July 30, 2020

Why upgrade from @Gmail?

A lot of businesses use a Gmail.com account as their means of emailing and potentially collaborating on documents. Whilst this may seem like it’s working well at the moment and you may be wondering why you should upgrade to Google Workspace (formerly G Suite), but, your organisational size and needs may change and the time may come where you decide to improve the way you operate.

Upgrading to a paid Google Workspace account could well be the way to enhance the way you work. There’s various benefits to using Workspace (G Suite) instead of a basic Gmail account varying from your own personalised email address to increased security and control over your data. We’ve decided to shine a torch on some of the key benefits of making the upgrade, outlining why you should upgrade to Google Workspace.

Branding

Branding is a vital part of any organisation, shaping your customers’ perception of you. This perception can stem from lots of different factors; logo, perceived quality of product, quality of customer service and many more. There are simple ways to bolster this image to promote quality and trust with potential customers. An example of this is through your email address. In the eyes of the consumer, companies with ‘@gmail.com’ email addresses appear small and unprofessional. Upgrading to a paid Google Workspace (G Suite) account gives you the ability to use your company’s domain at the end of your email address - for example, ‘info@yourdomain’. Doing this will greatly improve the likelihood of customers responding to emails as the account looks far more professional and trustworthy. Not only does it benefit the consumer, but it also benefits you, ensuring consistency in your branding.

Security/data control

When using Google Workspace (formerly G Suite), it’s also important to note some of the increased security and data control options at your disposal:

  • Shared Drives - in Workspace Business and Workspace Enterprise, you get access to a more secure way to control and provide access to company files. Provide people with more granular levels of access such as Content Manager or Contributor to ensure that people only have the abilities required to do their job.
  • Reporting & Auditing - there are a number of excellent tools in the admin console for Workspace that allow you to get insights into the usage of tools across your domain. For example, the email log search allows you to check the delivery status of emails, current assigned labels and message location of any email sent or received by your domain.
  • You Own Your Data - Google doesn’t collect or scan data for advertising purposes in Workspace, only indexing data to provide beneficial services such as spam filtering or virus detection. All of your Workspace data is fully encrypted at rest and in transit.

Ensuring your data is safe and secure is another reason why you should upgrade to Google Workspace, due to its best in class security.

Device Management

Another reason to upgrade to a paid Google Workspace (G Suite) account is being able to manage the devices being used with your package. The 2 ways in which this is done is through Mobile Device Management and Chrome Device Management. 

  • Mobile Device Management - allows users to have greater control and security over data. If in place, it ensures that corporate data is safe, requiring mobile devices to a screen lock or password and can wipe all corporate data from the phone if the device is lost or stolen. You can also make your preferred work apps available to Android devices whilst also publishing and distributing private apps.
  • Chrome device management - as an IT admin for a business, you can manage Chromebooks, Chromeboxes and other Chrome hardware, from a cloud-based Admin console. Enforce policies, set up Chrome features for users, provide access to your internal VPNs and Wi-Fi networks, force install Chrome apps and extensions, and more.
  • Endpoint Verification - this can be used to manage devices outwith the Google ecosystem for example Windows or Mac OS devices. This permits you to see all information on devices that have access to your organization’s data via Chrome Web Browser. Giving administrators access to information such as device type accessing data, user and the OS. In addition, administrators are able to remotely wipe devices which are lost or stolen. You can also control access to data for specific devices based on ‘any criteria’.

For users on the Enterprise tier, it’s in the pipeline that Windows devices can also be monitored and managed using the Google admin console. This is another way in which Google Workspace places your company’s security as a top priority, whilst also giving you control over your devices.

3rd Party Tools

Google Workspace’s core apps (e-mail, calendar, file storage) are great for allowing your business and workforce to perform at the peak of its capabilities. Moreover, another benefit of upgrading to Workspace Business is the availability of 3rd party tools. These tools work intrinsically with the core Workspace apps increasing their functionality to meet your business’ needs. 

For example, Hiver is a Gmail shared inbox solution that helps teams collaborate on generic email id’s like support@, operations@. Hiver sits right on top of Gmail and gives every email that comes into team inboxes an owner and a status, ensuring nothing slips through the cracks.

There are many more of these tools which can help boost the functionality of these core apps.

Additional Features

In addition to benefits previously listed, Google Workspace (G Suite) accounts have even more additional features which can really improve the way your business works.

One of these great additional features Workspace offers is greatly increased storage capacity for Gmail messages, Google Photos, and files in Drive. This is really helpful for companies, negating the need to worry about lack of storage for data.

Google Chat & Meet

Another feature which could truly transform the way in which your business communicates is being able to take advantage of Google Meet and Google Chat. These are both Google Workspace (G Suite) tools aimed around optimising the ability to communicate and collaborate on tasks, regardless of location.

Google Meet - Meet is fully integrated with Workspace, allowing you to join meetings directly from a Calendar event or email invite. All the important event details are right there when you need them, whether you're joining from a laptop, phone or the conference room.

Google Chat - A messaging tool which makes it easy for tools to get work done in one place. From direct conversations to group messaging, Chat can aid in collaboration in an easy to use, efficient manner. Users can take advantage of virtual rooms to house projects over time - plus threaded conversations. Chat makes tracking progress and follow up tasks easy.

Summary

Overall, moving from a standard ‘Gmail.com’ account and upgrading to a paid Google Workspace (G Suite) account could hugely benefit your organisation in many ways. If you upgrade to Workspace, it will boost the perception of your company amongst customers but it allows you to work in a smarter, more collaborative and innovative manner.

Contact

0333 789 0102 / info@cobry.co.uk

April 24, 2019

Google Next 19 Key Takeaways

Google Next '19 was the latest of Google’s annual events to unveil new features, products and plans for the future. It took place in San Francisco in the second week of April, and also marked the first keynote speech of Google Cloud’s new CEO, Thomas Kurian, who took over the company earlier this year from Diane Greene.

Now that the dust has settled and we’ve had time to digest all of the developments, we’ve been able to pull together our favourite announcements and the biggest upcoming game changers for G Suite users.

You can find our top 7 developments from Google Next 19 that will bring about the biggest gains in security, collaboration and productivity for G Suite users below.

1. Office Editing

G Suite has always been focussed on helping people collaborate better. While the previous solution allowed for easy file conversion between Microsoft Office and Google formats, this latest feature changes the game entirely.

Office editing allows for users to open Microsoft Office files within G Suite while maintaining its Office format, but still allowing users to take advantage of G Suite’s collaboration features. This means that if an external party sends your team a Microsoft Word file, you can save it in Google Drive, open it in Docs and all work on it together before sending it back - no conversions needed.

Google Next 19

It will also mean that any organisations who are still paying for Microsoft Office licencing will be able to stop these payments, as there is no longer any requirement for the packages when using G Suite.

2. Metadata in Drive

Google Drive’s search functionality is already incredibly powerful, but it’s about to become a whole lot more specific and targeted with regards to document types.

The metadata update allows users to create categories and add further details to their documents. This can include tagging them as “Contract”, “Statement of Work” or “Project Scope”. This means that within a couple of clicks, users can filter search results for signed/unsigned contracts for specific clients and many other use cases.

Google Next 19

These categories can also be applied to files stored in Team Drives, with managers selecting the most appropriate way to structure the data.

Users will now have the ability to search in natural language for queries like “all contracts that need to be signed by next week” and Google Drive will present them all together.

3. Android Phones as Security Keys

The introduction of security keys to organisations has had a huge impact on defending against phishing campaigns and other user-targeted attacks. The only downside is having to acquire these keys. The latest G Suite security update negates this by allowing organisations to use Android (7+) mobile phones as security keys.

Google Next 19

This means that users can use their existing phones as a primary 2-Step Verification method to protect against phishing, rather than having to purchase new technology.

2-Step Verification greatly improves the security of your account by adding another layer to your account security. So even if a hacker was able to acquire your password, they still wouldn’t be able to access your account.

4. G Suite Add-ons

G Suite Add-ons is a new cross-suite platform that allows users to access their other workplace apps, like CRMs and Project Management tools, from a side panel within G Suite. This means you can carry out tasks in these apps without ever having to open a new tab. The add-ons will also offer relevant information and make suggestions based on what you’re doing at the time.

G Suite Add-ons

So, if you work in sales, your CRM app can provide you with more customer information while you draft an email in Gmail, or even suggest who to add to your contacts based on what emails you’ve recently received. If you’re a designer, you can stay on top of all your projects by adding new tasks to your project management app as you read about them in Gmail or are invited to discuss them in Calendar events.

5. Security Sandbox for Gmail

This is an incredibly powerful update for Gmail, which greatly strengthens its ability to deal with malware attachments. The best analogy for this feature is to compare it to discovering an unknown and unattended bag being left at a train station/airport - you don’t know exactly what’s inside, but there’s a good chance it’s going to be dangerous. In this scenario, the bomb squad would be called in to carry out a controlled detonation, and this is exactly what this feature brings to Gmail.

Security Sandbox for Gmail

Security sandbox for Gmail scans attachments and detects unknown malware by virtually "executing" them in a private, secure sandbox environment, and then analyses the side effects on the operating system to determine malicious behaviour.

This is all carried out in a matter of minutes before the email even reaches the end user, and provides users with an extra layer of security.

It’s worth noting, however, that this feature will only be available to G Suite Enterprise users.

6. Live Captions in Hangouts Meet

The new Hangouts Meet update aims to improve video conferencing for users who are hard-of-hearing or deaf by adding in live captions. This means that those users will be able to follow conversations and announcements by reading the captions as they display in real-time, thanks to Google’s speech-to-text artificial intelligence.

Hangouts Meet Live Captions

It’s important to note for this feature, that when users enable captions, they will be visible on the device they are using at that time. For other participants in the meeting to see the captions, they will also have to turn them on for their devices as well.

Side Note - video calls on Hangouts Meet run best when used with Hangouts Meet Hardware.

7. Google Currents

Currents was first announced at Google Next 19 and is set to become a new core G Suite app, replacing Google+, which was retired earlier this year. The new app acts as an internal social network for large organisations and enables users to have meaningful discussions and interactions and provide leaders with the opportunity to connect with their employees.

Google Next 19

Users can easily tag their posts and add relevant attachments or images. Once a user posts, others can comment, give feedback, and ask questions all in the same place.

Currents allows leaders within the organisation to address all employees with posts on specific topics, which can be given priority in the news feed to ensure everyone sees them and can engage when required.

Google Currents

We think this is addition to G Suite will provide a great platform for organisations to better engage with all staff and keep everyone in the loop on projects, product releases, company events and any other topics to help users feel more connected.

Google Next 19 Key Takeaway

Along with the 7 updates that we've picked out from Google Next 19, Google has recently released and announced a whole host of other great features for Google Cloud and G Suite users. You can find a list of these here, which we feel highlights Google's tireless innovation in the enterprise to continuously improve and offer the best solutions to help teams work better and more securely, together.

Contact

If would like to find out more about any of the above-mentioned updates to G Suite, or what the service can offer your organisation, please don’t hesitate to get in touch via info@cobry.co.uk. We would be delighted to have a chat about how we could help.


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