(Cross-posted on the Google Docs Blog.)

In April, we introduced Google Drive, a place where you can create, share, and keep all your stuff. Today at the Google I/O conference we announced two new ways to get things done in the cloud: offline editing for Google documents and a Drive app for iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch.

Offline document editing 
No internet connection? No big deal. With offline editing, you can create and edit Google documents and leave comments. Any changes you make will be automatically synced when you get back online.

You can enable offline editing from the gear icon in Google Drive and find more detailed instructions for getting set up in the Help Center. Note that you’ll need the latest versions of Chrome or ChromeOS to edit offline. We’re also working hard to make offline editing for spreadsheets and presentations available in the future.

Google Drive for iOS 
We launched the Drive app for Android phones and tablets a few weeks ago, and starting today, Google Drive is available for your iPhone, iPad and iPod touch.

With the Drive app, you can open PDFs, photos, videos, documents and anything else stored in your Drive while you're on the go. You can also search all your files, add collaborators to documents, and make files available offline to view them even without an internet connection. For blind and low-vision users, the app also works great in VoiceOver mode. Learn more about what you can do with the app in our Help Center.

Get Drive in the App Store for your iPhone, iPad or iPod touch running iOS 5.0+ and visit the Play Store to get the latest on your Android phone or tablet.

To learn more about Google Drive, visit


(Cross-posted from the Google Developers Blog.)

Over the years, Google has built some of the most high performing, scalable and efficient data centers in the world by constantly refining our hardware and software. Since 2008, we've been working to open up our infrastructure to outside developers and businesses so they can take advantage of our cloud as they build applications and websites and store and analyze data. So far this includes products like Google App Engine, Google Cloud Storage, and Google BigQuery.

Today, in response to many requests from developers and businesses, we're going a step further. We're introducing Google Compute Engine, an Infrastructure-as-a-Service product that lets you run Linux Virtual Machines (VMs) on the same infrastructure that powers Google. This goes beyond just giving you greater flexibility and control; access to computing resources at this scale can fundamentally change the way you think about tackling a problem.

Google Compute Engine offers:
  • Scale. At Google we tackle huge computing tasks all the time, like indexing the web, or handling billions of search queries a day. Using Google's data centers, Google Compute Engine reduces the time to scale up for tasks that require large amounts of computing power. You can launch enormous compute clusters - tens of thousands of cores or more.
  • Performance. Many of you have learned to live with erratic performance in the cloud. We have built our systems to offer strong and consistent performance even at massive scale. For example, we have sophisticated network connections that ensure consistency. Even in a shared cloud you don’t see interruptions; you can tune your app and rely on it not degrading.
  • Value. Computing in the cloud is getting even more appealing from a cost perspective. The economy of scale and efficiency of our data centers allows Google Compute Engine to give you 50% more compute for your money than with other leading cloud providers. You can see pricing details here.

The capabilities of Google Compute Engine include:
  • Compute. Launch Linux VMs on-demand. 1, 2, 4 and 8 virtual core VMs are available with 3.75GB RAM per virtual core.
  • Storage. Store data on local disk, on our new persistent block device, or on our Internet-scale object store, Google Cloud Storage.
  • Network. Connect your VMs together using our high-performance network technology to form powerful compute clusters and manage connectivity to the Internet with configurable firewalls.
  • Tooling. Configure and control your VMs via a scriptable command line tool or web UI. Or you can create your own dynamic management system using our API.

At launch, we have worked with a number of partners - such as RightScale, Puppet Labs, OpsCode, Numerate, Cliqr and MapR - to integrate their products with Google Compute Engine. These partners offer management services that make it easy for you to move your applications to the cloud and between different cloud environments.

You can learn more about Google Compute Engine here. We’re going to pace ourselves and start with Google Compute Engine in limited preview (sign up here), but our goal is to give you all the pieces you need to build anything you want in the cloud. Whether you need a platform like Google App Engine, or virtual machines like Google Compute Engine, these days, you define your limits. We’re just at the start of what the cloud can do.


In March 2012, we launched Google Apps Vault, bringing enterprise-class information governance to Google Apps. Vault delivers retention, archiving and eDiscovery capabilities for email and chat messages, enabling businesses of all sizes to access and manage business-critical information. Vault offers true manage-in-place capabilities by applying retention policies directly to the Google Apps data, without the need to move, export, or create a copy of data in a separate location.

Google Apps Vault already archives, searches and manages messages in all languages that Google Apps supports (50+). Now the Google Apps Vault user interface is available in 28 languages, including double-byte languages like Japanese, Chinese and Arabic. This new, global Vault interface enables customers worldwide to more easily access and manage their data, further reducing the costs and risks that businesses today face.
"Google Apps Vault offers compelling capabilities and value for businesses around the world in preparing for litigation, investigation, and managing day-to-day business. Vault integrates seamlessly across the evolving Google platform while integrating with business and industries of all sizes. This is a key component in our forward thinking strategy to drive down costs and provide enhanced client service."

- Eric Hunter - Director of Knowledge, Innovation & Technology Strategies at Bradford & Barthel, LLP
Google Apps Vault is available for new and recent Google Apps for Business and Education customers. Existing customers will be able to deploy Google Apps Vault later this year.


(Cross-posted from the Official Google Blog.)

While students in the northern hemisphere say goodbye to each other and another school year, we’re in sunny San Diego meeting with thousands of educators and administrators at the International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE) conference. While on break from teaching, these folks are here to teach others how they’re bringing innovation into their classrooms—a lot of which centers around the web.

While the web was developed well before today’s students were born, it’s come a long way even since a year ago. Today you can access the web on any device, use the web offline and take advantage of amazing graphics. For example, you can get a powerful graphing calculator on the web today, for free.

It’s been really amazing to see how the web is impacting schools. We’ve heard great real-world stories about Google Apps for Education, but lately we’re hearing more and more about schools extending the functionality of Google Apps with educational apps available on the Chrome Web Store. There are tens of thousands of apps in the Chrome Web Store, and today we’re adding some new ones: ST Math, VoiceThread and Acheive3000.

To give you an idea of what’s possible on the web: Leyden High School District from Illinois is rolling out Chromebooks to their 3,500 students and are using apps like WeVideo, EasyBib, Vernier Labquest2, SlideRocket, Geogebra and Pearson’s OpenClass as part of their 1-to-1 learning initiative.

Students at East Leyden High School work together on their Chromebooks. Photo credit: East Leyden Art Teacher Anna Reed. 

Chromebooks as a tool for 1-to-1 learning
It’s great to see that many schools are choosing Chromebooks as an effective and affordable 1-to-1 education tool. There are more than 500 districts in the U.S. and Europe actively using Chromebooks, and today we’re pleased to welcome a few more to the community, including Rockingham Country Schools, N.C., Transylvania County Schools, N.C., and Fond du Lac School District, Wis.

Chromebooks are always new—just last month we announced new devices, an updated, app-centric user interface and new pricing for schools. Chromebooks also make it just as easy for administrators to distribute 10, 100 or 1,000 Chromebooks, saving precious summer vacation time previously spent installing software and policies on computers. And great news for schools looking to make hardware purchases: the PARCC and Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortia confirmed Chromebooks meet hardware and operating system requirements for student assessments in the 2014-2015 school year.

Applications for education
Today at ISTE, we are introducing some new features for schools using Chromebooks that make it even easier to find, use, install and manage web apps for your entire school:
  • Grade-level application packs are groups of Chrome Web Store apps that integrate tightly with Google’s suite of Apps for Education, divided by grade levels to meet different classroom needs. These packs are installable from the Chromebook management console. Many of them are free and we’ve worked with the app makers to offer discounts for bulk purchases.
  • Organization-specific web app collections in the Chrome Web Store give administrators the ability to recommend apps to students, teachers and staff. The collection is visible only to the school, and admins can curate apps from the Chrome Web Store, application packs and web apps purchased elsewhere or private apps developed by the school. (This feature is also available to Chromebooks for Business customers from the control panel.)

We’ve enjoyed being a part of ISTE the past several years, and always look forward to hearing about new ways that students and teachers are using the web to do amazing things. (If you’re at the conference, come see us at booth 2603 and listen to or share a story!)


Cross-posted on the Google LatLong Blog.

Imagine you are a call center operator at an electric utility company. A call comes in reporting a downed powerline in one of the northern suburbs of your city, and an entire neighborhood is without power. You need to quickly dispatch one of your line repairers to the site, which is almost an hour away. To save time and get the power back up quickly, you want to know which line repairers are already in the area and send them the relevant information about the job.

That’s where Google Maps Coordinate comes in, a new tool designed to improve communication between businesses and their employees in the field. As the number of mobile employees continues to grow, so does the need for a location sharing solution that works in real-time. Research firm IDC estimates that there will be over 1.3 billion mobile workers by 2015 (37.2% of the total workforce) 1. Google Maps Coordinate combines the power of Google’s mapping technologies with modern smartphones to help organizations assign jobs and deploy staff more efficiently.

When a business signs up for Google Maps Coordinate, they get access to the Google Maps Coordinate web and mobile apps.

Employees in the field download the mobile app to their phone and then can:
  • Share real-time location. Google Maps Coordinate is built on Google’s mapping and geolocation infrastructure so the app will send an accurate location, even if you’re indoors (Google Maps Coordinate integrates with Google Indoor Maps).
  • Record data. Mobile teams often need to collect information while out in the field. Google Maps Coordinate allows the admin to customize the fields that the mobile team needs to capture and collect – from measurements to client contact details – directly in the app.

Meanwhile, a designated dispatcher back in the office can:
  • Create teams. Add team members to a Google Maps Coordinate team and see their locations in the Google Maps Coordinate web and mobile app. For example, our electric utility company might create a special team for home electricians and another for line repairers.
  • Manage jobs. Easily create jobs, precisely locate the job, assign the job to the nearest team member and notify them instantly. The next time there is a downed powerline, the operator at the utility company will have no problem identifying the closest team member and assigning them to investigate the issue.
  • View past jobs and locations. Get the hard data you need to make strong business decisions. With Google Maps Coordinate, businesses can easily visualize the locations of all their jobs and teams, including current and past jobs. Businesses can assess where they should be assigning or hiring more workers and how to optimally place their teams.

Any business can sign up for Google Maps Coordinate. Google Maps Coordinate is built to work seamlessly with the entire Google Enterprise Maps and Earth experience, and it comes with an API that can integrate with any of your existing systems.

Contact our sales team or a Google Enterprise Maps and Earth reseller if you’re interested in signing up for Google Maps Coordinate. Share your Google Maps Coordinate use cases and feedback on our Enterprise Google+ page.

1 IDC, Worldwide Mobile Worker Population 2011-2015 Forecast, Doc #232073, December 2011


Editors note: In March 2011, we announced the Macomb County Circuit Court and Clerk/Register of Deeds have gone Google. Almost a year later, we’re honored to recognize Macomb County Clerk / Register of Deeds Carmella Sabaugh as one of our Government Transformers.

Like others hit hard by the recession, the Macomb County Clerk’s office in Michigan was forced to make tough decisions. But when faced with setbacks, we respond boldly. To borrow Theodore Roosevelt’s words, “We refuse to be among those cold and timid souls who know neither victory or defeat.” Macomb County is now one of only 67 counties nationwide to earn a AAA bond rating from Standard & Poor’s. 'AAA' is the highest issuer credit rating assigned by Standard & Poor's, recognizing that a county has extremely strong capacity to meet its financial commitments.

One way we innovate is to use Google Apps for Government to improve service and save money. In the past it could be disruptive for court clerks to receive phone calls while court was in session since they’d be helping judges work through their dockets. But some matters require immediate attention. Google Chat makes it easy for court clerks to instantly get information without disrupting the docket flow, and it reduces incoming phone calls and walk-up requests. Clerks can work from any courtroom or back office without requiring a complicated workstation setup or changes.

The circuit court clerk also uses a Google spreadsheet to maintain a dashboard for the office. Everyday the attendance data of all job duties gets automatically populated and color coded with a progress chart. This allows the chief court clerk to allocate staff efficiently to keep the office running smoothly and efficiently. The clerk’s office uses Google Docs to create county commission meetings minutes which allows real-time collaboration among the commissioners. The public can watch it as it’s being created and learn about voting results right away.

Our staff is able to improve citizen services with the latest technology tools. We are a government of the people by the people and for the people. We are the Macomb County Clerk’s office. And we’ve gone Google.


Editors note: Today’s guest blogger is Evan Trent, Vice President of Digital Strategy and Technology at School of Rock, a national music program headquartered in Burr Ridge, Illinois. See what other organizations that have gone Google have to say.

For more than a decade, School of Rock has been inspiring kids to rock on stage and in life. We offer music lessons on guitar, bass, piano, vocals and drums in a performance-based environment at over 90 company-owned and franchised schools in the U.S. and Mexico. Our goal is to inspire our students to learn, motivate them to excel, and, as a result, help them to gain confidence.

We’ve been growing rapidly in recent years, primarily been through franchising. We ran Microsoft® Exchange for years, but as the number of franchise schools continued to grow, we found it more and more difficult to offer a simple start-up process and manage and deliver remote support. We needed to move to a web-based solution that didn’t require multiple installations, software updates, and desktop support. After researching a few different options, we found Google Apps for Business had the tools we needed to rock on. We also found that many of our franchisees were already big fans of Google products and were using them outside of School of Rock.

We began the transition to Google Apps in January 2012 through our implementation partner, Cloud Sherpas. The migration was straightforward, and Cloud Sherpas offered training sessions for our employees and franchise partners to ensure a seamless transition. Google Apps completely transformed how we work with our franchisees and how each location works together as a team. Sharing information with students, faculty and parents has become much easier with Google Docs and Google Groups. We also find Google’s mobile-friendly approach in tune with our younger and more mobile employees.

Since we struck an amazing chord with Google Apps, we also decided to rethink our PC-based culture. We no longer wanted to deal with the administrative overhead and the security and reliability issues that came with traditional PCs. So in March, we deployed Google Chromebooks to about one quarter of our locations, and we’ve been rolling them out to increasingly more schools. We use them for just about everything, from accounting to video conferencing to putting on shows. The Chromebooks are extremely fast, require zero support, are easy to manage across multiple remote locations, and they cost only a few hundred dollars each. They’ve also been incredibly helpful for those of us who travel often since the battery life often lasts much longer than our previous PCs and they have built-in 3G access.

Google Apps for Business and Chromebooks have greatly reduced the time, money and energy our franchisees need to invest in technology, and that’s music to our ears.


Keeping Google Apps accounts secure is important to us, and we've recently added two security features that can better protect user accounts. The first helps businesses deploy 2-step verification and the second enhances integration with Microsoft Active Directory®.

Since we launched 2-step verification, we’ve seen millions of users enable it and thousands more do so every day. 2-step verification requires two means of identification to sign in to a Google Apps account: something you know (a password) and something you have (a verification code from your mobile phone). Even if someone has stolen your password, they'll need more than that to access your account. This additional layer of security greatly reduces the chance of unauthorized access via account hijacking or other means.

Starting today, domain administrators can require the users in their domain to use 2-step verification. This new feature will help Google Apps customers accelerate their deployment of 2-step verification.

For businesses that use Microsoft Active Directory® (AD), we’ve added new capabilities to synchronize and manage passwords. Businesses can manage password policies (e.g. password strength, reset intervals, etc.) using AD and then synchronize from AD to Google Apps when passwords are changed. Passwords are transmitted hashed and encrypted during synchronization.

Learn how to configure this new 2-step verification policy in the Google Apps help center. Download the Google Apps Password Sync for Active Directory (GAPS), and learn how to configure it in the help center.


(Cross-posted from the Google Developers Blog.)

Last month we announced the public launch of Google BigQuery, which enables developers and businesses to gain real-time business insights from massive amounts of data without any hardware or software investments.

Since then, we’ve added new features to Google BigQuery every week. For example, our most recent release includes support for running up to 20 concurrent queries, depending on the volume of data. This enables developers to build visually interactive dashboards on Google BigQuery.

Today, we’re highlighting two data visualization providers, QlikView and Bime, who are using Google BigQuery’s latest features to build dashboards with snappier and richer experiences.


QlikView, one of the leaders in the Business Intelligence market, has developed a dashboard that visualizes the birth-record data for all babies born to mothers of different ages and races. With the help of BigQuery, QlikView can crunch millions of rows of data in seconds to answer questions like, “What's the average age of a mother in New York vs. in Texas?"


Bime, a cloud-based Business Intelligence provider based in France, is another early adopter of Google BigQuery. They’ve built a slick UI on top of the Google BigQuery platform that allows users to slice and dice 432 million rows of business data. For example, you can adjust a few simple parameters to see the sales distribution across products or regions on a map.

This is just a snapshot of how developers can use Google BigQuery to build interactive visual dashboards using a browser and without the hassle of managing SQL. Sign up and share your BigQuery use cases via our developer feedback form or on the Google Enterprise Google+ page.

Posted by Urs Hoelzle, Senior Vice President for Technical Infrastructure

(Cross-posted on the Google Green Blog.)

At Google, we’re obsessed with building energy efficient data centers that enable cloud computing. Besides helping you be more productive, cloud-based services like Google Apps can reduce energy use, lower carbon emissions and save you money in the process. Last year, we crunched the numbers and found that Gmail is up to 80 times more energy-efficient than running traditional in-house email. We’ve sharpened our pencils again to see how Google Apps as a whole—documents, spreadsheets, email and other applications—stacks up against the standard model of locally hosted services. Our results show that a typical organization can achieve energy savings of about 65-85% by migrating to Google Apps.

Lower energy use results in less carbon pollution and more energy saved for organizations. That’s what happened at the U.S. General Services Administration (GSA), which recently switched approximately 17,000 employees to Google Apps for Government. We found that the GSA was able to reduce server energy consumption by nearly 90% and carbon emissions by 85%. That means the GSA will save an estimated $285,000 annually on energy costs alone, a 93% cost reduction.

How is the cloud so energy efficient? It’s all about reducing energy use for servers and server cooling. Here’s how it works:

A typical organization has a lot more servers than it needs—for backup, failures and spikes in demand for computing. Cloud-based service providers like Google aggregate demand across thousands of people, substantially increasing how much servers are utilized. And our data centers use equipment and software specially designed to minimize energy use. The cloud can do the same work much more efficiently than locally hosted servers.

In fact, according to a study by the Carbon Disclosure Project, by migrating to the cloud, companies with over $1 billion in revenues in the U.S. and Europe could achieve substantial reductions in energy costs and carbon emissions by 2020:

  • US companies could save $12.3 billion and up to 85.7 million metric tonnes of CO2
  • UK companies would save £1.2 billion and more than 9.2 million metric tonnes of CO2
  • French companies could save nearly €700 million and 1.2 million metric tonnes of CO2

We’ve built efficient data centers all over the world, even designing them in ways that make the best use of the natural environment, and we continue working to improve their performance. We think using the super-efficient cloud to deliver services like Google Apps can be part of the solution towards a more energy efficient future.


The sun was shining in Amsterdam and the tulips were in blossom today as 10 top universities in the Netherlands came together to announce a group migration to Google Apps for Education. This group movement, which was negotiated with the help of SURF, the Dutch higher education and research partnership for ICT-driven innovation, represents the second example of a national “wave” of universities making the transition to cloud computing together.

This group of Dutch universities join a community of schools and universities across the world who have adopted Google Apps for Education to help stay ahead of the curve in the education sector. 66 of the top 100 universities in the United States have already adopted Google Apps, and other top institutions across Europe, including the University of Warsaw and University of Sapienza in Rome, have recently transitioned to Google Apps for Education.

The universities that have gone Google today are: Open University; University of Groningen; University of Amsterdam; Utrecht University; Tilburg University; University of Twente; Delft University of Technology; Avans; HZ University of Applied Sciences; and NHL. The educational research organization TERENA (Trans-European Research and Education Networking Association) also announced their migration today.

The University of Tilburg previously used Microsoft’s cloud solution, and transitioned to Google Apps for Education for staff and students at the beginning of June. Their IT director, Corno Vromans, is feeling positive:
“With the transition to Google Apps, the whole academic community, students and staff, have a new, modern working environment. With Google Apps, regardless of time and place, users can access their files and they can share and collaborate simultaneously. We are very interested in innovation and collaboration, so with Google Apps we are ready for the future."
Congratulations to the all the Dutch universities as they embark on their new journey with Google, and we look forward to celebrating the next wave of universities to join the club.


From growing the fruit and sending it off to the crushpad to bottling that first blend, winemakers are working from sunrise to sunset. When you see how much work goes into creating the perfect bottle, it’s apparent that a strong passion for wine is the driving force behind each company’s success. Here’s how three Californians with a love for wine turned to Google Apps for Business to help them start their own wine labels.

When longtime friends Noah Dorrance, Baron Ziegler and Steve Graf started Banshee Wines, all three still had day jobs. While they wanted to fulfill their dreams of opening a winery, they worked and lived in different areas of Northern California, and it was tough to get started. Without a physical office to work from, they turned to Google Apps for Business to create a virtual one. Today, they’re able to keep track of sales information, manage employees who are spread out across the country, and be accessible at any time on their mobile devices. Google Apps continues to provide them with a platform that helps them stay connected and work together.

Like the founders of Banshee Wines, Stacia Williams had another career for years, but was never able to ignore her passion for wine. In 2010, she started Cairdean Winery with her husband, Edwin Williams. They both knew starting a winery would be far from the typical desk job, and they needed the technology to keep them connected while they were constantly on the go. The mobility of Google Apps for Business was particularly beneficial for the duo who purchased a vineyard in one location but are building a new facility in another. They can send email, see calendars, and share documents whether they are checking on their grapes in the field or working on their new winery and tasting room in St. Helena, California. No matter where they are during the day, Google Apps helps keep their business running smoothly.

Husband and wife team Jeff Munsey and Felicia Alvarez established Pithy Little Wine Company in 2009. Their vision is as simple as their name: create good wine with no frills. The pair needed technology that matched their philosophy, and Google Apps provided just that. By choosing Google Apps for Business, the founders have a platform that allows them to stay organized, work together, and communicate with their customers – all in a cost-effective way. From using Gmail to communicate with customers, to using Google Forms to give managers better visibility in the workplace, Google Apps helps manage project workflow seamlessly. With Google Apps, they’ve been able to turn their dream of owning a winery into a reality.

What these three companies have in common are founders who share an intense passion for what they do. With a lot of hard work, they’ve brought their wineries to life, and we’re happy Google Apps made things a little bit easier.


Editors note:The City of North Las Vegas recently made the move to Google Apps for Government, and today we welcome guest blogger, Alfonso “Al” Noyola, to discuss their transition.

Like many cities around the country, the City of North Las Vegas was hit hard by the recent economic downturn. With our resources slashed, we had to cut costs while maintaining service levels for our employees and residents. The challenge was daunting, but we were determined to find a solution. We decided to move all 1,300 North Las Vegas employees to Google Apps for Government because cloud applications are more affordable than server-based systems and meet our security needs.

We thoroughly researched Google’s security practices and discovered that Google’s FISMA-certified cloud technology not only met our security standards, but was even more secure than our legacy system. This is critical for our police and other departments. In addition, our old program was unreliable: in June 2010, our system went down, and the City couldn’t communicate via email for five days. We now share important information using Google Docs. Google’s security permissions allow us to control who has access to the information, and no one has to rely on email attachments to access important documents. With Google Apps’ 99.9% uptime guarantee with no scheduled downtime, we know our information is always available when we need it.

In addition to improved system security and reliability, moving to the cloud has resulted in tremendous cost savings. In the next five years, we’ll save an estimated $1.2 million by replacing the email system alone. That number rises exponentially when other potential savings are factored in from retiring our older productivity software.

The transition to Google Apps went smoothly with the help of Google Apps Premier Reseller SADA Systems. With a few weeks of cloud computing under our belt, we’re amazed at the positive feedback we’ve received from many employees. Moving to Google Apps has saved precious resources and improved security to ensure North Las Vegas continues to thrive through one of the toughest economic recessions in recent history.


Editors note: Today’s guest blogger is Ed Crocombe, IT Director – Europe, AGI Shorewood, a global packaging company with more than 4,000 employees worldwide. He will be part of a customer panel this week at the Cloud Computing World Forum 2012, June 12-13 in London.

I’ve done three major email migrations in four years using Google Apps for Business. In 2009, the first involved migrating 15,000 users from Microsoft® Exchange and Lotus Notes® to Google, which let us consolidate multiple email systems into a single platform. The second two migrations were in response to changes in our business. In 2010, our then-parent company spun our business into private ownership, and AGI Media was bought by a private equity firm. As part of that process we had to move 1,100 email accounts from our parent company’s Google account to a new one. We worked with Google Apps Authorized Reseller Promevo, and we got it done in just a few weeks.

Our third migration was earlier this year when we merged with Shorewood Packaging, our main competitor. They had 1,100 users on Microsoft® Exchange. The legal terms made it challenging for us - it put restrictions on what we could do before the deal closed and meant the Shorewood team had to be on the new system almost immediately after completion. Google Apps enabled us to do this - it scales up very easily. We were able to add 1,100 new users without buying or installing any new infrastructure, and the migration was easy on the technical side. We spent about a month on communication and training users before the deal closed and we were able to get everyone onto the new system within 24 hours. It’s a huge thing to deliver in just one day but we did it.

Google Apps was incredibly helpful in managing the process. We put project management documents, user feedback and checklists on Google Docs so that everyone could update them collaboratively in real time. It proved useful during the go-live.

For us, the big benefit of Google Apps is its flexibility. As a business, we’re going through significant change in a challenging market. We need something that is completely scalable up and down without having to make huge investments in infrastructure. Google Apps provides this dynamic flexibility – and I’ve got the three migrations under my belt to prove it.

Join Ed, other Google customers and Google executives to learn more about Google Enterprise at the Cloud Computing World Forum 2012 in London on Tuesday and Wednesday this week.


Cross-posted on the Google Docs blog.

Editors note: Hangouts On Air are live video chats, interviews, or performances that are broadcast to Google+. We’ll host these broadcasts from time to time on the Google Enterprise Google+ page to give you the inside scoop on our business and products.

Last week, we hosted our first Hangout On Air from the Google Enterprise Google+ page with Jonathan Rochelle, Director of Product Management, Jeff Harris, Google Docs Product Manager, Teresa Wu, Google Docs Community Manager, and Eric Brunnett, Director of IT at Trump Hotel Collection.

During the conversation, Jonathan Rochelle told us the story of how Google Docs, Google Drive and cloud collaboration came to be. What was once an experiment to bring desktop software to the web is now a collaboration and productivity platform used by millions of people in their personal lives and at businesses, universities, non-profits and government agencies around the world.

Then, Eric Brunnett fielded questions about his company’s transition to Google Apps for Business and how they use shared Google documents and spreadsheets to streamline internal operations and communication. For example, they've moved away from relying on paper forms and long email chains by using Google Forms and Google Apps Scripts to create paperless processes that are more efficient and more trackable.

Last, Jeff Harris demoed some Google Drive features like shared folders and Google documents features like the research pane and contextual spell check, showing how the power of the web is used in Google Apps.

Follow the Google Enterprise and Google Docs Google+ pages to watch future Hangouts On Air and stay up-to-date on the latest news.


Editors note: Today’s guest blogger is Dorothy Burt, a professional development leader at Pt England School in Auckland, New Zealand. Dorothy has been a Google Certified Teacher since 2008.

Here at Pt England School in Auckland, New Zealand our motto is “Strive to succeed.” But in our low socioeconomic area – an impoverished suburb surrounded by affluence – there’s an unspoken belief that success can be associated with your ability to get out of this part of town. 90% of our 600 students are of Maori or Pasifika descent, who are often found in the lowest achieving cohort. Raising student achievement levels for this demographic is a government priority – and a continued focus for the principal, management team, teachers and parent community at Pt England school. Recognizing our students’ natural flair for technology and expressing themselves through digital platforms, we began a journey to get our students excited about learning and improve their achievement levels through collaborative e-learning. We haven’t looked back since.

We migrated to Google Apps for Education in 2008. After training our teaching staff, we quickly began to see the advantages of working collaboratively. Our migration coincided with several neighbouring schools joining together to form the Manaiakalani Cluster – a group that works toward raising student achievement in literacy. Using Google Apps and other tools, we sought to create confident and informed digital citizens. While we quickly noticed increased student engagement, teachers felt that there was still a missing piece. Enter the Teacher Dashboard, an add-on from the Google Apps Marketplace that allowed teachers to get a bird’s-eye view of classroom activity across Docs, Sites, Gmail, Blogger and Picasa. Using Google Sites, the Manaiakalani Cluster manages the student learning environment internally, making the feedback exchange quick and easy.

The research from test scores collated in 2011 showed significant progress in literacy. Surveys, video observations and interviews with students now demonstrate a group of young learners who are highly engaged in learning.

They have a renewed sense of pride because their test scores improved, and – more importantly to them – people all around the world were reading their blog posts and complementing their success. The teachers also feel a renewed sense of engagement with their classrooms since they can centrally track and monitor student progress via the Teacher Dashboard.

Using Google tools has provided our students with equal access to learning opportunities and opened the door for them to be excited about the learning process and share their progress with the world. As a result, these students know that they don’t need to leave their town to be successful; the world now comes to them and shows them that they are.


Update: model contract clauses are now available for customer sign-up via the Google Apps control panel.

Over four million businesses use Google Apps for enterprise needs, and as this number grows, we want to offer our customers a diverse range of compliance options to help them meet their regulatory requirements.

Today we’re pleased to announce that Google will soon offer model contract clauses as an additional means of meeting the adequacy and security requirements of the European Commission’s Data Protection Directive for our customers who operate within Europe. The Directive is an important piece of privacy legislation passed by the European Union (EU) in 1995. It restricts the movement of data from the EU to non-EU countries that do not meet the EU 'adequacy' standard for privacy protection.

In 2000, to help address these requirements with respect to the United States, the US Department of Commerce in consultation with the European Commission developed the US-EU Safe Harbor Framework as a means by which US companies could achieve compliance with the adequacy standards. Google, as well as 2,500 other US companies that offer services in Europe, is a participant in the US-EU Safe Harbor Framework.

In 2010, the European Commission approved model contract clauses as a means of compliance with the requirements of the Directive. The effect of this decision is that by incorporating certain provisions into a contract, personal data can flow from those subject to the Directive to providers outside the EU or the European Economic Area. By adopting model contract clauses, we’re offering customers an additional option for compliance with the Directive.

Google’s adoption of model contract clauses, along with our continued participation in the US-EU Safe Harbor Framework and our recent ISO 27001 certification, will provide our customers with an even wider palette of EU regulatory compliance options.


Editors note: Clover Stornetta Farms is a family-owned and operated dairy processor that distributes a wide range of dairy products consumed by millions of families throughout the western United States under the Clover Stornetta and Clover Organic Farms brands.

Since the 1970’s, we’ve worked hard to do right by our customers and the environment, reducing our water consumption by 10 million gallons a year, converting our sales fleet to Hybrid vehicles, and always sourcing our milk from local farmers committed to the sustainability of their land, welfare of their cows and producing the highest quality milk pool in the country. These are the things we care about. So, when our IT infrastructure began to limit our ability to work together as we grew, we knew we had to find a new solution that allowed us to focus on making great dairy products, not running a complex IT system.

Google Apps provides us with a platform that can help the Clover business grow without a heavy investment from our IT team. The move to Google Apps went very smoothly and our IT team now spends 25% less time supporting email than they did with our old infrastructure.

We’ve always been very team-oriented, and Google Apps has made it easier for us to work even more closely and collaboratively. Since Google Apps is delivered via the cloud, our employees love that they can access their email, calendar and files from any computer or mobile device. Instead of waiting until we can meet face-to-face, we save time by working together in Google Docs and video chatting in Gmail. Google Apps has been a huge time saver.

The dairy industry is very traditional, but that doesn’t mean our IT has to be. We love that Google is constantly innovating and we can benefit from the new features and products available to us. With Google Apps, we know that we can continue to work together and communicate as if we’re a small company, even as we grow.

Cross-posted on the Google Lat Long Blog.

Editor’s Note: Today’s guest blogger is Robin Thurston, Chief Product Officer and Co-Founder of MapMyFITNESS.

Being fit means moving and moving means going someplace. We created the MapMyFITNESS applications because we are passionate about living active lifestyles and we wanted a way to both track our progress and explore new activities. We wanted to help people experience this passion for themselves. As our community of MapMyFITNESS users has grown to over 9 million people, we have continually worked to make the applications easier to use and more effective at motivating people to keep moving, whether they’re elite athletes or people just getting started.

A key component to that mission has been our integration with Google Maps, which has made it easy for our users to find new routes or make their own, then share them with the rest of the MapMyFITNESS community. As one of the earliest Google Maps API developers, we noticed it was easy to incorporate the mapping functionality into our product. As we set about to completely rebuild our platform that launched earlier this month, our goal was to expand the ways users could take advantage of Google Maps’ latest API functionality. We've gone from tracking and sharing routes in our old platform to providing "Courses" in our new platform. Courses provide our users with real-time data like traffic patterns and temperature, and include "check-in" technology that helps them track workouts, share their progress, and compete in our new leaderboard against specific groups of people. They can compete with local clubs, friends, and most importantly against themselves and their own progress.

The Google Maps API allowed us to show the important information to our users in an easy to read format. Users can visit our site to find new cycling, running or walking routes by searching for the route while viewing it on the map. By using the Google Maps API were we able to incorporate the Street View API to create virtual tours of routes and the Elevation API to calculate how many feet you climb - and descend - during your workout. That familiarity, in addition to fantastic technology and features, makes the user experience both easier and more powerful.