TechRepublic presents a webcast featuring SmartPractice, and why they switched to Google Apps. (Free registration required to view the webcast.)
Businesses are increasingly turn to Google Apps as a versatile and affordable solution for effective business communication and collaboration. In addition to its strength as an alternative to more traditional on-site email, calendar, and sharing applications, Google Apps also works equally well on both PCs and Macs.
One such company is SmartPractice, a 500-employee marketing services company that helps healthcare providers build their practices through a variety of marketing channels, a process that requires intensive collaboration. With an aging on-premise solution that was prone to frequent crashes, difficult to support on Macs, and less-than-optimal with mobile devices, SmartPractice needed a more effective solution to better serve its business and ultimately decided to go with Google. Not surprisingly, the company now reports extremely high satisfaction among its users, most of whom will tell you that Google Apps has actually exceeded their expectations.
via Businesses Thrive With Google Apps | TechRepublic.
Great news – I have one client who’s been waiting for this functionality before making The Switch.
Google Apps administrators can now create policies specifying who their users can communicate with over email, and administrators can tailor these policies for different groups of users.
For example, school faculty and staff can have unrestricted email access while students have the freedom to send and receive emails within the school community but are protected from unwanted email interactions with outsiders.
via Google Apps update alerts: New email delivery controls for Google Apps Administrators.
In all editions of Google Apps:
Domains whose admins have enabled the ‘enable pre-release features’ checkbox in the Control Panel
The following new features are now available in Google Calendar for these domains:
Optional attendees: When adding invitees to an event, you now have the ability to communicate the importance of a meeting for each attendee.
via Google Apps update alerts: Optional attendees now in Google Calendar.
Good news for those who like the easy accessibility of Google Apps, but not that anyone in the world can also easily access their domain’s sign-on page:
A mobile phone is the main requirement to use the second form of identification. It doesn’t require any special tokens or devices. After entering a password, a verification code is sent to the user’s mobile phone via SMS, voice calls, or generated on an application they can install on their Android, BlackBerry or iPhone device. This makes it much more likely that it is the user accessing the data: even if someone has stolen the password, they’ll need more than that to access the account.
via Google Apps update alerts: More security for your users: Two-step verification now available for Google Apps.
This is a nice “quality of life” enhancement. I don’t like to spam the mailing lists I’m on, but do like letting my coworkers know when I’m out of the office.
In Gmail you now have the option to only send your vacation response to other people in your domain and not to external recipients.
via Google Apps update alerts: Gmail: Only send a vacation response to people in your domain.
Nice, now I no longer need to switch to a Windows machine just for these features. I haven’t used it yet, though, so no comments on the functionality.
Voice and video chat for Linux is now available. This supports Ubuntu and other Debian-based Linux distributions, and RPM support will be coming soon.
via Google Apps update alerts: Gmail: Voice and video chat now available for Linux.
Nice, I’d been hoping for this change. I hope they add Reader to the bundle soon.
The Start Page is being automatically be converted to iGoogle. The Start Page gadgets your users have configured will be migrated to iGoogle pages, after which users can modify their iGoogle gadgets, tabs and themes. Your Start Page web address will automatically redirect your users to iGoogle.
via Google Apps update alerts: iGoogle now replacing the Start Page.
Congratulations, Google! Here’s looking forward to helping various government agencies migrate to Google Apps!
Google introduced Google Apps for Government, accommodated by FISMA certification. FISMA is essentially the government’s seal of approval of Google Apps as a secure cloud computing collaboration platform, something Microsoft lacks for its own cloud suites.
Google July 26 launched Google Apps for Government and earned a key security credit that makes its collaboration software for the cloud viable for federal agencies.
via Google Apps for Government Meets Federal Security Standard – Cloud Computing from eWeek.
This is a wonderful new feature, and I’m eager to explore its possibilities. Being able to control features by organizational group will help with policy enforcement.
Don’t forget to enable the next-gen control panel before looking for the features!
Google Apps administrators can now segment their users into different organizations and control which Google services are enabled/disabled for each of those different sets of users.
– Allows creation of organizations in a tree-like hierarchy
– Manage membership of users into one organization
– Specify policies for which services are on/off by organization
via Google Apps update alerts: User policy management now in Google Apps Control Panel.