Friday, April 28, 2017

How to better manage your G Suite domain as an administrator

G Suite is a package of cloud-based services that can provide your organization with an entirely new way to collaborate online. It's more than just email and chat, it provides video conferencing, social media, real-time document collaboration, and a powerful, yet under-rated, administration console for domain-wide management. Unfortunately, many organizations overlook the capabilities of the G Suite admin console. Hopefully this post will shed light on some of these capabilities. Here are a few great ways to better manage your G Suite domain as an administrator:

Add users and manage services in the Google Admin console:
This should be a no-brainer, but to allow folks in your organization to start using G Suite, you must add them to you account first.  To do this, you need to login to your Google Admin console (desktop or mobile). You can also use this console to manage all other aspects of your domain and users, including user services and password resets. 

Add layers of privacy and security:
G Suite includes many important security features that are designed to you company's data safe and protected. You can add additional layers of security to your users' accounts by enabling 2-step verification and enabling anti-spoofing measures to combat email abuse. Here are some security best practices to consider.

Control users' access to services and features:
By default, most services are turned on for all your users, but you can turn off the ones that you don't want users to use, via the admin console. You can even tailor how services work for specific users by applying different policies to different users. For example, you may want to turn on Google Hangouts for your entire sales team or allow only your support department to have 2-step verification.

Switch your business email to Gmail:
By default, users you add to your G Suite domain get an email address at the domain you provided when you created your account. If they're currently using this address with your old mail service, however, you decide when to make the switch. Mail will not start flowing to their Gmail account until the domain's MX records are changed to point to Google servers. Here's how to setup Gmail for your team.

Use a Google Cloud parter for deployment, training, and support:
To ensure a smooth transition to G Suite, Google recommends partners like us (Interlock IT) to provide a rich set of resources. Interlock IT provides end-user training, admin console training, support, and migration services to assist with your rollout. Here's a previous post one why you should use a Google Cloud partner. We also recommend using the G Suite learning centre for quickstart guides, videos, and additional tips. 

Grant admin privileges to your IT staff:
Regardless of the size of your organization, it's recommended that you distribute the responsibility of managing your users and services among a select group of trusted users. You can do this by granting administrator privileges to these users. Users that you have given admin privileges to arrive at the admin console just like you do. In comparison, users who do not have admin privileges do not see an admin console when they sign in, but rather go straight to their list of managed services. 

Manage new feature releases for your users:
Because G Suite is fully cloud-based, you and your users receive new features and updates automatically, without the need to install or update software. Some administrators prefer to know of these updates and want the ability to track upcoming releases. To do this, simply go to the release calendar or G Suite updates blog. You can also control when new features become available to your users by setting up your G Suite release process

Manage your mobile users remotely:
You can use the admin console to manage users' mobile devices, enforce security policies, remotely wipe lost/stolen devices, and much more. Here's how to manage your users' mobile devices.

Track usage and trends:
Adoption tracking is important; it's what tells you that your users are actually utilizing the tools available to them. By viewing the usage graphs and reports in your admin console, you can monitor how individual services are being used across your organization. This is a great visual to provide insight and assess your team's use of collaboration, identify unwanted security patterns, and even track other trends.

Add domains for free:
If your organization acquires a new domain name or has multiple domains, you can add all your domains to your account at no additional cost. This allows your users to have multiple identities across one or more of your domains while sharing services as part of single organization.

These are just a few useful things to know about the admin console. It's a highly versatile and capable tool to allow administrators unified control and management. Click here to learn more about the G Suite admin console or get in touch with us today

Friday, April 21, 2017

G Suite Series - Hangouts Chat & Meet

Companies understand the pain of hosting meetings with individuals outside their physical office space. Issues like weak signals, faulty plug-ins, and jammed telephone lines are often culprits for a 'less than pleasant' meeting experience.
Google understands this naturally, and innovated a solution. Their most recent update to Google Hangouts split it into two parts; Chat and Meet. Both consist of new features aimed to make the audio and visual communications between users, more convenient and direct. Chat and Meet, in a way, can be looked at as business counterparts to Google's consumer apps, Allo and Duo.

Here's what you need to know about Chat and Meet:

Hangouts Chat
If you're familiar with Slack, this is more or less Google's version of it but with superior conversation threading. Google Chat makes it easier to bring cross-functional teams together, discuss tasks that need to get done, and share collaborative work. It's designed to allow users to create virtual rooms where they can hold group conversations, and even break off into tangential threads. Available soon on Android, iOS, and web, it's perfect for practically anyone, on any device, anywhere.

Chat’s deep integration with G Suite means shared content from Drive and Docs, or photos and videos, can be viewed directly in conversations. It even includes filterable search to make it easy to find content dating back to the start of a project. The Chat platform supports a wide range of capabilities, from bots to simple scripting using Google App Script. It also integrates with third-party applications so teams can do more right from within the conversation. Chat also features @meet, an intelligent bot built on top of the Hangouts platform that uses natural language processing and machine learning to automatically schedule meetings for your team with Hangouts Meet and Google Calendar.

Hangouts Meet
The purpose of Google’s Hangouts Meet is to ease the process of starting a meeting, essentially eliminating the need for plug-ins and sign-ins. It's meant to kick-start a video conference using nothing more than a browser with a shared link, calendar invite, or an ad-hoc share. Unfortunately it's common to find cumbersome perquisites when simply attempting to join a meeting with other video conferencing software. Meet's primary goal is to make joining meetings effortless so that users can be as productive as they are when they're face-to-face.
Hangouts Meet allows up to 30 participants as opposed to only 10 in the earlier Hangouts version. What's even cooler is that with every meeting, a dial-in number containing a PIN code for instant access is provided for a frictionless experience. It's super easy to dial in from a conference room, laptop, or a mobile device using the dedicated app. Meet is available to all G Suite editions, however, the ability to create meetings with a dial-in phone number is only available in the Enterprise tier of G Suite. Here's how to manage meet for you organization and a handy cheat sheet to help you get started.

It's clear that Google is committed to building communication tools focused on the way teams work, from anywhere, at anytime. More than half of the workforce will contribute remotely by 2020, so businesses require purpose-built tools to help their employees succeed. As to why Google decided to evolve Hangouts into 2 solutions, it's probably an aim to deliver an easier approach for the two main entry-points that customers adhere to; collaborative messaging and video meetings.

Click here to see what you can do with the newest features of Hangouts. To learn more about Hangouts Chat or Meet, get in touch with us today!

Thursday, April 6, 2017

An easier way to login to G Suite

Google is soon rolling out a noticeable update to your sign-in page to give you an improved experience to securely sign in to your accounts. The purpose of this new design is to make browser sign-in flows consistent across computers, phones and tablets. Here's what it will look like on your desktop:
We find some G Suite users complain about an inconsistent login experience via multiple devices, especially if they aren't using a third party SSO (single sign-on) utility. Google heard the complaints and in addition to the improved aesthetics, the new Google sign-in page will remove the “Stay signed in” checkbox that at certain times appeared for G Suite customers. This checkbox has been the source of much confusion so removing the checkbox will enable users to remain signed in unless they specifically sign out. It's always recommended to use a private browser (incognito) window when using shared or public devices.
Users using a third-party SSO provider to access Google applications, such as Gmail, Calendar, Drive, etc., will not see any differences apart from the newly designed Google Accounts login page.

Users using a third-party SSO provider to access third-party applications will see an additional account selection page when they log in. This page will clarify which account they’re authenticating, as well as the permissions they’re granting to applications. All third-party SSO providers, including Active Directory Federation Services (ADFS) SSO, will use the new Google Accounts login process.
All G Suite users will be shown the account selection page, before or after being redirected to the third-party application, depending on whether they’re already signed in to their browser and the specific third-party application they’re accessing. It's important to note that after being prompted to confirm the correct Google account and granting the requested permissions upon initial login, only the account selection page will be shown again upon subsequent login attempts. Existing G Suite users who use Google as their identity provider, will not be affected by the changes and will only see the redesigned Google sign-in page.

Removal of an account from the sign-in page is easy, this can be done from the account selection page by clicking the “Remove an account” link.
Hopefully this will assist in resolving issues for G Suite users on multiple devices and users who use an SSO utility. The update will rollout on Monday, April 10, to a small set of users and will ramp up slowly over the course of several weeks. Additional details about this update can be found on the Google support page.

Get in touch with us today to learn more about G Suite and how it can make your business processes faster, safer, and more efficient!

Friday, March 31, 2017

Here's an even beefier tier of G Suite!

Most of us know that G Suite is offered in two tiers; Basic and Business. Announced January 31st of this year, G Suite is now available at a premium level; G Suite Enterprise. Here's a quick breakdown of the respective tiers:

G Suite Basic is a professional office suite of collaborative productivity apps that offers your business professional email, shared calendars, online document editing and storage, video meetings, and much more. Basic is offered at $5 per user per month.

G Suite Business is the enhanced office suite. In addition to everything available in G Suite Basic, it includes unlimited Google Drive storage and Google Vault for everyone in your organization, plus additional Drive administration, auditing, and reporting features. Business is offered at $10 per user per month.

G Suite Enterprise is the new premium office suite. In addition to everything available in G Suite Business, it includes advanced administrator controls and customization features. Enterprise is offered at $25 per user per month.

Although many small to medium sized business may not consider the Enterprise tier, it's a value-packed and full-featured version of G Suite from all angles. To start, administrators on an Enterprise subscription get the following abilities:
Google extending DLP (data loss prevention) to Google Drive, making it even easier for admins to secure sensitive data, control what content can be stored and protect users from accidentally sharing confidential information externally.
In addition to these administrative features, Enterprise users get data loss prevention for Gmail and Drive to prevent leakage of sensitive data, such as credit card numbers, via emails or Drive. Users can set up policy-based actions to notify the admin, add warnings to message headers, or block emails from being sent when sensitive content is detected. Over 50 detectors for sensitive content matching are available with custom rules to provide warnings or block sharing. Enterprise also allows you to integrate Gmail with third-party archiving tools to help you meet complex email compliance requirements; this goes beyond archiving with the Google Vault service. These are definitely premium features but one of our favourite's is the ability to use dial in numbers for Google Hangouts/Meetings so team members on the road can feel connected and productive in meetings despite wi-fi or data issues.

The new tier is definitely great for businesses, but is also ideal for Education, Government, and even non-profits. With the new Enterprise tier, Google brings all of the great services from it's other G Suite tiers, along with a few new ones of it's own, to really meet the needs of organizations that require the above and beyond. Find more details on Enterprise here: https://gsuite.google.com/solutions/enterprise/

InterlockIT is pleased to announce that Google is now offering discounts of up to 40% on upgrades to Enterprise for existing G Suite Basic and Business customers (some conditions apply). This offer is valid until June 30, 2017, so hurry up and get in touch with us today to learn more!

Friday, March 24, 2017

Cover your business' legal needs!

Earlier this month Google announced upgrades to many of it's products in G Suite including Google Vault. Vault is a tool that lets you retain, hold, search, and export data to support your organization's archiving and eDiscovery needs. More can be learned from our post on G Suite series on Vault. Prior to this month's update, Google Vault was limited to email messages and Hangouts chats. Vault now also supports Google Groups and files in Google Drive and Team Drives.

Vault meets your organization's legal needs by allowing you to manage your employees' G Suite data for eDiscovery and compliance purposes. You can set retention policies for Google Drive (including Team Drives) to manage the lifecycle of files in My Drive and Team Drives, regardless of whether they're Google or non-Google files.

By default Google Vault's retention applies to files located in Drive. Retention policies can be set indefinitely or allow for files to be discarded at the end of a specified time. The default rule you choose applies to all files or only files that have been deleted by users. You can even set custom retention rules for specific organizational units (OUs) or for Team Drives, however, custom rules will override the default rule. If multiple custom rules are applied to a file, the longest rules will take precedence.
Unlike with mail, you cannot target custom Drive retention rules with specific terms.
Google Vault allows you to place legal holds on Drive files (Google or non-Google files) as long as they're owned by users in your domain. Placing a legal hold will preserve all files that are owned by or shared with the user on hold, regardless of whether that user deletes those files. If the file is deleted by the user, it's only deleted for them but is visible in Vault until the hold is removed. It's important to note that legal holds take precedence over retention rules.
Vault now allows you to export revisions of your employees' Drive and Team Drive files from a specified point of time. This can be done by simply specifying the desired version date in the search form. 
Vault now also works with Google Groups so you can search, export, and set retention policies and place legal holds on your employees' Groups content. Google Groups allows you to create and participate in online forums and email-based groups with a rich experience for community conversations. Groups can be used for mailing lists, forums, and shared or collaborative inboxes.
Apply the same retention and eDiscovery programs that you use in Gmail for content stored in Groups archives.
Be sure to check out G Suite updates for more information. For users on G Suite Basic, Vault is not included but can be purchased for an additional $5 per user per month. For users on G Suite Business, Enterprise, or Education, Vault is automatically include in the subscription. Here's a quick overview of the different G Suite tiers: https://gsuite.google.com/pricing.html

Contact us today to learn more about how Vault can be useful in the event of contract disputes and other unexpected legal matters for your business.

Friday, March 17, 2017

Empowering admins and inspiring confidence in teams - Google Drive

Last week, our team lead attended the Google Cloud Next '17 event in San Francisco. With over 100 announcements and unveilings it's difficult to cover everything in a single blog post. To begin, we'll take a look at Google's recent announcements about Google Drive since data storage is a hot topic in the business IT world and Drive now has over 800 million monthly active users. In the near future it will be the 8th Google product to reach 1 billion monthly active users.

After you migrate to the cloud, it's normal to expect easy access to all your content using your existing tools and processes. While other cloud-based solutions use traditional, time- consuming (and hard drive-consuming) syncs, Drive File Stream, now available in the Early Adopter Program (EAP) allows teams to quickly stream files directly from the cloud to their computer. This means that all data can be accessed directly from your laptop (Mac or Windows), even if you don’t have much space left on your hard drive. There's no syncing needed so you can work directly with PDFs, Autocad files, and much more. The Drive File Stream, as the name implies, show placeholder files on a user’s desktop, then downloads them only when a user needs to look at them, similar to Dropbox’s Smart Sync feature, which recently entered beta.
Google also made one of its key enterprise-focused Drive features generally available last Thursday. Team Drives is a feature that now lets administrators create shared folders for groups inside their organizations. A Google Team Drive owns the files, not the creator, ensuring important data is not lost when a team member leaves. Team Drives delivers the security and ease-of-use needed by making it simple to add new team members, keep track of files if a team member leaves, understand and manage sharing permissions, and manage/view Team Drives as an administrator. Set up Team Drives now for your organization.

Google also announced Vault for Drive which now lets companies manage data retention and legal hold policies for content stored in the service. This new feature gives admins the governance controls needed to manage and secure all their files, both in employee Drives as well as in Team Drives we mentioned earlier. It lets admins set specified retention policies that automatically keeps what they need and purge what they don't. With a powerful data protection tool like Google Vault for Drive, administrators can now have full control of data in the cloud. Search for files in your Google Drive.

Cloud migration - it can be a scary phrase if your current infrastructure is heavily invested on an on-premise or hybrid platform. To help move businesses more easily to Drive, Google acquired AppBridge - an enterprise grade G Suite migration tool that helps seamlessly transition to Google Drive. With AppBridge, organizations can now migrate files effortlessly to G Suite from existing file servers or content management systems like SharePoint or other cloud platforms. File permissions are also brought over when you migrate, which means your team's file access remains unchanged and your data stays safe.

Machine intelligence is an arena where Google consistently comes out on top. Once migrated to the cloud it's important to let the technology make the most of your content for you. For this reason Google introduced Quick Access in Drive. It works with Team Drives on iOS and Android devices, and is coming soon to the web. Quick Access is powered by Google's machine intelligence. It's the same technology used in Gmail’s Smart Reply and Google Sheets Explore, which means that teams can save time and make smarter decisions because the right knowledge will surface to the right employees at the right time. It intelligently predicts and summons files based on who specific files are frequently shared with, when relevant meetings occur, what files are used at specific times of the day, and much more. With all the time and ease it presents, Quick Access alone can be a great reason to move to Google Drive.

Check out Google's The Keyword to learn more about enterprise-ready tools for Drive.

Before you consider another competing enterprise file sync and share service like Dropbox or Microsoft’s OneDrive for Business, give Google Drive a look for yourself. Most of the items discuss in this post are generally available to all G Suite Business, Education, and Enterprise customers. For expert advice on Google Drive, be sure to contact our InterlockIT team. What's your excuse for not moving to the cloud? Tell us, we'd love to hear from you!

Friday, March 10, 2017

G Suite Series: Google Keep

Working in a fast-paced environment generally means keeping up with little notes, reminders, and task lists. That's why Google created Keep. Simply put, Google Keep is the ideal tool to collect and manage work-related and personal notes. These notes can be in the form of a list, a reminder, or even a drawing. It's a versatile yet highly underrated tool that we hope to shed some light upon.
Available to G Suite users with Google Drive since 2013, Keep was made to assist employees capture their thoughts, ideas, action items, and more in one easy-to-access place. Just recently Google announced that Keep is now a G Suite core service when used within a domain, and it has been added to existing G Suite agreements for most customers. Additionally, Keep is now accessible in Google Docs, so employees can easily revisit and repurpose their notes. This not only recognizes Keep as an integral part of G Suite but also aims to get users to actually utilize this tool to make their work more easier and efficient.

You can now expect the same level of technical support and service level commitments as any other core G Suite service. Here are some key benefits that Keep users will see:

  • Content will be handled as specified in your G Suite agreement
  • Keep will be compliant with the terms, conditions, and service levels defined in the G Suite Technical Support Services Guidelines and the G Suite Service Level Agreement
  • The tool will be added as a monitored service to the G Suite Status Dashboard
Like the original G Suite applications your domain uses, Google Keep is now given the same level of admin control for your organization. This means, admins will have the ability to turn the application on or off for their domains. These improvements don't just apply to admins however, end users can now view and create Keep notes directly within Google Docs on their browser. To do this, simply select 'Keep notepad' from the tools menu to pull up a sidebar containing all your notes from Google Keep. You also get the option to search, edit, and drag and drop your notes into your document or create a new note in your doc by simply highlighting the relevant text, right-clicking, and selecting 'Save to Keep notepad'. Creating a new note from scratch is easy, just start typing in the “Take a note...” box in the notepad. All the notes you create while in a document will be added to a “related” section within the sidebar and when you then view those notes in Keep, they will include a link back to the document in which they were created - it's beautiful.
Google Keep is a subtle yet powerful tool that can add increased value to your workflow. With the Keep mobile app (available on Android or iOS), rich features like word transcribing allows you to speak a voice memo on the go and have it automatically transcribed. You can also grab a photo of a poster, receipt or document and easily organize or find it later in search. 

Keep was designed to contain the clutter of digital workspaces into one easily accessible and organized place. It's easy to focus on the larger tools we use day to day, but it's important to keep in mind that it's the more subtle and less recognized tools that ultimately give us the breathing room we need to maximize our efficiency and time. Google Keep is that sort of 'pocket-knife' tool that comes in handy every now and then. It's the perfect co-application that now works even better with your main G Suite apps.

Check out the Keep page to learn more about Google Keep and be sure to get Google Keep on the Chrome web store. Contact us today to learn more about how Keep and G Suite can optimize your company's workflow.

Friday, March 3, 2017

A solid cloud CRM

Sales are one of, if not the most important part of any business. They're what make your business tick, so you may be wondering; how many opportunities are slipping through the cracks? What is my sales team doing everyday? How much money will we make this month? Am I doing everything I can to grow my revenue? These are all perfectly valid and important questions that need answers. However, it's imperative to understand that it's ultimately the tools that we use which define our efficiency and productivity for an optimized sales cycle - much like a dull ax versus a sharp ax when chopping lumber.

We are in an age where manual tasks need to be automated to save us time and precious resources. Google's G Suite is an excellent example of a tool that not only improves business IT systems, but permanently removes the need for costly maintenance, frequent upgrades, and hefty equipment. G Suite is what one could call a 'smart' IT system. A tool that's simple to use, and now with machine intelligence, learns user computing patterns to optimize a business for growth. We rave about G Suite because it's the most solid business solution out there. What about a CRM solution at a similar caliber? Enter ProsperWorks.


It's a cloud CRM that your team will actually use. It will give them the insights they need to sell more. It will give them a repeatable sales process they can easily follow, and best of all, it will give you full visibility to coach them to success. It's the cloud CRM that was built for automation, enabling users to focus on making the sale.

A competitive product like Salesforce.com was launched in 1999, long before the majority of sales activities revolved around email and web based marketing. It's an expensive product designed for a different time when phone calls and other traditional sales methods were dominant.

Since the majority of your sales team's interactions happen over email today, wouldn't it be great if your CRM was designed to link up with everything in your inbox and save you oodles of time doing data entry of new contacts or copying email content into tasks? This is how ProsperWorks is different from the competition. It was designed from the beginning to run on top of G Suite and your email inbox. It provides integration so deep that it feels like just another module of G Suite. It was built when email and web marketing were already dominant sales processes.

ProsperWorks runs on Google's own exceptional cloud computing platform for high performance, security, and reliability. It's intuitive like most Google products so businesses can be up and running in no time even with no assistance. Built for the G Suite ecosystem—from Gmail and Calendar to Contacts and Drive, it provides users the unified experience across the tools they use everyday. For instance, sales teams can interact with their customers from within Gmail and Google Hangouts while they work on customer proposals and sales forecasts with Google Docs and Drive. It helps users identify, track, and optimize sales contacts and opportunities. Users can easily manage entire sales pipelines with automated systems that eliminate data entry, allowing them to focus on closing more deals. Among all the amazing things ProsperWorks is capable of here's a quick rundown of the basics:

Drive Sales
Forget about data entry and lost emails. Track emails from within, automate and assign tasks, track team activity, and use multiple sales pipelines and VoIP calling. ProsperWorks now integrates with RingCentral.

Get Visibility
Get Pipeline reports, lead and sales dashboards, forecast management, and get full visibility on activities and opportunity tracking.

Take Action
Set sales goals, create a competitive environment with leaderboards, help your teams prioritize their day with custom dashboards and much more.

The immediate gain from a CRM is an increased ROI. With ProsperWorks, users also reap the benefits of enhanced customer acquisition and retention, sales automation, and a repository of all customer information. It works perfectly from small to medium sized businesses to larger companies like Udacity and Peugeot. It's a scalable solution that helps get the job done simply and beautifully.

Have a feeling your team could be more productive? Click here to try ProsperWorks for FREE! Contact us today to learn more about ProsperWorks and G Suite for your business.

Thursday, February 23, 2017

The Power of Search - Google Cloud Search

Google sees more than one trillion searches each year and that number is growing rapidly. People around the globe use Google Search to access the world's information. As businesses grow, so does their data, and sorting through this data becomes increasingly complex. Google wants to enable businesses to use the power of search to efficiently explore and access the information that's needed at any given time - easily and quickly.

Earlier this month, Google announced Google Cloud Search (formerly known as Springboard). This new product uses machine intelligence to provide a unified search experience across G Suite. 

Users in today's world compute in many different formats of data; from emails and docs to spreadsheets, slides, forms, and internal sites. It can get complicated to know where files are saved and in what format. According to McKinsey, the average worker spends 20% of the workweek searching for and consolidating information. Essentially, your staff may be wasting a lot of time just trying to find the right information needed to simply do their job!

Google Cloud Search helps businesses save time by allowing their staff to summon data immediately. It not only provides detailed search results but also proactively suggests recommendations to help users throughout the day. For instance, opening up the Cloud Search app instantly displays relevant information organized into cards that help keep the user updated. They can help users prepare for an upcoming meeting or even suggest files that may require attention. With machine learning, these cards are designed to increasingly help users be more productive and efficient over a short amount of time.
Google Cloud Search users can also search for people within the company's directory like colleagues' contact details, events, and shared files. Users can even choose to send an email, make a call, or start a Hangout session with just a tap. With all this ease, privacy is still a priority. Cloud Search respects G Suite's file sharing permissions so people can only search and find files that they specifically have permissions to. 

Google Cloud Search is only available to G Suite Business and Enterprise editions. Google intends to add more capabilities in the near future that will include integration with third-party applications. Incremental, yet useful, improvements like this not only make G Suite a long term solution for businesses but also one that keeps up with the increasing complexity of business data and user demands. 

Not using G Suite? What are you waiting for? Contact InterlockIT today to learn more about Google Cloud Search and G Suite! 

Friday, February 17, 2017

G Suite Series: Google Vault

As cloud computing becomes prevalent in the business world, more and more companies demand a solid archiving/backup solution to protect and easily access their precious data.

In mid 2012 Google announced a new archiving solution, Google Vault. It's the ultimate solution for businesses looking to secure their data and here's why:
Simply put, Google Vault allows businesses to easily retain, hold, search, and export their organization's mail and chat messages. Users can also search and export their organization's files in Google Drive. Like other Google solutions, the system is entirely web-based, so there's no need to install or maintain any software. Google Vault was essentially created for businesses in need of the following eDiscovery services:

Email and chat archiving: Set retention rules to control how long email messages and history-on chats are retained before they are removed from user mailboxes and deleted from Google systems. Here's how retention works.

Legal holds: Place legal holds on users to preserve all their emails and on-the-record chats indefinitely in order to meet legal or other retention obligations. You can place legal holds on all content in a user's account, or even target specific content based on dates and terms. Here is how you can create legal holds.

Drive file search: Search your domain’s Google Drive accounts by user account, organizational unit, date, or keyword. Search results include Google file types as well as non-Google file types such as PDF, DOCX, and JPG. Here is how to search Drive for files.

Email and chat search: Search your domain's email, history-on Hangouts, and on-the-record Google Talk chats by user account, date, or keyword. Here is how to search for email and chat messages.

Export: Export specific email, on-the-record chats, and files from Drive to standard formats for additional processing and review. Here is how to export search results.

Audit Reports: Use Vault audit reports to learn about actions Vault users have taken during a specified period of time. Here is how to run a Vault audit report.

Google is one of the safest places to park your data in the cloud, so you may be wondering, if Google Cloud servers are some of the most secure servers on the planet, why would anyone need an additional backup system like Vault? There are two main reasons; compliance and user error. Some organizations are required to archive data instantly to a place where it can't be deleted or tinkered with - they have compliance regulations to follow. On the other hand, as safe as those cloud servers are, they can't protect you from user error or misbehavior. If an employee accidentally or maliciously deletes data, the window of opportunity to recover this data is 25 days before it's permanently gone. Vault resolves both of these nuances to ensure your data is 100 percent secure.

Solutions like Microsoft Archiving have a competitive disadvantage to Google Vault. With Microsoft Archiving, deleted emails are not retained unless the user's mailbox is put on Legal Hold in advance. This is a huge shortcoming for compliance requirements that often companies don't discover until later when they need to recover, for example, emails of a sales rep who announced to customers where he/she was moving to, which could be a violation of their non-solicitation agreement. With Microsoft Archiving, if an employee deletes emails from their mailbox, the business only has 25 days to recover them. With Google Vault, you can always find them because Vault retains all deleted emails without the need to put users on Legal Hold.

Interlock IT has assisted several hundreds of organizations secure their data with Google Vault. Whether it's financial firms, legal teams, or medical facilities, we have helped establish a safer environment for organizations with compliance and sensitive information. With Vault, our customers know their data is securely stored without risk, and it can easily be retrieved in unpredictable situations. It's the assurance many businesses need for safe and secure cloud computing.

Google Vault is included in G Suite Enterprise and G Suite Business or Education editions. You can also purchase Vault separately for an additional $5 per user, per month. Contact us today to learn more about Vault and how it can benefit your business!

Friday, February 10, 2017

Automated Mileage Tracking

Many a times businesses are too busy doing day to day tasks without actually pausing to think if there's an easier, more efficient way. It's easy to tune out great advice and tools when all we want is to just complete the task at hand. Living in a fast pace business environment consequently hinders our understanding of what it means to work efficiently and save time, energy, and money.

In today's world, it's vital to not only have a good team, but also the right tools. In our many years of IT experience, there are two kinds of tools; efficient tools that automate, and non-efficient tools that simply get the job done, regardless of time and the consumption of valuable resources. It's important to understand that the more efficient our tools, the more time and money we can redirect to other more important aspects of the business. Many software solutions available today are not only smarter, but offer a wide range of functionality that can altogether eliminate manual and tedious tasks.
An example of an efficient tool is timeline for Google Maps. For Transport industries or even small business owners and contractors, mileage is an important factor needed to keep track of business travels, deductions, and claims. One way to do this is via third party applications like DriversNote to save you time and cut out manual logging. That's great, but who has time to actually remember to hit the start and stop buttons? 

A more efficient and greater way to do all this, without remembering to hit the start and stop buttons, is to use timeline for Google Maps. Google Maps with location history can make it simple to fill out mileage reports. Simply log in to your Google account and watch the magic happen. Just review the timeline occasionally to fill in the actual location you visited when it isn't sure - a common and minor hiccup when you arrive at a building complex or plaza. Your timeline in Google Maps helps you find the places you've been and the routes you've traveled - an excellent and automated way for tracking/logging.

Concerned about privacy? You can purge the full location history any time and no record will be retained anywhere of your travels.Your timeline is also private, so only you can see it. Here's how you can view and edit your timeline.

With Google keeping efficiency in mind, you simply can't go wrong with their innovation and array of incredible applications. Make the smart decision for choosing the right tools for your business and go Google today! Contact us for more details about G Suite and other great cloud solutions that can automate and increase your business's efficiency.

Friday, February 3, 2017

G Suite Series - Google Drive

Data - it's everywhere. Files, folders, documents, spreadsheets, presentations and many more kinds of data exists so that we can reference, log, and share our work. There's no doubt that it's what empowers businesses to grow. It's a crucial element of business and takes lots of time to create and gather. We work hard to acquire it, so shouldn't we invest in protecting it and have easy access to it?

As a business grows, it becomes an increasing challenge to scale storage and sync all that data. With this increasing challenge, more and more companies are beginning to understand the value cloud computing has to offer. Whether you're on Dropbox, Box, Microsoft's OneDrive, or even your own Windows file server, you are using a storage system designed to compile your data in one place. Not all storage systems are equal.

Google, the cloud champion, has it's own cloud storage solution to keep all your work in one secure place; Google Drive.

It's one of the most powerful tools available for businesses today to effortlessly store, share, and sync files. If you use G Suite's Docs, Slides, and Sheets, lucky you! You've got the perfect solution for easy collaboration and file/folder management.
Google understands that businesses need efficient, collaborative and scalable tools that will actually make work easier. There's no better example of this than Google Drive. Here are a few incredible ways it can add value to your business:

Get as much storage as you need: With G Suite Basic, 30 GB of storage per user shared across Drive and Gmail means plenty of room for your data, and you can purchase additional space as needed. If you're not sure how much data you'll need, opting for G Suite Business will give you truly unlimited storage. You'll never have to think about low storage problems - use as much as you want! Can't decide which G Suite tier is right for you? Check out our comparison post.

Sync files with your computer automatically: You can choose to sync all or some of your files to a designated folder on your computer. Any changes you make locally are automatically mirrored in Google Drive, and vice versa. I behaves just like your local hard drive but with the piece of mind that everything is replicated securely in the cloud and everyone can see the up to date version.

View files without buying additional software: Need to open a file but don't have the right software installed? That was the old way of doing things. Now Drive lets you view over 40 of the most popular formats including videos, images, Microsoft Office documents, spreadsheets, and PDFs. You can upload any type of file to Google Drive and even convert certain types to a web-based Google document format like Docs, Sheets, or Slides for truly real time collaborative editing.

Google Powered Search: Google is the most popular search engine on the planet, for good reason! Knowing that, you have the most powerful search features built into your data store. Stop the frantic hunt for important documents buried deep in layered folders. Simply enter some keywords to pull up the right file in seconds, even if it's an image or PDF of handwritten notes - that's powerful!

Easy-to-manage sharing controls: Google understands the importance of privacy and ensures your files are only shared with those you want to share with. Keep files private, until you decide to share them. Grant specific permissions to download, edit, comment, or view, avoiding multiple versions and file merging. Google Drive is unrivaled for collaborative document-editing projects.

Third-party applications to extend Drive functionality: There are hundreds of integrated apps available including Pandadoc for quotes/e-signatures,  Slack for enhanced sharing capabilities, and Smartsheet for project management to get things done directly from Drive. You can find more great integrated apps on the Chrome Web Store.

Google Drive is a solid system and many user's will agree that it's possibly the easiest file storage solution to set up and use. Compared to Microsoft, in mobile online storage, "Google Drive bagged nearly 10 times the number of monthly-active users than did Microsoft's OneDrive: 47 million to 4.9 million" according to Computer World.

Already have a G Suite domain but aren't partnered with a Google Cloud Partner? Here's why you should! Contact us today to learn more about how G Suite can improve and add incredible value to your business!

Friday, January 27, 2017

G Suite Series - Google Hangouts


From Google Hangouts to Google Drive, in this series we'll cover all the major applications that simplify business practices and help optimize business efficiency and productivity.

Google Hangouts - if you have ever used Gmail you have definitely heard of Hangout's and know that it's some sort of messaging application from Google. You're right, but there's so much more it can offer, especially for businesses.
Hangout's unifies chats, audio calls, and video meetings across all of your user's devices. Regardless of whether they're in Gmail, on the desktop, or on Andoid/iOS devices, your users won't miss a thing because all their Hangouts are synchronized. Through HD video, voice, and text, it helps connect you with people that make your business run.

Many companies have been able to cut down on travel costs, simply with Hangouts. When you can have face-to-face interactions via technology with your team, your customers, or even your prospects, you don't need to spend valuable time and money on travel. In some cases, Google Hangouts can even help your business save tons of money on phone and conferencing services which can be invested in other, more important aspects of the business.

Hangouts offers many of the advanced unified communications features included in some of the most robust business phone systems. So what are some of these features that Google Hangouts has to offer?

Connect with anyone, individually, or in a group, anytime and anywhere: You can host Hangouts for up to 25 people within or outside of your organization. The screen automatically focuses on whoever is speaking and intelligently mutes others to prevent background noises - it's seamless.

Easy to use from anywhere: Your entire team can join the same Hangout from their desktop, laptop, tablet, or phone with the same easy-to-use experience. Hangouts can be accessed via multiple ways including Gmail from the browser, the desktop app (for Chrome OS and Windows), the browser plugin, the mobile app (Andoid/iOS), the Hangouts website, and Google+.

Built-in screen sharing: Make a live presentation of your latest slides or give a remote tutorial with easy screen sharing, and send useful links with built in chat.

Have external participants join a Hangouts session: Even if they don't have a G Suite account you can invite external participants to join your session. You can even dial out to any telephone number for free in North America to add them to the conference audio. To ensure privacy, you also have the option to restrict Hangouts by default to those only within your organization.

These are a few key features that Google Hangouts has to offer making it an excellent cloud solution for your business communication. If you find Hangouts lacks some important capabilities, there are third-party platforms like Business Hangouts that can significantly expand the functionality of Hangouts to your needs. If that still isn't enough, there are numerous third-party solutions like UberConference - a cloud-based solution that integrates with Hangouts to add true telephone dial-in based audio-conferencing functionality.

With a G Suite subscription, you not only get incredible applications like Hangouts but you also get the latest and greatest features Google continues to improve upon. Go to the G Suite learning center to learn more about Google Hangouts and be sure to contact us at InterlockIT. We'd be happy to assist you in learning how to use G Suite effectively for your specific business needs.

Friday, December 23, 2016

G Suite: Basic or Business?

Having a cloud solution for your business is vital in today's world. You need a place to store all your work, access it from anywhere, share it easily with anyone, and not have to worry about capacity, performance, or safety. These are some of the key features business' look for when considering a cloud solution. Google's G Suite offers all these elements and more.

G Suite is a professional office suite for businesses of all sizes. We at InterlockIT service customer domains with as little as 2 users and as many as 90,000 users. G Suite is a scalable solution that does virtually everything you'd expect from a productivity suite and more. To ensure businesses are only paying for what they need, Google offer 2 tiers for G Suite; G Suite Basic and G Suite Business.
What's the difference?

Here is a comparison chart of the two tiers. We find startups and small to medium sized businesses gravitate towards the low cost $5 per user per month G Suite Basic tier. Larger companies or companies that have a need for the additional features incline towards the G Suite Business tier at $10 per user per month. Compared to other productivity suites, G Suite is an exceptionally low cost economical solution for most businesses and doesn't sacrifice quality and usability. It's a bulletproof platform that's both universal and scalable to meet your specific business needs.

Which tier is right for you?

If you're looking to keep costs low and don't have the need for features like unlimited storage, team drives, and ediscovery/archiving, G Suite Basic will do the job - although in our experience many companies upgrade to Business as they grow. Professional email, shared calendars, online document editing and storage, video meetings, and much more are all available in the Basic model via applications like Gmail, Calendar, Contacts, Drive, and Hangouts. If what you're looking for falls here, then the $5 per user per month plan is sufficient.

For businesses that prefer premium and true business-grade services, G Suite Business is the route. In addition to all the features included in the Basic model, G Suite Business subscribers also get the following:
  • Unlimited storage - Store large sized files and as many as you want without worrying about capacity limits.
  • Google Vault - Manage, retain, search, and export your organization's email and on-the-record chats.
  • Advanced Drive controls - Gain additional insights with audit reporting, custom alerts, and APIs
  • Audit and reporting features - Gain additional insights with mobile audits and alerts, such as when a device is compromised.
  • Mobile features - User's get G Suite on their managed mobile devices and administrators can control Android devices owned by the business
  • Team Drives - Manage content ownership and sharing at a team level with more granular controls
  • Administrative control - Offers a deeper level of administrative control compared to the Basic tier 
Google doesn't allow businesses to pick and choose different tiers. Each G Suite subscription is domain wide, meaning everyone in your domain will have the same tier. You cannot upgrade some users to use G Suite Business while others use G Suite Basic.

Upgrading from G Suite Basic to the Business is simple. Contact your G Suite reseller and ask them to upgrade your domain. The process is quick and is seamless to end users. If you don't have a reseller, give us a call and we can take care of the entire process for you!

Thursday, November 17, 2016

Why you should use a Google Cloud Partner!

More than 5 million businesses use Google's collection of productivity apps known as G Suite (formerly known as Google Apps for Work) and over 5,000 businesses sign up every day. With such a large and growing user base, Google relies on partners like Interlock IT to provide customer relationships and expertise, personalized outreach, and a broad range of services to users. Partners like us also provide essential services that allow users to take maximum advantage of G Suite, ease their initial setup and assist with migration, customization, and the general user experience.
Our team at Interlock IT helps companies move to the cloud to streamline productivity, user experience, and cost. As a G Suite reseller we manage hundreds of global G Suite customers and are occasionally asked what the benefits are of partnering up with a reseller. There are many reasons why it's useful--and in many cases better--to have a reseller manage your G Suite domain. Here are just a few:

Data Migration and Deployment
As the first Canadian Premier Google Apps Partner, Interlock IT has a highly experienced and dedicated team to lead your transition to G Suite. Our deployment team addresses all migration needs, including deployment, integration, and adoption. Our team is here to ensure that your business has a smooth and seamless transition without any downtime or data loss. All data from legacy systems are safely transferred with utmost care. In our almost seven years of moving hundreds of customers to G Suite, we have not once experienced a lost email or file - you're in safe hands!

G Suite Integrated Add-ons
With our large customer base we have lots of hands on experience with G Suite integrated add-ons to cover your needs in any situation. Need to manage leads, contacts, and drive sales results with Solve CRM or Prosperworks CRM? Want to replace your on premise accounting solution with Xero? Need time sheets, expense reporting, and online/automated credit card billing with Freshbooks? There is a wealth of 100% web browser based cloud software solutions available that deeply integrate to G Suite, eliminating separate login/passwords, and much more.

Support
Although G Suite includes free Google support, Google support reps are unfamiliar with your company and business needs. Compared to Google support, our smaller and agile team understands and builds rapport with our customers on a deeper level, maintaining a healthy customer relationship to quickly and efficiently resolve tier 2 support issues. We're a simple phone call or email away and can even submit/escalate support requests to Google on your behalf accordingly so you can focus on running your business.

Training
Many businesses don't leverage the full potential of G Suite until their users have received adequate training. With our engaging G Suite training sessions, we can demonstrate the features and best-practices of the Google experience. Our G Suite Certified Deployment Specialists stay up to date with the latest improvements and upgrades to provide a wide range of rich content training for all G Suite applications including Gmail, Calendar, Docs, Sheets, Slides, and Google Drive. For businesses that prefer to maintain their own infrastructure, we also train IT administrators on Google's Admin console for fine-grained admin controls, audit reports, eDiscovery, and custom application development.

Custom App Integration
Every business has its own unique needs, and in some cases the out-of-box solution doesn't cover all the bases. Our team has ample experience with designing and integrating custom applications with G Suite. For example, Blink Reports is a product we created to bridge the gap between Google Sheets and Xero to allow Xero customers to build financial reports, charts, and virtual dashboards connected to their live Xero data. Need standardized signatures? Need to synchronize G Suite users with your school administration system? These are just a few examples of solutions we've custom built for our customers. If there's a cloud application that your business needs to integrate with G Suite, our team is ready to design and deploy it!
Among the many advantages, these are a few key benefits of running your business with a Google Cloud Partner. With a reseller like InterlockIT, you're not only getting powerful world class collaborative G Suite tools, you're also getting many years of experience providing cloud-consulting, on-going technical support, and domain management. Contact us today to purchase your G Suite subscription with InterlockIT! It's quick, simple, and you'll thank yourself later!

Thursday, October 6, 2016

New names & new tricks!

With business demands growing and companies looking to boost productivity, it's equally important for tech tools to evolve and keep up the pace. The digitization of businesses in particular makes it necessary for modern tools to reinvent/improve upon their predecessors. We hear our customers with different requirements calling for more refined products to be offered. So far, Google has delivered and maintains it's superiority over other 'cloud' platforms with its frequent updates.

Google Apps is the backbone of millions of companies across the globe. The cloud apps are not standalone apps, but rather a complete suite of intelligent applications that work harmoniously to provide users with an exceptionally fluid and seamless collaborative experience. Not only does Google continue to improve usability and features, but they've gone so far as to update the name of their applications to better reflect their mission; for technology to live up to its promise for us at work and help us cut through the noise so we can work together and focus on what matters. Just last week Google introduced 'G Suite' (formerly known as Google Apps for Work).

Google Apps is now G Suite Basic
Google Apps Unlimited is now G Suite Business


Since Google frequently introduces new features to their already robust applications, they've introduced yet another great element, and this time to Google Drive; Team Drives.  

In 2012, Google Drive launched to bring all of your work to all of your devices. Today, Drive sits on more than one billion smartphones and as businesses embrace it, a new key need has emerged: teams. We all know that teams need to move fast, be scaleable, and regroup. In order to keep up, Team Drives redefine this model, shifting the focus from individual users to teams. For example, content ownership and sharing can now be managed at the team level, and new roles give more granular control over team content. As the G Suite Updates blog states, "Team Drives help streamline teamwork from end-to-end, from onboarding a new team member (add her to the team and she instantly has access to all of the work in one place) to offboarding a departing team member (remove him from the team and all of his work stays right in place), and everything in-between". Team Drives will be exclusive to G Suite Business users and will begin rolling out to customers through the Early Adoption Program

Although these are incremental updates, they have a profound impact on the way we conduct business in teams. If you're looking for an exceptional suite of business productivity apps, unlimited cloud storage, e-discovery, archiving, Team Drives and much much more, G Suite Business is your solution. Get in touch with us today to assist your ascendance to the tech Cloud. Our G Suite deployment specialists are ready to lead and assist your implementation. 

Friday, September 30, 2016

Pokémon Go Technology

Technology is evolving rapidly and games are no longer restricted to a controller and screen in your living room. They're now physically and socially engaging, like Pokémon GO from nainticlabs.com.
Pokémon GO is an augmented-reality game that blends imagination, exercise, and real-world exploration all around you. The idea of 'catching' Pokémon has never been more realistic. Millions of people of all ages are spending more time outdoors trying to catch the globally scattered virtual critters. Just in the last nine weeks, Pokémon GO surpassed half a billion downloads worldwide and players have collectively walked 4.6 billion kilometers - that's the distance from Earth to Pluto! Pokémon GO continues to grow in popularity as developers expand on its features.

At Interlock IT, we've split into our respective teams and have some serious Pokémon trainers! The game is tons of fun and has us actively participating, but what really interests us is how the game is able to function so well with so much server load and usage. What platform is the game running on and how is it scaling so well? The short answer; Google.

Niantic's job postings require applicants to have experience with Google's Cloud Platform and be "extremely proficient with Google App Engine". It's no surprise, John Hanke's (CEO of Niantic), had previously established a similar and very popular Android-based game known as Ingress. Ingress uses Google's Cloud Platform as its backend. The same technologies and map-points were used to lay the foundations of Pokémon GO which allows for massive scalability and in return, enables a progressively stable gaming experience for users. Check out this Google Cloud Platform blog post to learn about the infrastructure that helped bring Pokémon GO to life for millions of players.

Google allows 'game-changing' games (pun intended), the likes of Pokémon GO and Ingress to have their databases storing massive amounts of geodata for determining where people congregate, how much movement they are doing, and all of the places where Pokémon should regenerate, into highly scalable servers. Google understands the cloud extremely well and knows the future of computing lies in the clouds. The sheer scale and ambition of these games needed Niantic to tap into Google's cloud utilities to make it a reality. With so many people playing the games worldwide, it's another tribute to Google's incredible cloud platform.

What was once a sci-fi dream of having full access to business and pleasure, anywhere at anytime, has now become a reality. Pokémon GO not only illustrates the importance of having a solid backend infrastructure, but testifies the power and reliability of Google's servers. It's fast, scalable, and secure. Contact us today to upgrade your business to Google's cloud platform. It's GO time!

Friday, August 19, 2016

The best cloud accounting solution for small businesses!

Nowadays, having a reliable IT system in place is imperative for an efficient business workflow. As cloud experts, we've found early on that cloud computing is an integral part of having your IT system work for you, and not the other way around. Cloud email, cloud collaboration, cloud storage, and even cloud accounting are what make up a powerful, productive, and efficient IT system.

Although our founder has a deep passion for wielding cloud technology, by trade he is a Chartered Professional Accountant and a Certified Management Accountant. Both technology and accounting overlap in our world and we're often asked this question; what is the best cloud accounting solution for small and medium sized businesses?

The quickest answer; Xero.

As cloud strategists, we find accessibility is key when it comes to data and management. Xero, along with other cloud solutions, is built around the idea of accessibility. Cloud technologies enable everything to work faster and more efficiently. Even large banks and financial institutions are starting to use cloud storage for their data storage needs over their traditional data centers. With cloud accounting software like Xero, small businesses can do everything, including easy invoicing, inventory, multi-currency reconciling, source document attachment, purchase orders, cash-flow management, and much more. The ability to have these features fully accessible, from virtually anywhere, is a huge plus for small and medium sized businesses. Learn more about Xero features here: https://www.xero.com/ca/accounting-software/

Xero has been at the forefront of cloud accounting for a very long time. It's one of the easiest online accounting systems and offers great convenience for its users without compromising on key features that are normally found in legacy accounting software. It has become one of the fastest growing cloud accounting companies in the world, with a subscriber base of over 700,000, contributing a total life-time value of $1.5 billion. Their success is due to their loyal small business customers across 180 countries. Xero intelligently takes advantage of cloud technology which allows them to innovate faster than ever before and pushes them into new geographies.

There's no doubt that Xero is well on it's way to hitting the billion dollar annual revenue mark with it's rapid growth, making it a top choice for those looking for the perfect cloud accounting solution. Interlock IT is a Certified Xero Partner and a Certified Xero Development Partner. We'll make your transition to Xero painless and can even assist you with custom Xero reports and integrations. Give us a call and let us know what you're looking to do with Xero. We're more than happy to assist! We'll even provide a free Xero trial account; just fill out our contact us form and mention this post in the comments.

If you've adopted Google Apps for Work, we've created Blink Reports for Xero. Blink Reports is the only Google Sheets add-on that allows Xero customers to build financial reports, charts, and virtual dashboards connected to your live Xero data. Contact us today to discuss with us your cloud accounting needs!

Thursday, June 30, 2016

Fastest way to login securely (no password needed!) - Google Prompt

Everyone uses passwords, but sometimes even passwords aren't enough to prevent security breaches. Quickly adopted by millions of users, Google introduced an added measure of securing email and data, known as 2-Step Verification. We've written a dedicated post about it here: http://blog.interlockit.com/2015/03/two-step-verification-added-layer-of.html. It's a great way to ensure your emails and documents are safe, but requires you to retrieve a code via text or Google's Authenticator app which you then have to enter, every 30 days if you so choose.

There's an easier way now; Google Prompt. Instead of typing in your password each time you sign in to your Google Account, you can get a prompt sent to your phone. Simply, tap the notification from Google to confirm, and you'll be signed in quickly and securely.

You'll need an iPhone 5S and up or an Android device for Google Prompt to work. Setting it up is a piece of cake:

  1. On your computer or tablet, go to the "Sign in & security" section of My Account. You might need to sign in to your Google Account.
  2. In the "Tired of typing passwords?" box, select Get started.
  3. Select Set it up, then sign in to your account. You'll be taken to a guided setup process.
  4. In the "Your phone" section, choose which phone you want to use to sign in.
  5. Turn on your device's security feature.
    • Android: If there isn't a check next to "Screen lock," select Add a screen lock and follow the onscreen instructions.
    • iPhone: If there isn't a check next to "Touch ID," select How to set it up and follow the onscreen instructions.
  6. Choose Next.
  7. Below your username, select Next to practice how you'll sign in.
  8. On your phone, follow the onscreen instructions to see Google's prompt, then tap Yes.
  9. On your computer or tablet, select Turn on to the finish setup.
That's it! Now whenever you attempt to sign in to your Google Account, you'll get a "Trying to sign in?" prompt sent to your phone, just tap Yes and you're in!

Google understands security doesn't have to be tedious and Google Prompt makes for a quick and effortless way to access your account while maintaining a higher level of security than your average password. Contact our Interlock IT team today to secure your precious data with Google Apps!

Friday, June 24, 2016

The Cloud Powerhouse

We like to think cloud-technology users understand the power and security Google Apps can bring to their daily workflow. As industries evolve, so do the trends in user interaction with technology. Cloud adopters understand that IT systems don't have to be complicated, difficult, and expensive. Solutions like Google Apps empowers companies to grow at unforeseen heights and we find cloud adoption increasing more than ever, especially in fast-growing companies and startups.
Interlock IT recently had the pleasure of leading a Google Apps implementation for Imaginea Energy - a Calgary based oil and gas company. As Imaginea grew, they recognized their legacy storage, productivity, and email tools didn't reflect their open and transparent culture. Their closed environment made it difficult to collaborate together beyond very small teams so they started to look for a solution that was robust and powerful enough to mirror their vision. Google Apps for Work was their answer.

Within as little as four weeks, Interlock IT helped Imaginea Energy migrate email to Google Apps and transform into a highly productive and collaborative workplace. Flexibility to work remotely also allowed their employees maximum autonomy. Collaboration became seamless with Google Docs, Sheets, Slides, and Forms. Working offline became a possibility with immediate syncing upon network connectivity and Google Hangouts saved significant travel costs, enabling teams to spend more time on-site and less time driving. Since the implementation, Imaginea has become unstoppable and continues to grow rapidly.


Interlock IT loves saving customers the headaches and costs that accompany clunky outdated non-cloud platforms, and as anticipated, Imaginea was able to cut their IT costs in half! Interlock IT helped strategize the move of their legacy oil and gas applications from their traditional on-premise Windows servers to virtualized Windows servers on Google's Cloud Platform. Just see what Greg Bennett from Imaginea had to say, "At Imaginea, we defy industry stereotypes by focusing on Planet, People and Profit together. When you set out to reimagine an industry like oil and gas, achieving that vision is only possible with the right people and the right tools. The Interlock IT team led us through a smooth transition to a powerful, cost-effective, and secure collaboration suite. With Google Apps, we’ve set course to truly transform our business and the energy industry." Be sure to check out Greg's full blog post on the official Google for Work blog.

In recent years, the use of Google Apps has been growing steadily and capturing large chunks of the market. Businesses as well as consumers are increasingly considering Google Apps for meeting their productivity and collaboration needs. It's no secret that the markets are flocking to Google Apps and chances are that even your business or organization already uses at least one cloud-based application. Why not give Google Apps a try? As cloud experts, we've witnessed the repeated success of companies that embrace the Google platform. Industries ranging from energy to education and beyond are aware of the potential Google Apps brings to their respective trade. Contact Interlock IT today to learn how Google Apps can revolutionize your business workflow!