prix motorcycle races, our staff is dedicated to hosting events that showcase extreme speed. To accomplish this, we need the right technology behind the scenes that works for onsite employees as well as our hundreds of volunteers. As a result, last year we switched to Google Apps and it’s been a natural fit for our organization.

Before Google Apps, we used Microsoft® Exchange and it was maintained by more than a dozen volunteers. When I started at Mazda Raceway, I spent about 20 percent of my time just keeping the email servers going. We needed to speed up how we worked and Google Apps offered this with email and other productivity apps at a fraction of the cost of our old system. There are no upgrades necessary, no server maintenance, no downtime, and worldwide availability. It just works—without any effort from me or our volunteers.

Google Apps has quickly become a core part of how we run our organization. We rely heavily on Google Calendar for scheduling and have added shared resources like conference rooms and VGA projectors that can be booked at the same time a meeting is scheduled. We’re accelerating teamwork internally with Google Cloud Connect for Microsoft Office and are using Google Docs and Sites to improve a range of business processes.

For example, volunteers are critical to our success and Google Apps makes it easier to recruit and manage them. We now have a volunteer resource site, created from Google Sites, where we embedded a Google form to track sign-ups. Instead of having volunteers print out a form and fax or mail it to us, they submit their information online and it automatically fills an internal Google spreadsheet.

Everyone at Mazda Raceway is constantly on the move. From executives traveling abroad to staff members who are often out on the property (the track is situated on more than 500 acres), Google Apps gives everyone the ability to communicate from anywhere. Mail, contacts and calendars are automatically synced to each person’s mobile phone without any work on my part.

At Mazda Raceway, we all have a passion for racing and want to share that passion with our fans. Watch the video below to learn more about how Google Apps is helping us do this. And if you love racing as much as we do, experience our track using the Street View feature in Google Maps.

Posted by George Krieger, Technical Services Manager, Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca


(Cross-posted from the Google India Blog.)

Today in Mumbai, more than 400 IT and business leaders will join Google executives, industry experts and some of our local partners for the first Google Enterprise Roadshow in India. Themed around ‘The Future of Work’, the roadshow explores how local companies are embracing Google’s enterprise cloud computing solutions to improve company-wide communication, document management and team collaboration. We are seeing strong adoption of Google Apps for Business in India, and today we are excited to announce two new customers that are among the latest to go Google:

Indian Youth Congress (IYC) is the official youth wing of the Indian National Congress and one of the largest youth organizations in the world. After evaluating a number of solutions for email and collaboration, IYC opted to move its more than 28,000 elected officials and volunteers to Google Apps for Business. The collaborative capabilities of Google Apps will help IYC deliver on its mission of transparent and democratic participation and empower its members to work for local development in India using technology.

As Rajeev Satav, National President of IYC, says “Technology is a great enabler in bringing people together and operating efficiently. We’re excited about being the first social organization in India to adopt the latest cloud technology from Google. With Google Apps we will be better equipped to work with India’s youth and leverage the power of technology to conduct programs of local relevance and contribute to our vision.”

Punj Lloyd is a leading global provider of engineering, procurement, and construction (EPC) services in the energy and infrastructure sectors. From the engineering of the world’s largest wheat-based Bioethanol plant in England to the design of the highest reinforced earth wall for an airport in the foothills of the Himalayas, virtually all of Punj Lloyds’ projects require great teamwork and knowledge-sharing among the company’s 24,000 employees.

Yet until now, Punj Lloyd’s teams had no easy way to collaborate with one another. With operations in over 20 countries across the Middle East, Africa, Asia Pacific and South Asia, Punj Lloyd’s IT department had the tough job of maintaining a legacy email system with dozens of client applications being used to access email. After evaluating several on-premise and hosted options for email and collaboration, Punj Lloyd chose Google Apps for Business.

The company has just started the transition, and soon employees from different departments and teams working across timezones will be able to share documents and calendars, video chat, and create internal sites that everyone in the company can access. With Google Apps, Punj Lloyd’s IT department no longer has to maintain a legacy email system, and employees benefit from new, modern communication tools designed for team collaboration.

Hundreds of thousands of businesses have chosen to go Google across India. In doing so, they have made a choice to adopt secure and proven web-based productivity tools that are designed for team collaboration and accessibility from any device. We are committed to helping more Indian businesses make the transition to the 100% web world and we firmly believe that this will be a huge improvement for both users and IT departments in all organizations.

Posted by John Gale, Solution Developer, Appogee

Editors note: Guest author John Gale is a developer at Appogee, a Google focused systems integrator in the UK. John helps Appogee customers make the most of the Google platform and is the author of Appogee Bookmarks for Android.

Google Sites offers an incredible way to author and distribute content, and we use it extensively both for ourselves and our clients. Therefore it was not surprising that our customers started requesting a content approval workflow in Google Sites. Now with Google Apps Script, we have been able to develop Appogee Content Approval for Google Sites.

The Solution
Appogee Content Approval for Google Sites (ACA) can be set up for any existing Google Site without having to make any changes to the site. ACA works as follows:
  1. The ACA spreadsheet generates a Content Submission Form and any content submitted is routed to a selected approver.
  2. The approver receives an email notification, which they can authorize or reject.
  3. Once authorized, the ACA spreadsheet writes the new content into the target Site using Apps Script’s Sites services. The new content is then visible to anyone with view permissions in the target site.

Approver receives an email containing the submitted content

The content submission URL can be shared to any group or published directly on the target Google Site, which represents the end goal on the workflow diagram below. Content may only be submitted by users that are logged into your domain and content can only be published with Approver sanction.
ACA Workflow Diagram

Google Apps Script made it easy
We used a number of Apps Script services to develop this application. Apps Script was an easy choice as it builds on pooled knowledge from the Google Web Toolkit (GWT) and uses Javascript syntax. Using Apps Script’s UI Services, we were able build up a working user interface quickly. Google has since introduced a new experimental feature to complement the UI Services, which provides a drag and drop GUI for building screens. We expect this feature to reduce development time required for building future apps, as well as offering a wide range of widgets and controls to improve the user experience. We used a standard Google spreadsheet as a kind of a data store in ACA. It’s worth mentioning that Apps Script’s documentation site has a plethora of tutorials covering everything from simple spreadsheet macros to full help desk applications.

One of Google Apps Scripts’ core features is the ability to seamlessly integrate different services together, in our case this was Google Sites and Spreadsheets, but many other services are accessible, such as Mail and Contacts. It was always the aim to make ACA a powerful tool without unnecessary complexity and thanks to Google Apps Script, we have successfully delivered content approval workflow to Google Sites. ACA represents our third off-the-shelf product to be listed in the Google Apps Marketplace.


Editors note: We're pleased to welcome guest blogger Terry Geiger, Director of Corporate IT at The McClatchy Company. Learn more about other organizations that have gone Google on our community map.

With headquarters in Sacramento, Calif., The McClatchy Company has more than 8,400 employees with 30 daily newspapers spread throughout the U.S. Historically, each newspaper has operated independently with on-premise software and their own various business operation departments and specifically IT. To date, our technology has been both destandardized and decentralized, but our vision is to become a more collaborative organization and centralized where it makes best sense. We want to act as a cohesive enterprise, not a collection of smaller companies.

We have 8,500 mailboxes (individual and shared) spread across all 30 of our operations. Individual newspapers had been operating using various versions of Microsoft® Exchange Server, and managing that complexity had become expensive and cumbersome. All of these separate systems also made it very challenging for us collaborate. Just seeing the calendar of a co-worker at another newspaper or having access to reliable contacts wasn’t possible in many cases. I knew that email was one of the first things we needed to standardize to promote collaboration and begin to innovate in an industry not always known for being on the cutting edge of technology.

Also, email has become a business-critical function and with the economy and its impact on the newspaper industry, we had lost confidence in our ability to effectively manage and maintain such a distributed email environment with our diminished resources. We needed a solution that was easy to use and required little from IT to maintain.

We started evaluating technology options that could help us make collaboration across our entire organization a reality. We looked at Google Apps as well as Microsoft® Office 365 and BPOS. When evaluating our options we asked ourselves several questions: What’s the service level offered? What is their support like? Will there be people there to help when we have questions or run into issues? What is their record for uptime and reliability? We just didn’t see Microsoft providing the services aspect of “software as as service.” Their record for uptime was particularly concerning. Overall, Microsoft just doesn’t seem to have the services mindset that we found with Google.

Microsoft may still be the personal productivity leader, but Google is the team productivity leader. Google Apps and its collaborative nature are really where we want to go. Google has a better service strategy, better collaborative strategy, and a better cost structure.

In making our decision, we also calculated the cost of avoiding upgrades to our Microsoft Exchange and Office licenses. We estimate that Google Apps will cost only 67% of what we would have spent on the equivalent Microsoft technology over 5 years.

We’re currently working with SADA Systems to roll out Gmail, Google Calendar, Google Talk, and Google Sites. We’ll then let Google Docs take hold organically, but we are no longer going to en masse upgrade our Microsoft Office licenses. As a content creation and management company, the need to collaborate is tremendous and we’re excited about empowering our team to work together with Google Docs.

In addition to “anywhere access” email, we will now be able to synchronize calendars across the organization. We have secure chat functionality, and Google Sites to create a much better connection between sales staff and customers. IT can focus on other business-critical functions that generate revenue, manage content creation and delivery and put collaboration and content creation into the hands of our users.

We worried that there would be some resistance to this change, but our announcement to move to Google Apps has been met with a lot of enthusiasm – our employees are really excited. We see this as a critical part of our overall effort to use technical innovations like Google Apps to change the way that we operate our business.


Editors note: California State University, Monterey Bay is a growing public institution that serves nearly 5,000 students. Today is the two year anniversary of CSU Monterey Bay’s deployment of Google Apps. Guest blogger Greg Pool, Lead for Web Services, shares CSU Monterey Bay’s experiences with opting into the new infrastructure for Google Apps early.

CSU Monterey Bay (CSUMB) considers itself a “pre-release” campus; we want the latest features. This isn't to prove "we're cool," but because we see an opportunity to meet our users’ needs. When we heard that Google was making more applications available to Google Apps users, we were excited because services such as Blogger fit with a number of internal initiatives we had planned for this school year. In our view, the transition to the new infrastructure represented an opportunity to get access to tools we wanted -- for less money and in a more integrated manner.

Our IT department supports 10,000 users representing distinct groups and needs (faculty, students, staff), so we decided to take the timeline into our own hands. To minimize disruption for our users we planned the transition to the new infrastructure around our academic calendar. We also chose to transition a pilot group of users from our IT staff before flipping the switch for everyone, which helped us understand exactly what our users would experience during the transition.

One issue we had to address before the full transition was conflicting accounts, which occur when a user links a personal Google account to their CSUMB email address. Using the transition wizard, we were able to reach out to the 500 conflicting accounts in our organization to educate them about the change. In the end, only one of these 500 users wanted us to walk through the changes with him personally. In early January we were ready to switch all of our users over. Everyone in our IT department is a "glutton for punishment," meaning we love to test new technology, poke around looking for bugs, and run through every possible scenario where a user might encounter a problem. With this project, our gluttony for punishment wasn’t satiated: we didn’t run into a single significant issue while testing. The transition turned out to be a total non-issue. It just worked. And it has continued to work. After the transition our help desk support volume didn’t increase at all, even though we’ve enabled almost all of the new services, including Blogger, Google Moderator and Google Reader.

Now all of CSUMB’s users can do the educational work with Google Apps that some were doing with their personal Google Accounts before. All that cool academic stuff can now be done in one place, and everyone has access to the same set of tools. We’re excited about the ways these new applications increase our users’ potential. For example, one of the applications that has seen a lot of use is Google Moderator. This tool allows students to ask questions, show due diligence, and participate in campus discussions, even if they aren’t physically present in the same place. When we made the decision to enable the new applications, some of them such as Google Moderator had clear uses for our users, but we are convinced that students and faculty will find creative ways to use these services that we never could have thought of. We are still early in our exploration of what we can do with all of these new tools and we're looking forward to tons of new possibilities.


As school lets out and summer vacation begins, the Google Apps for Education team has been reflecting on what we've learned from our users over the past school year. We wanted to share some of the great stories we've heard from students and teachers in Colorado, Canada, Brown University, and Iowa.

Littleton Public Schools (LPS) in Colorado decided to "go Google" in the fall of 2010 and students are giving Google Apps high marks for working on collaborative projects. High school sophomore Kylie shares, "we no longer have to exchange contact information because everyone already has a Google account and it is saved in our contacts. We are also easily able to create either a Google doc or group for the project, and can invite the teacher as well to look at our work." Other LPS students Rachel and Bekah find that editing together in Google Docs "improved our writing by sharing with others and making comments at the same time" and working with documents stored online made it "easier to be organized and bring home assignments." And 5th grade student Jonathan likes Google Apps for the practical reason that "you don’t have to worry about paper getting lost and having your things get torn or ripped."

Before and after the faculty and staff at Littleton Public Schools have "gone Google."

Teachers from Edmonton Public Schools in Alberta, Canada are finding that Google Apps is increasing students’ engagement and saving teachers time. One teacher notes that "students love having the option to complete assignments online and homework completion has improved drastically." Another educator observes "moving to a web-based platform has made distributing, sharing, and collecting material seamless. It has significantly decreased my workload and planning, as I do not need to create several different versions of things."

Brown University’s undergraduates moved to Google Apps in the summer of 2009; the rest of the campus migrated the following year. This May, Brown asked the entire campus community -- faculty, staff and students -- to evaluate their satisfaction with and use of Google Apps. The results are overwhelmingly positive: nine out of ten members of the Brown community said they were “satisfied” or “very satisfied” with Gmail, and overall satisfaction has actually increased since the initial deployment. The detailed survey results are available at

At Clear Creek Amana Middle School in Iowa, the benefits of Google Apps extend beyond organized lessons. The "Creek Squad," a tech support team made up entirely of student volunteers, helps teachers and administrators get the most out of the technology at their fingertips. With Google Apps, it seems, the students really have become the teachers!

While school may be out for students and teachers, we're excited to spend the summer coding away to make sure that when classes start again in the fall, Google Apps is better than ever.


(Cross-posted on the Google Mobile Blog)

We don’t have to tell you that the workforce is increasingly mobile, and that workers on the go expect to be fully productive on email and calendar from their mobile devices. But we do want to tell you that we have a few new features for Google Sync users that will help employees work efficiently from anywhere on their iPhones and iPads.

Google Sync keeps your phone’s native mail and calendar apps in sync with your Gmail, Calendar and Contacts. Today, three new updates to Google Sync for iOS will allow you to:
  • Search all your emails in Gmail, not just the emails stored locally by the iOS mail app.

  • Accept, decline or edit calendar events from the iOS calendar app.

  • Send email from the address you want. We recognize that some of you manage multiple email addresses from a single Gmail account.Gmail’s “Send Mail as” feature lets you send messages with another email address listed as the sender instead of your Gmail address, e.g. instead of Now the iOS mail app will respect these settings.

These three updates are available to both Gmail and Google Apps email accounts.
For more information, visit Setting up Google Sync with your iOS device


A few weeks ago at Google I/O we announced a new kind of computer: Chromebooks. Chromebooks are fast, secure and simple to manage. Users like the easy, instant access to all of their computing needs without the complexity of traditional PCs. And if you’re a business or school, they’re extremely cost-effective.

With today’s announcement that the new Google Chromebooks are available from our partners, we’re officially open for business. 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/user for businesses and $20 per month/student for schools.

To learn more, please contact our sales team.

Pilot customer Jason's Deli discusses Chromebooks.


We’re constantly working to protect our users from email spam and phishing attempts. Some examples of these efforts include educating users about phishing and supporting open standards for email authentication such as DomainKeys Identified Mail (DKIM) in Google Apps - which can help reduce the risk of phishing attacks sent from spoofed domains.

And now our Postini services customers can take advantage of new capabilities to help protect users on legacy email servers such as Microsoft(R) Exchange. Recipient Policy Framework (RPF) is a new feature we developed for Postini that allows customers to authenticate inbound email to help ensure that each message is actually coming from who it says it’s from.

RPF uses an open Internet standard called Sender Policy Framework to authenticate inbound emails and allows customers to define policies on how to handle emails that don’t check out. When RPF is enabled by an administrator, it will help detect and block email spam and other suspicious messages.

To learn more about Postini services including our email security, compliance and continuity products, please visit our web site where you can compare pricing and sign up online.


This month we’re adding Staff Picks to our monthly App Tuesday posts to better help businesses identify and try great applications from the Google Apps Marketplace. With our inventory growing to well over 300 applications, these efforts help bring to the forefront new and interesting applications for your business.

Our vision for 100% web is to provide a seamless workflow with our apps and the best apps on the web. Whether you need project management solutions, finance tools or a database for your customer interactions, with Marketplace apps you can benefit from convenient integrations such as single sign-on, Gmail integration and Calendar and Docs synchronization.

We want to extend a warm welcome to some of the notable apps that have joined our Marketplace in the last month:
  • Nutshell CRM - a customer management app that helps you manage leads and customers through a unified interface and mobile access
  • Olark - a customer management app that helps boost sales on your website through a live chat widget
  • Weebly - a website tool that makes it easy for you to create a great website with no technical expertise
  • Symphony 440 - an application platform that enables you to create your own apps for CRM, project management and other workflow needs

We also want to highlight this month’s Staff Picks, which are chosen based on great functionality, ease of use, and deep integrations with Google Apps:
  • Mavenlink (slideshow) - a project management solution for professional services delivery
  • Solve360 (slideshow) - a CRM that integrates with Gmail, Calendar and Docs to help manage client projects
  • Smartsheet (slideshow) - a project management app based on great functionality, ease of use, and deep integrations with Google Apps
  • GQueues (slideshow) - a task management app that lets you share lists, assign tasks, get reminders and stay organized

Instead of managing on-premise solutions for your everyday business needs and dealing with constant software updates, patches and access issues, try running your business through Google Apps and the Google Apps Marketplace.

Posted by Anya Kuligina, Product Marketing Manager, Google Enterprise Apps

More than three million businesses have made the switch to Google Apps and are now able to enjoy tremendous collaboration boosts, not to mention saving a penny or two! In this webinar, we invite you to learn how one customer is using Google Apps to communicate and collaborate more effectively and efficiently.

Roland Corporation US is a leading manufacturer and distributor of electronic musical instruments. As with almost all business, Roland’s internal operations strategy is not by any means simple. The Marketing department alone, for a single campaign, has to produce product videos, artist demos, photographer bookings -- all while coordinating with various media agencies to make it all come together in a cohesive campaign. With all of these moving pieces, Roland needed a better ways for people to work together as a team. After exploring various options, Roland tuned to Google Apps for chart-topping functionality!

Join us for a live webinar on Thursday, June 16 at 12pm EDT with Dave Williams, Information and Technology Director at Roland. Dave will share why Google Apps was the ideal choice for his organization, as well as his experience and perspectives on what it takes to make the switch to Google Apps.

When: Thursday, June 16 at 12pm EDT

Who: Dave Williams, Information and Technology Director, Roland Corporation and Adriana Boden, Enterprise Senior Manager, Google

Register Now: Thursday, June 16, 12:00PM EDT/9:00AM PDT.


The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has selected Google Apps as the agency-wide e-mail and collaboration platform for its 25,000 employees, contractors and associates working across the country and around the world. NOAA CIO Joseph Klimavicz made this announcement at “Innovation for the Nation” today in Washington, DC.

As an agency that enriches life through science, NOAA's work stretches from the surface of the sun to the depths of the ocean—and touches the lives of every American and many others around the globe each day. NOAA provides dependable weather forecasts, life-saving storm warnings, vital climate monitoring, sustainable fisheries management, safer navigation, protection for our fragile oceans and coasts and job-creating coastal restoration.

Now the NOAA workforce will have cutting-edge email and collaboration tools to keep pace with fast-accelerating environmental change. Planners, emergency managers, health officials, citizens and other decision-makers count on NOAA's internationally-recognized science and services to help make wiser choices in a changing world.

When the need for a modern email system arose, NOAA issued an RFP in January, in keeping with the Obama Administration’s “Cloud First” policy, to find cloud-based email and collaboration solutions that would best serve the agency’s needs, including meeting its stringent security requirements.

Since NOAA wants its highly distributed workforce to enhance sharing information and strengthening teamwork as soon as possible, speed and ease of deployment were key factors in the decision to select Google and our implementation partners ERT Inc., Unisys, and Tempus Nova.

By the end of the year, NOAA's workforce will migrate to Google Apps from its existing systems, giving employees tools like video chat and real-time document collaboration, and support for a broader range of mobile devices. NOAA is also promoting new telework options; Google Apps will enable staff to access their e-mail, documents and data from anywhere, on any internet-connected device—a valuable asset for the agency. As a cutting-edge science agency, NOAA is taking a leading role in bringing up-to-the-minute workplace technologies to the federal government.


Editor's note: Today over 100 government IT leaders are gathering in Washington D.C. for “Innovation for the Nation,” the inaugural government leadership forum hosted by Google. At this event we announced six government agencies that have recently chosen Google Apps for better innovation and collaboration while reducing costs.

In the past few months, dozens of government agencies representing tens of thousands of public sector employees have made the switch to Google Apps for Government to improve employee productivity while saving critical budget dollars. Today, at Google’s “Innovation for the Nation,” a gathering of over 100 government IT leaders in Washington D.C., we announced these six government agencies across the country are among the latest to go Google:

Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC), South Carolina
With the mission to promote and protect the health of the public and the environment, DHEC needed a robust email system to handle sensitive and confidential communications. The agency recently evaluated a number of cloud solutions via an open RFP process, and decided to switch its 4,200 employees to Google Apps for Government. With security certification from the federal government, Google Apps gives DHEC peace of mind in adhering to its high security standards. It will also enable the department to operate more efficiently, conserving financial and personnel resources while improving collaboration among DHEC employees.

Rockingham County, NC
Rockingham County’s IT department had the tough job of maintaining a legacy email system with three different client applications for 500 county employees who had no simple way to collaborate with one another. After evaluating different on-site and hosted options, the county chose Google Apps for Government. Now employees from different departments -- from Emergency Services to Finance -- can share documents and calendars, video chat, and create intranet pages that all county employees can access. The IT department’s burden of supporting a legacy email system is gone, replaced by an easy-to-maintain solution that requires fewer resources while offering employees new, modern communication tools.

Washington County, New York
Washington County had been struggling with an aging email system. Email storage was limited and employees spent hours cleaning their inbox in order to avoid being locked out of their email entirely. At a crossroads of rebuilding the existing on-premise infrastructure, or moving to an alternate solution, the county decided to switch to Google Apps for Government. Now 420 county employees can rely on Google’s data centers to run the email application, which guarantees 99.9% uptime with no planned downtime, provides 25GB of individual mailbox storage, and frees IT up to focus on other critical initiatives.

City of Des Moines, Iowa
Des Moines has faced budget challenges for the past 15 years. This year, the City Council voted unanimously to move all 1,900 city employees to Google Apps. Google Apps offers powerful new collaboration functionality that will enable City employees to be more productive -- including voice and video chat, corporate video, and secure access to documents from any mobile device. With the money saved from the old software licenses, the City was also able to add email security and archiving services from Google.

Village of Westmont, Illinois
After evaluating online email solutions to replace its in-house email server, the Village of Westmont recently moved all 220 employees to Google Apps for Government. With Google Apps, employees receive a robust email application as well as an entire productivity suite that allows them to easily collaborate on documents and presentations. Google Apps also allows workers in departments such as public works, code enforcement, police and fire to have easy access to their documents when they are in the field via mobile devices.

Amador County, California
Like many counties, Amador County faced the challenge of ongoing budget cuts and thin IT resources. By switching to Google Apps, the County estimates it has saved $20,000 annually versus other email solutions. Google’s collaborative tools also gives the County’s 400 employees a simple way to share files for projects, streamline scheduling meetings, and create websites. All of these reduce demand on IT support staff, and save the County the billable IT expense.

Across the nation, more and more governments are choosing to go Google. In doing so, they're realizing a multitude of benefits. Google Apps helps all employees be more productive in their jobs, frees IT staff from software and hardware maintenance, and dramatically reduces the costs of these systems -- allowing governments to focus resources on other critical initiatives.


Resellers are one of the key drivers of customer adoption of Google Apps, Earth, Maps, and Enterprise Search. Over the last few years, the Google Reseller Program has grown to include over 3,000 resellers across 70 countries. We are excited to see our partners share our commitment to customer success. We will continue investing in our Reseller Program to ensure that all of our partners have the support and technical expertise they need to enable successful customer deployments.

Beginning today, we will start to recognize high-performing partners as Premier Resellers. Authorized Resellers remain a core focus for our Reseller program, and we will continue to invest in resources, tools and training to help Authorized Resellers succeed. For Authorized Resellers to become Premier Resellers, we have an objective set of eligibility criteria based on revenue, technical expertise and customer success. We are committed to working with each of our resellers to help them meet these specific qualifications.

We're also introducing additional categorizations to help customers identify resellers who focus on specific Google products and specific size companies.

As our reseller partners continue to help customers succeed, we hope these new standards will help them strengthen their business by providing clear benchmarks for them to strive for and meet. Current and prospective Google Resellers can learn more about the different categories and about becoming a Premier Reseller, including eligibility criteria and benefits, by visiting our Google Reseller Program website.


(Cross-posted from the Google Docs Blog.)

In March, we launched discussions in Google Docs, replacing comments with discussion threads, @mentions, email notifications, and much more. This week, we’re launching a handful of improvements based on your feedback.

Improvements to the discussion pane
The discussion pane now shows the selected text for each comment thread, making it easy to figure out which part of the document each discussion pertained to. We’ve also given the pane a visual tuneup.

Document statistics

Ever wonder if people are actually looking at the document you’ve shared? Wonder no longer. By clicking the Discussions button and then the Document stats link, you can now see the 7-day activity of your doc.

Collapse discussions

Sometimes, discussions can get a little long and start to clutter your workspace, particularly if guy-who-always-replies takes the discussion on a tangent. Now, long discussions are automatically collapsed and expanded on click.

Email notifications

Email notifications have also undergone a facelift. Instead of sending the entire discussion in reverse chronological order, we now show you the selected text and most recent comment, with the full thread in chronological order below.

We’re looking forward to hearing your feedback about these improvements. Let us know what else you’d like to see in discussions on our Product Ideas page.