Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Google's backup solution versus Crashplan from Code42 - clarified!

In a recent article by Code42 titled 'Google Drive is a Bad Backup', they attempt to explain how Drive fails as an adequate backup solution. Occasionally, we do encounter users who ask if Google Drive is a reliable solution to store all their invaluable data, and if it's necessary to consider a third party backup utility. This post aims introduces an answer and also clarify the misstatements from the Code42 article.

One thing we can all agree on; Google is constantly updating and adding improved features to it's applications. Google Drive is no different and is being upgraded into a robust backup tool. Instead of having files reside inside the Drive folder, Drive can now monitor and backup files inside of any folder you point it to. This can include your desktop, your entire documents folder, and even other more specific locations. The new feature is out in the form of a new app called Backup and Sync.

Code42 claims, "Google Drive puts the burden on your users. Files don’t just appear in Google Drive. Your users have to manually select and upload each file for sharing or saving. When used as backup, this puts a huge burden on your users. You’re asking them to stop what they’re doing, several times each day, to manually back up every new file they’ve created". This simply isn't true, Drive has auto sync capabilities that lets users choose the folders they want to sync so they don't have to select each file and upload manually. Check out this support document from Google that explains how.

Code42 goes on to claim, "Google Drive doesn’t cover all your data. Users want to back up all their files. But they only want to share some of them. In fact, some of users’ most valuable files are those they hold most closely—and are reluctant to share. Anything they choose not to manually share is not backed up and can’t be recovered in a data loss incident". Again, not true. By default nothing is shared and remains private. Users aren't required to 'share' a file in order to back it up or sync it with Drive. Files that are not intended for sharing can easily be synced and backed up into Drive. See 'change your back up and sync settings' on this support page.

Another false statement by Code42; "Google Drive makes user error everyone’s problem. Google Drive is focused on moving work forward—not going back. If a user accidentally deletes a file and doesn’t realize it in time, it’s lost forever. Worse, that deleted file is now gone from everyone’s Google Drive". Google Drive, although focused on moving work forward, also offers the chance to recover deleted files. You can do this via your trash bin. If the file still isn't visible, you can contact a Google Drive specialist from your support page (in the admin console) to assist you. Learn more about file recovery. In addition, Team Drives were introduced to allow teams to effectively collaborate on files without losing access in case the 'initial owner' of the file leaves the team. Unlike files in My Drive, files in Team Drive belong to the team instead of an individual. Even if members leave, the files stay exactly where they are so the team can continue to share information and get work done.

Google understands that users already keep their most important files and photos in different places, such as a desktop, phone, USB drive, SD card etc. It's a challenge to keep all these scattered files secure, backed up, and organized, which is why Backup and Sync was created. It’s essentially the latest version of Google Drive for Mac and PC and is an easier, speedier, and much more reliable way to protect files and photos safely in Google Drive and Google Photos. This means files are no longer trapped on your computer and other devices. Simply choose the folders you want to back up, and the app will take care of the rest!
This is a huge improvement from the previous iteration of Drive for Mac and PC but it's not perfect for businesses, which is why it's primarily intended for consumer users, for now at least. It's also important to keep in mind that Backup and Sync is not a replacement for a restore tool. If your computer crashes, you will not be able to use Backup and Sync to restore your operating system. Google recommends G Suite users to continue using Drive for Mac and PC until the new enterprise-focused solution, Drive File Stream (currently only available in Early Adopter Program), is made generally available to all G Suite domains later this year. Drive File Stream will allow users to access huge corporate data sets without taking up the equivalent space on their hard drives.

Ultimately, Backup and Sync takes the chore out of the traditional drag and drops or organizing files and folders to get them synced to the cloud. Check out Google's support page to learn more about the new app and possible uses you may have for it. Give us a shout if you'd like to learn more about G Suite and upcoming features.

Friday, August 4, 2017

Become a power G Suite administrator with this handy checklist!

G Suite applications create a world of possibilities for businesses of all sizes. They present an intuitive way of working that goes beyond simple business email systems. From real-time document collaboration to engaged video conferencing, the vast range of tools make it incredibly easy to boost user productivity and data security. With such great usability and functionality, it's imperative to understand the utility of the console that administers these powerful applications; The G Suite Admin console.
The G Suite Admin console is designed to provide administrators an easy way to add users, manage devices, configure security, and tweak several other settings. Centralized administration allows users to work efficiently and the ability to focus on more important tasks. The G Suite Admin console also provides access to advanced insights and usage reports. If configured and used correctly the console can be a powerful way for administrators to optimize G Suite for their users. With a broad array of functions (which can seem intimidating at first), we hope this short list will give you a better sense of administrating G Suite.
  • Add users and manage Google cloud services
    • If you're a growing company, you'll probably be hiring new staff. You can add new users via the admin console individually or several at once. Once new users have been added, they can begin communicating and collaborating with fellow users immediately.
  • Add layers of security and privacy 
    • G Suite provides excellent security features to protect your invaluable data. It's important to utilize features like enabling 2-step verification across your domain. 2-step verification blocks the majority of hacking methods to better protect your organizations data. If you haven't yet enabled 2-step verification, it's only a matter of time before one of your users has their account compromised. This can lead to an embarrassing email broadcast to your customer base!
    • The console also provides access to user behaviour reports designed to help identify users that are disregarding security procedures. The reports show risky user actions, such as the installation of external apps that may threaten the integrity of the user's account.
  • Control users' access to services and features
    • Administrators can activate/deactivate or even tailor how certain services work for specific users or everyone. This means users can only see the services they have been granted permission for when signed in. For instance, you can activate Google Hangouts for your support team while exclusively allowing the marketing department to share public Google Sites. (Note: by default, G Suite applications are turned ON for all users and there is no action required to make the services available to users.)
  • Use Google training and deployment resources
    • To ensure a smooth rollout, be sure to use Google's learning resources that contain guidelines for in-app training. We often find frustrated users abandon the system simply due to lack of education and understanding. Adopt best practices and learn hidden, yet useful features, by utilizing the videos, tips, and guides in the G Suite learning centerThe deployment site features templates for building an in-house learning center and planning a successful rollout.
    • You can also set Chrome extensions for G Suite training that facilitate self-paced interactive lessons for your users. For full featured and thorough training on G Suite, we recommend getting in touch with us (Interlockit.com).
  • Grant admin privileges to other IT staff members
    • Share the power! But we recommend doing so very carefully and only with trusted users that are responsible for managing users, devices, and configuring other management settings. Remember, granting admin permission to a user means you are giving them access to the admin console!
  • Google's mobile device management for iOS, Android, and Chrome devices
    • Users by default have access to their G Suite accounts from their mobile devices. This creates the need to manage and enforce security policies to protect the user data. G Suite's mobile device management tools provide a way for admins to remotely wipe data from lost or stolen devices. Admins also have visibility on mobile audit logs that help determine usage.
  • Add domains as aliases or separate entities for free
    • Unfortunately many admins don't know that the admin console allows organizations to add many domains at no extra cost. Users can be linked to identities at one or multiple domains without compromising their ability to share services. Admins can also add domains separately or as a domain alias.
Still need assistance with the admin console? No problem! InterlockIT.com offers training, not only on G Suite applications such as Gmail, Drive, and Calendar, but also on the feature rich admin console for administrators like you! We're here to help you with a range of things, from deployment and migrations to training and day to day management. Get in touch with us today to learn more about administrating G Suite for your organization!

Monday, July 17, 2017

Security breach! How to prevent your G Suite domain from getting hijacked

Legacy security solutions are no longer as effective against todays clever hacking methods, and on-premise hardware can often lack sufficient scale and performance to protect internet connected application infrastructures as they grow. As more organizations move their operations online, they need a cloud-based security solution that can defend their domain, email, valuable data, and in some instances, brand image.

Lately we have witnessed increasingly clever phishing attempts in our customer base. Some of these attempts are so sneaky you'd need to do a double or triple take to notice it as a red flag. Take for example a long time customer of ours who was sent an email with an almost identical domain name (only one letter was different). The email came from the actual domain name, meaning that the hacker had invested the time and money to purchase and configure the domain with the intent to hijack the real customer domain. Luckily our customer realized it was a malicious email and immediately deleted it and reported the domain to Google.

G Suite's cloud based security protocols are top notch. Google recently added a new security feature in Gmail to warn users when responding to emails sent from an external domain and not someone in their contacts. This feature increases awareness against forged email messages, impersonation, as well as common user-error when sending mail to incorrect addresses.
When a user clicks 'reply' in Gmail, Google scans the recipient list, including addresses in CC to verify the risk level. If a recipient is external to the user’s organization, not present in their Contacts or not someone the user interacts with regularly, the warning is displayed automatically. This is a subtle, yet powerful, way to keep your users vigilant.

A valuable step to take to prevent a hijacking is to create a rule in Gmail to bounce emails from domains that have close spellings. Here's how:
1. Login to your G Suite Admin account.
2. Go to Apps ---> G Suite ---> Mail ---> Advanced Settings
3. Under the Spam Section, Blocked Senders ---> Configure
4. Enter a (very) short description for the summary of what's being blocked
5. Use an existing list or create a new list for the addresses that are going to be rejected (you can choose single or multiple domains and single or multiple email addresses.)
6. Optional; you can edit the rejection notice that the sender will receive in the blocked bounce-back (leaving it blank will use the default).
7. "Bypass this setting for messages received from addresses or domains within these approved senders lists." - this option can be ignored (defaults to being checked off, but does not matter unless a list is created or used in this section).  This option also serves the purpose of allowing exceptions that can still send (eg. malicious.ca is blocked, but hacker@malicious.ca is allowed, or malicious.ca is blocked, but hackers.malicious.ca is allowed to bypass).

As long as we live in a world of technology, attackers will always look for ways to target us. As the internet evolves, the methods and techniques used by these attackers evolve along with it. It's important to understand that vulnerabilities do exist and the best way to avoid a compromised system is to set preemptive measures like the ones G Suite offers. The challenge with web security lies in that very changing nature. True cloud solutions offer the latest and most secure methods to provide the utmost protection for your online assets.

To learn more about cloud security and G Suite, contact Interlock IT today!

Monday, July 10, 2017

How to choose the right Client Relationship Management (CRM) solution

Many businesses today rely on client relationship management (CRM) systems to segment data and target clients. Despite the need for a reliable solution, most CRMs are impractical and sometimes even hinder user productivity.

In our many years of experience, the biggest of these problems (and most other software systems) is ease of adoption. CRMs were made to help users scope and keep up with their contacts and projects. Ironically with most CRMs out there, the opposite is true. They're clunky, difficult to learn, and counter-productive since they usually require you to remember to manually enter data or synchronize contacts. Overly convoluted systems can hinder the sales process and consequentially averse team members from even using the "solution". In order to have effective adoption it's imperative to have a solution that your team will actually love to use!

So how does one decide which CRM will work for their team? Understand this; most employees need a system that eases their workflow and maximizes their productivity. If users reject the existing CRM system, you need to take a step back and reassess what the problem is. Does it require too much manual data entry, does it not automate tasks well, are integrations to third party applications limited? These are all important questions to ask before you make a decision on which CRM to purchase. Focus on your team's needs and more importantly, on existing pain points. We see many CRM solutions pretending to be cloud and easy to use -- don't get blinded by their shininess because they're worthless if your team won't even use them.

Using a CRM that reduces, or altogether eliminates, manual data entry is incredibly important. Studies have shown that on average, sales rep spend nearly 6 hours a week entering activities and contacts into a CRM. This cripples performance and eats up valuable time. ProsperWorks scrapes contact information from your inbox to pre-populate it in your CRM so that you can add email addresses, phone numbers, and other contact data with a simple click of a button. You can also automatically link to all related emails, files and calendar events across the entire company. It's a powerful CRM that saves heaps of time while mitigating data inaccuracies.

Simply put, use a CRM solution that is easy to adopt, easy to implement, and easy for your team to use. Our recommendation is ProsperWorks. It's a true cloud based CRM that is by far one of the best looking, functioning, and usable CRMs out there! It was purposefully built to seamlessly integrate with the tools many sales teams are using, such as G Suite. It's not only an aesthetically pleasing CRM, but one that's very easy to work. If you know how to use Gmail, you know how to use ProsperWorks - there's barely a learning curve and your team will be delighted to use it. ProsperWorks knows very well that sales teams spend most of the day sending messages, scheduling meetings and creating follow-ups via email, so they created a system that resides right into your inbox so once you download the Gmail or Inbox Chrome Extension, every communication is in one centralized place.

With ProsperWorks, users 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 or contact us to learn more.

Friday, June 23, 2017

Is your company domain safe from spoofing?

There's no doubt that in the last two decades email has become the backbone and primary source of business communication. Businesses rely heavily on emails to communicate internally with their own staff as well as externally with clients and partners. Gmail alone has well over one billion monthly active users. Such heavy email dependency requires immense reliability and security. Unfortunately, we find many businesses are unaware that their backend mail settings are not configured for optimum reliability and security.
When it comes to securing Gmail admin settings, it's crucial to have the correct DNS (Domain Name Settings) configured to prevent domain spoofing. What's domain spoofing? In simple terms, it's the unauthorized use of a third-party domain name, primarily in an email message, in order to pretend to be someone else. SPF, DKIM, and DMARC are all security standards followed in G Suite applications to keep your domain safe. SPF (Sender Policy Framework) records allow the user to easily identify spam messages for their domain. DKIM (Domainkeys Identified Mail) attaches a new domain name identifier and encrypts the message to validate authorization for the message, and DMARC (Domain-based Message Authentication, Reporting & Conformance) allows the user to instruct how Gmail handles unauthenticated emails coming from within the domain. These may all sound complicated but are quite necessary to keep your users and domain safe. Use the Google Toolbox MX checker to see if your domain is configured correctly. If there are issues you will see the following prompt when you run the check:

If this is what you see when you check your domain, contact us! We highly recommend using an expert to configure these security protocols as we've seen customers claim their IT staff has already set these up, only to find out later that it was configured incorrectly. This cost of properly setting these protocols up is negligible in comparison to the potential damage they prevent.

In our several years of experience, we've seen users simply don't realize the importance of having the proper DNS records set up, simply because it was not given importance or because it was too complicated for their IT staff to configure correctly. To help our cloud friends enjoy a safe and secure domain, InterlockIT will clean up your DNS records for FREE in exchange of transferring your G Suite subscription to us as your reseller (some conditions apply). It's a win win since you get free assistance to protect your domain as well as all the benefits of having a Google Cloud Partner. Contact us today and lets secure your domain!

Friday, June 16, 2017

The road to G Suite - A quick overview of the transition

G Suite offers many advantages as a professional productivity suite. Some notable ones are collaboration, uniformity, integration to other platforms, ease of access, and ease of use. This post aims to highlight some of these advantages and keys to establishing a successful implementation. Administrators and pilot users are certainly familiar with the time and effort it takes to teach end users a new software. Thanks to Google's focus on usability and user experience, G Suite is one of the easiest productivity suites to learn.
Globally welcomed and renowned, Google's software has become widely used and accepted by businesses and consumers alike. With over 1 billion monthly active Gmail users, folks have been exposed to at least one other Google product, such as Drive, Calendar, or Hangouts. Even if you haven't used many of the applications, just being exposed to them gives you a baseline of familiarity and eases the learning process. It's also very likely that your end users may already be using G Suite applications like Docs, which means they probably require minimal user training and can focus on more important tasks.

We live in a fast-paced business world which requires us to have tools that are easily accessible. Unfortunately many end users still believe business software can only be accessible on one specific platform and on one specific device at a time - those days are long gone! Google understands access needs vary from user to user. Some prefer a specific OS (Windows, Mac, or Android) and others prefer a specific device such as a laptop, desktop, or tablet. Because G Suite is cloud based and cross platform efficient, it can be accessed from any user’s preferred software and hardware configuration. Undeniably a familiar environment helps speed up the learning and work process.

Although G Suite is easy to use we sometimes find end users to still be mildly resistant to change as they're already comfortable with their current workflow. To ease the process, we recommend the following:

Make the announcement: of course it's best to let everyone know that changes will be occurring to improve their workflow and performance. Consider having the changeover announcement made by a high ranking person in the organization to help ensure users read their communication instead of just deleting it. Announcement of the change will collectively get the team aware and curious of what's to come.

Prepare for the change: implementation of a new platform brings with it some challenges and is not a short term matter. For example, changes to company policies may occur as the team gains access to the plethora of G Suite features. In order to ease user concerns, we recommend gradual adoption. There should be a clear plan for what changes to policy and workflow are needed over a clearly defined time frame. A well planned and communicated migration helps make transitioning easier on both your IT staff and your end users.

Educate everyone: hesitation should be expected and worked with. As mentioned before, many end users already have familiarity with and use Google products in their personal lives. Leverage this into showing them all the benefits G Suite has to offer. Organize training around teams with users that encourage learning on their own by using the system. InterlockIT provides in depth training on all G Suite products - get in touch here. Consider the advantage of G Suite’s cross platform capacity by allowing users to learn on hardware/software that they're comfortable with (if this is applicable) as it can quicken the learning process. We recommend Google's Chromebook to simplify workflow and easily administer your team.

It's understood that transitioning to a new productivity platform brings with it challenges that have to be properly addressed, but by putting user concerns at ease, having proper training, and a clear plan of action for implementation, your switch to G Suite should go smoothly and be viewed as an opportunity to grow and streamline your workflow. To learn more about migration services and G Suite deployment, contact our InterlockIT team today!

Friday, May 12, 2017

The power of cloud integration for business IT systems

Before cloud computing existed, data used to reside in individual stores, on different computers, and sometimes within very different ecosystems. Users would have a record for a client in accounting, another in the order entry system, and another in a database of leads. Even emails were hosted on individual machines with only a local access point. To make matters even more complicated, none of these systems would automatically synchronize or intercommunicate; it was a virtual mess!

Thankfully many business systems today operate in the cloud allowing users to, for example, pull emails from a customer relationship management (CRM) system (like ProsperWorks) and with a single click, dial a contact via RingCentral which logs the interaction for productivity reporting and follow ups. Since data now has the ability to flow freely between software, it doesn't make sense for it to live in individual stores any longer. Think of software integration like bridges in a city, allowing traffic to flow freely from one place to another.
Our team at Interlock IT advocates a simplified workflow which eases integration between all of your business systems – phone, email, and software. For instance, allowing calls to be logged in your CRM both in and out of the office, and emails automatically synced to client records in your CRM and accounting software. Our skilled team can perform custom integrations with many other solutions that we may not necessarily resell. Our use of Google App Engine instead of hosted servers and the pervasiveness of modern Open API's with cloud software means integrations are low cost, secure, reliable, and near realtime. Gone are the error prone days of file exports to hard drives and batch import processes that frequently failed due to data structure changes. Modern API's flow through the software business logic layer to prevent issues like posting unbalanced accounting entries. Database or file level integration methods of the past often required duplication of this critical error checking logic and would fall behind as the core software business logic changed.

To illustrate an example of cloud integration, we use Hubdoc to automatically push our monthly phone bill to Xero which codes it to the correct expense account. It attaches the pdf image of the invoice and also saves a copy to our Google Drive where we can take advantage of the world's best search engine to instantly find it again. Enabling auto-pay with our provider allows us to simply let Xero's automatic downloading of bank transactions find the matching payment and mark it as paid. There is zero traditional human data entry required, which in return allows us to use that time towards more important tasks like following up with our customers.

Unfortunately many businesses still use obsolete (non-cloud) IT software that is inherently inefficient and expensive. Even custom integrations of legacy software is generally designed hastily to fill a need but isn't a permanent fix. This usually involves data that is only accessible from one computer and often by only one user at a time, not remotely and collaboratively. In the era of cloud computing, these sort of 'patch-ups' aren't necessary. Cloud computing has opened the doors for powerful software integrations that yield far superior results when it comes to productivity and efficiency. If there's a cloud application that your business needs to integrate, our team is ready to design and deploy it. Contact us today to find out more about how you can unify your workflow and improve your business IT system!

Friday, May 5, 2017

Machine learning in G Suite - How it increases productivity

Humans have been evolving rapidly over the last few centuries; from the agricultural age, to the industrial age, to now the information age. As we evolve so do our tools and the ways we interact with them. Take G Suite for example. Just over the last few years, G Suite has evolved from more than just an email and contacts solution, it now has the capacity to anticipate your business needs and facilitate collaboration and productivity at an unprecedented level.
Formatting documents, email management, and creating expense reports. These are just a few of the common time-consuming tasks that negatively affect productivity. Time spent working on tasks that do not directly relate to a creative output is costly and is referred to as 'overhead'. Unfortunately, huge overhead is common in most businesses and hinders valuable potential. According to a study by Google in 2015, the average worker spent roughly 5 percent of their time actually coming up with the next big idea. The remaining 95 percent of the time was dissolved in the form of formatting, tracking, analysis or other mundane tasks. With all these tools and efficiencies, one would think the percentages would be reversed. To make this possible, Google introduced what's known as machine learning.
What is machine learning? Essentially, machine learning algorithms observe input examples and make output predictions based on data. In G Suite, machine learning makes your workday more efficient by handling menial tasks, like scheduling meetings, or by predicting information you might need and surfacing it for you, like suggesting Docs for example.

Ever notice how you received less and less spam over the years with Gmail? One of the first applications to use machine learning was Gmail. Historically, Gmail used a rule-based system, meaning Google's anti-spam team would create new rules to match individual spam patterns. With over a decade worth of data and using this process, Gmail improved it's spam detection accuracy to 99%! It's now one of the most secure and spam free email applications in the world. To take it a step further, in 2014 Google augmented the rule-based system to generate rules using machine learning algorithms instead. This took spam detection to another level which now allows Gmail to continually regenerate the “spam filter”, so systems learn to predict which emails are most likely junk. Naturally, machine learning finds new patterns and adapts more quickly than previous manual systems - it’s a great reason for why there are more than one billion monthly active Gmail users today!

The goal of G Suite is to help teams accomplish more with an intelligent range of applications, no matter where they are in the world. Smart Reply for example, uses machine learning to generate three natural language responses to an email. If you find yourself away from the office or time-restricted and are in need of a quick way to clear your inbox,  you can let Smart Reply do it for you. Click here to learn more about Smart Reply.

Explore in Docs, Slides and Sheets uses machine learning to eliminate time spent on things like tracking down documents or information on the web, reformatting presentations or performing calculations within spreadsheets. The whole point of these tools is to help the user accomplish more with less.

Another great example of machine learning is Quick Access in Drive which predicts and suggests files you might need within Drive. Quick Access intelligently predicts files based on who you share files with frequently, when relevant meetings occur within your Calendar, or if you have patterns of using files at specific times of the day. Using predictions based on recent Drive activity greatly increases a users productivity and efficiency for day to day work.

To learn more about how machine intelligence can make work easier, check out this video from Google Cloud Next with Ryan Tabone, director of product management at Google, where he explains more about “overhead.” G Suite was made to make businesses run faster, smoother, and more efficiently. If those are things you're looking to adopt for your organization, give us a shout! We'd love to hear from you and discuss the possibilities for you business IT solutions.

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.