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.