Google Apps for Work users can now install software without the need of an administrator

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If your employer uses Google Apps, you can now install new software from Mountain View’s business-centric catalog without the need of an administrator. To start digging around for new third-party apps to use, click More,” and select “More from Apps Marketplace.” While employees will have access to a stockpile of new applications by default, admins can fine-tune settings to display which apps are available to their staff.

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Google Classroom now available to all Apps for Education users, adds collaboration features

After announcing a preview of “Google Classroom” back in May, today Google has opened up the tool for educators to all Google Apps for Education users. Classroom offers teachers a slick platform to plan lessons, assignments, and work alongside students, and today Google also announced some new features its implemented on advice from educators that have been previewing the software. Google is adding new collaboration tools that allow teachers to work with students while they work on assignments: Read more

Sprint partners with Google to sell Google Apps for Business w/ free support, training

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Sprint and Google announced a partnership today that will see the carrier sell Apps for Business, Google’s productivity suite of products for enterprise, while offering deployment and support as a complete solution. Sprint is essentially becoming a reseller as part of the Google Apps Partner Program.

“Google Apps helps businesses work better together with familiar tools they can trust,” said Murali Sitaram, director of strategic partnerships for Google Enterprise. “Our partners are critical in this effort, providing valuable cloud and mobility solutions to customers of all sizes and across diverse industries. We are pleased to welcome Sprint to the Google Apps Partner Program, where they will provide Google Apps and added services to help customers work the way they live.”

In its press release, Sprint said its offering of Google Apps for Business will include “24/7 support and online training included at no charge … all with a mobile-centric approach that enables the use of Google Apps on mobile devices.”

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Google Apps Mobile Management for Android blessed with four new security features

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Bring your own device (BYOD) is more common than ever in the working world and of course Google is looking to capitalize on this opportunity. Today, the company announced four new features for its Google Apps Mobile Management for Android service. First up to bat is inactive account wipe, which clears an inactive user account from a device after a predetermined number of days. An ideal scenario for this feature is a misplaced or stolen smartphone or tablet loaded with sensitive information. Google’s second new feature for people taking their devices into the corporate world is the addition of Extensible Authentication Protocol (EAP). This will let your company’s admins distribute CA-based certificates for EAP networks.

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Google Apps paying $15 to acquire each new customer through new referral program

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Google announced today on its Enterprise blog that it’s introducing a new Google apps referral program that will see the company payout $15 for each new customer referred through the program.

Many of the millions of Google Apps customers learned about tools like Hangouts, Drive and Gmail for business from their customers, friends and networks. To help continue the momentum, we’re launching the Google Apps Referral Program. The referral program makes it easy to share Google Apps with your network and show them how they too can use these tools at work. To show our appreciation, we’re offering a $15 referral bonus for each new Google Apps user you refer.

Those interested in joining the referral program will need a valid taxpayer ID number and bank account for direct deposits. Google also says it will provide email and website templates that can be used to send a unique referral link to potential customers.Google Apps users in the US and Canada that are interested in joining the referral program can do so here.

Update: We had a quick Q&A with Google pasted below:

  • Are you phasing out the $5/user/year you guys give to IT service providers or is that staying? This program does not impact the amount provided to Google Apps Resellers.
  • Is it an affilaite program?   After joining the program, members will receive $15 for every user that signs up from their recommendations. In order to receive the incentive, referrals must be Google Apps customers for at least 4 months. Then we’ll make a direct deposit to the referee’s bank account every month for the amount they’ve earned. 
  • How long do people have to stay in the program for a payout? I’m assuming the $15 comes with a year program signup. In order to receive the incentive, referrals must be Google Apps customers for at least 4 months. Then we’ll make a direct deposit to the referee’s bank account every month for the amount they’ve earned. 
  • Will Google be expanding this to include $ on apps or Android apps or hardware/Nexus products? (Hope so!) We’re excited about today’s launch of the Google Apps Referral Program, but have nothing else to announce.

The fine print from Google is below: Read more

Survey: workers willing to pay out-of-pocket for Google and Marketplace apps

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The Wall Street Journal points to a recent survey in which over 1,100 IT administrators and business users were asked about their use of Google Apps in the workplace. According to the report, over two-thirds of respondents said that they prefer Google’s services to the point that they would be willing to spend their own hard-earned money on Google Apps for use in the office.

The survey also indicates a strong correlation between businesses that allow workers to bring their own devices for use at work and support for Google’s software. Of those surveyed, 83% said they brought their own mobile devices to work. It seems that Google’s move to create software for everyday usage has created an path to the workplace through employees who want to make their work tasts as easy to manage as their personal tasks.

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Boston adopts Google Apps for 76,000 city officials, teachers, and students

In an announcement shared on Google’s Enterprise blog by Boston’s chief information officer, the city has announced it will officially migrate some 76,000 city employees, police officers, teachers, and students to using Google Apps and email services from a variety of alternative systems including Microsoft Exchange.

The Boston official noted the city’s success in adopting Google Apps, particularly for boston.gov email addresses for every city official, due to the minimal effort in maintaining the system thanks to Google’s existing and scaling infrastructure. Read more

Chromecast could be pocket-sized lifesaver for business presentations and family outings

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Google’s new $35 Chromecast device has huge potential in a living-room environment, but as PC World notes, the device also could be a major player in the enterprise market as a presentation tool. If you have to give a presentation now, it’s tricky to make sure you have the right converters to connect to the projector at the office, and if you get there and it turns out you needed VGA, not DVI, you’re in big trouble. With the Chromecast, all you would have to do is bring it to your meeting and have your documents stored in Google Drive. From there you can cast all of your Chrome tabs to the big screen with no issues.

The Chromecast would also be the perfect device to take on a family outing, as it would allow you to easily watch Netflix content on any TV with an HDMI connection at your hotel.

While it may take a little work to get all your documents in Google Drive, the process has gotten simpler and simpler over time and with more businesses switching to Google Apps anyway, there’s no reason not to use a Chromecast in the office.  Read more

Boston drops Microsoft, switches 20,000 city employees to Google Apps

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Google has been signing up a lot of Google Apps for Government customers over the last year, including Colorado and the US Naval Academy, and today The Boston Globe reports that Boston is soon making the switch from Microsoft to a Google Apps environment for city employees.

As noted in the report, Boston was previously relying on Microsoft’s Exchange for much of its tasks and making the switch to Google will save the city around $280,000 a year:

It’s not just the gee whiz factor: It’s also a matter of money. It will cost Boston around $800,000 to move over to Gmail, Google Docs for word processing, and Google’s cloud service for storing documents. But by dropping some Microsoft products, the city government will save at least $280,000 a year.

Microsoft responded to the decision in a statement to the Boston Globe, claiming, “Google’s investments in these areas are inadequate, and they lack the proper protections most organizations require.” Read more

Google Drive is down (update: Back for some)

Update (3:24 ET): I’m back online. are you?

If you are having issues with Google Drive, you aren’t alone. We’ve just lost our access to our online documents though our local sync seems to be working fine. Google’s Apps status page just went code orange indicating they are investigating the issue. Now let’s start talking about how safe your documents are in the Cloud.

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