May 16, 2022

How to make your business more sustainable (with examples from Cobry)

“Sustainability” largely entered the business lexicon around the time of rising environmental consciousness, when talks of “going green” were becoming increasingly pronounced. A few years ago there was a dramatic shift in the business landscape, spurred on by a tide of public opinion that called for changes to the way we do things in order to take us back from the cliff edge of global warming - for, as any climate change activist will readily point out, there is no Planet B.

Sustainability is often synonymised with being environmentally friendly, and this is indeed half the deck. This does mean there is also another half to it: the human side. The UN Sustainable Development Goals, used by many organisations (ourselves included) as a measurement of how sustainable their practices are, have ten of these goals relating to how we live as a society. Diversity, justice, good working conditions and innovation are just as important to sustainable development as eliminating your carbon footprint.

To put it in simple terms, sustainability can be thought of as an elimination exercise: an elimination of activities that will, sooner or later, result in somebody saying: “we can’t keep going like this”.

So how does one move towards sustainability? Having been through a sustainability push ourselves, here are some of the methods we use!

Going green: the environmental side of sustainability

How can you ensure that your operations are the greenest they can be? There are several solutions that we implement.

  • While the installation of recycling bins has become something of a sustainability cliche (and some even more cynical people may call it a hallmark of greenwashing), it is worth mentioning and implementing since landfill contributes to 11% of global CO2 emissions. With both points in mind, we’ll just quickly say we do it and move things along!
  • Select an office space that uses renewable energy: this was one of the key reasons why we moved our offices to where they are currently located.
  • Encourage staff to use greener methods of transport: Cobry participates in the cycle-to-work scheme as well as the more recently released electric vehicles scheme, and our offices are located near bus and train stations to encourage staff to take public transport.
  • Go paperless as much as possible - not only will it save you money in printing costs, but it’s also much friendlier towards trees. All of Cobry’s documents are stored electronically, on Google Workspace, ensuring that our paper usage is kept to a minimum.

Taking care of your staff: The human side of sustainability

Staff sustainability is one of the key reasons why sustainability is more than a nice-to-have, for several reasons. An enthusiastic workforce is one that is more productive, is more likely to go the extra mile and is easier to retain. And increasingly, customers pay very close attention to how a company treats its staff when making purchase decisions.

Therefore, taking care of your staff is a core part of sustainability. There are several ways you can achieve this.

Salaries are worth discussing in their own paragraph. Anything less than a suitable wage is a false economy: you can have all the coffee machines in the world in your office and throw a pizza party for the ages, but as long as staff can’t make ends meet you’ll be saying goodbye to them soon enough. Becoming a certified living wage employer, as Cobry is, is one way to ensure that your staff will have enough to survive and thrive relative to local costs of living. Note to any companies based in London: as the Big Smoke is pricier, the living wage there is two pounds higher than in the rest of the country.

Moving onto other benefits, here are some that Cobry provides to every staff member:

  • Constant learning opportunities, in the form of in-person training and online courses and reading materials.
  • Provision of out-of-work benefits, such as socials and free books.
  • Free coffee, which we get delivered to employees’ homes.
  • Participation in government schemes such as the electric vehicle and cycle-to-work schemes - some of these can be joined at no extra cost to your business.
  • Flexible hours - staff members can have all sorts of different personal preferences for when to work for various reasons. Some may be balancing work and care responsibilities, some may feel more productive at different times of the day and some may prefer to take a longer lunch break.
  • Generous pension contributions - even if your team is young, it’s never too early to prepare them for retirement.
  • Allowing people to work remotely - Cobry is a remote-first workplace, and four of our current eighteen staff members live outside of Glasgow where our offices are based. Reduced stress, increased inclusivity for disabled individuals or parents, and the ability to work from areas with lower costs of living are just some of the reasons why working from home has been a boon to the human side of sustainability.
  • A four-day workweek - this was probably the most ambitious benefit Cobry sought to provide to staff, and after a successful trial that found it significantly reduced stress and burnout, and that the aim of achieving the 80/100/100 rule (80% time, 100% pay, 100% productivity) had been accomplished, we decided to make it an official policy. Flexibility is key here: staff can choose which days to take off, can split time off across multiple days or can choose to opt-out altogether.

The company you keep: ensuring your suppliers are sustainable

However green your own operations are, partnering with less-than-responsible organisations will spill over onto your sustainability score. Additionally, responsible suppliers can become a strong talking point marketing-wise. Note that suppliers are not just limited to groups that supply your product’s components (which may have been the first thought to enter your head if you’re a service provider).

For example, consider where you get your coffee from (everyone loves a good cup of coffee, don’t they?) - we get ours from Dear Green Coffee, a Glasgow-based supplier with sustainability right at the heart of what they do - a recently certified B corp, they make sure to treat people and the planet well by not only looking inward but also vetting suppliers carefully.

Digital infrastructure is another supplier to consider for sustainability wins. One of the major reasons we partnered with Google is that it is the greenest cloud solution available: already carbon-neutral, by 2030 Google aims to have its data centres running on completely carbon-free energy and deliver six times the computing capacity of alternatives for the same amount of power. Additionally, Google provides its solutions for free to many sustainability-oriented nonprofits, and all Google Cloud customers can access a tool called the Carbon Suite which enables them to calculate their carbon footprint.

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With sustainability close to our hearts and technical expertise to match, Cobry is the ideal partner to move your organisation to a more sustainable way of doing things with Google Cloud (as well as a myriad of other benefits). Get in touch with us to get started!

April 11, 2022

Building your data infrastructure: first picks from the Google Cloud toolbelt

Google Cloud Platform presents the ideal one-stop-shop for all things data, from collecting it to applying it in your everyday activities. We’ve put together this cheat sheet to demystify the whole process!

Read more

December 4, 2020

Google Apps Script – Automate your Workflow

Welcome to the latest edition of the Cobry Cafetiere of Cloud Knowledge. Our weekly dose of cloud, company knowledge and - of course - caffeine! Join us on our mid-morning break and learn as we do. This week's topic of discussion - Google Apps Script. 

What is Google Apps Script?

Google Apps Script is a development platform included within Google Workspace that makes it fast and easy to build custom solutions that integrate with apps such as Gmail, Docs, Sheets and Drive.

Google Apps Script

Apps Script uses JavaScript programming language which makes it really easy to use if you have fundamental programming knowledge. The platform exists completely in Google Drive, meaning there is nothing to download or configure and no infrastructure to maintain - Google takes care of all of that. 

Why Use Apps Script?

Google Apps Script allows you to simplify your day-to-day routines, and automate workflows that would have previously been tedious to do. By automating these tasks and processes, organisations can save money, time and effort, and can focus on what really matters. Additionally, using Apps Script to automate workflows reduces the possibility of human error.

Cobry uses Google Apps Script to allow Workflow Automation

How does Cobry use Apps Script?

At Cobry, one of our core principles is the value we add for our clients as their Google Workspace Partner. We provide high quality service by identifying challenges faced by an organisation and finding the best solution to resolve these challenges.

By listening to the unique needs of our clients, we understand the day to day operations and processes of their business and how they can be improved. Oftentimes, our experience tells us that the solution to the challenges faced by our customers lies within Apps Script, and we are more than able - and happy - to provide this solution. 

Cobry's Folder Generator

Our Folder Generator is a great example of how Google Apps Script can automate workflows. It's a user-friendly web app that allows users to generate a folder structure at the press of a button. This is then replicated to create standardisation across the company Google Drive. Thus, saving the organisation precious time and effort.

Interested in what else we can do? Have a look at how Cobry can help you automate workflows.  

To sum up, Apps Script allows organisations to automate workflows and ultimately, save time, costs and efforts. As our very own Managing Director, Colin, puts it “Workflow Automation through use of Google Apps Script is exactly the future style of working that everyone should be aspiring to".


Ready to transform your systems and processes? Get in touch and we’d be happy to help. That's all for now. See you back here next week for the next instalment of the Cobry Cafetiere of Cloud Knowledge.

November 20, 2020

Migration – The Cobry Cafetiere of Cloud Knowledge

Migrating to Google Workspace | The Cobry Cafetiere of Cloud Knowledge

Bored of insignificant, at-home coffee breaks? You no longer have to be, because you now have the opportunity to join ours! Each week, our team gets together for the Cobry Cafetiere of Cloud Knowledge, a break dedicated to learning all things cloud technology. From individual apps to complex subjects, we discuss everything we know, and now we want to share our expertise with you! So get ready to quench your thirst for knowledge as well as coffee - this week we’re talking all things Migration! 

What is Migration? 

Migration involves hoovering up all of an organisation's legacy data and moving it to Google Workspace. This includes emails, calendars, contacts and files. Migration is optional, with some organisations choosing to move to the cloud with a blank slate due to messy and disorganised current systems. Want to learn more about moving to the cloud? We have loads more info here

Migration is moving all data

Why Migrate?

So, why bother migrating then if it is not essential? It is the Cobry way - we migrate to minimise disruption. By starting with familiar data, we can ensure users have the best possible experience with Google Workspace. This means they can learn to use the new tools available to them without the challenge of also rebuilding their working environment. 

Cobry’s approach to Migration

It is our belief that users should not experience the migration - they should experience the tools. Essentially, employees should log out of their old system on a Friday evening and by Monday morning they return to all of their same data - just in a new workspace! Whilst there are some nuances, all of our migrations follow this structure:

Cobry's Migration Timeline

There are lots of tools to tackle migration. The tool we choose depends on multiple factors, but primarily are:

  • Migration Speed - This is how fast items transfer from the source to the destination. Different tools are coded differently so they all migrate at different speeds.
  • Configurability - This is how configurable a tool is. Sometimes the client has some very specific requirements that we have to fulfill so configurability is pivotal in some situations.
  • Data Source - This is the most important factor when deciding a tool. Here, we consider where the data currently lies. This could be local, on the server, or on the cloud.

Once the migration is complete, that does not mean our partnership has to be. Our approach is to build trust and lasting relationships through adding value and tailoring Google Workspace to your exact needs. 

So there you have it, a whistle stop tour of all things Migration. Keep your eyes peeled for next week’s Cafetiere of Cloud Knowledge.

March 17, 2020

7 Tips for Effective Remote Working

Unless you’ve been living under a rock (in a hermetically-sealed bunker), you’ll be aware of the increased instances of Coronavirus worldwide and the demand for remote working that this has created.

We don’t want to add to the number of fear-mongering articles that are already online. However, with the increased focus on remote working as a solution to prevent the spread of the virus, we thought we’d chip in.

If you feel the need to take precautions against the virus, here are our 7 top tips on remote working.

In the UK alone, more than 1.54 million people work from home. This increase is largely due to the benefits of remote working. In fact, if your business offers remote working opportunities you can expect:

And that’s before considering the benefits gained by doing your part to reduce the spread of the Coronavirus (if it comes to that). So without further ado here are our 7 top tips for working remotely: 

Working Space

To get anything done and be as productive as possible you need to feel comfortable in your surroundings. Get plenty of natural light if possible, and if not consider investing in a daylight lamp, as this will help with keeping your alert and therefore productive. Rather than cooping yourself up in your room or on the couch -- spaces that are associated with leisure time -- dedicate a specific room or surface in your home to work.

Ensure that you are not hunched over and that your laptop is at a good height and if possible use a second monitor to maximise your productivity. If possible consider a stand-up desk so you can switch between sitting and standing.

Dependent on your personality get storage so your desk is uncluttered and use touches such as a low maintenance plant and some personal mementoes such as a photo frame will help inspire you. Make it your own space where you can shut the door and focus.

And make sure you choose the right music to fir the task you are trying to accomplish.

If you are working remotely on a temporary basis due to isolation then you will want to keep any costs to a minimum using the kitchen table is fine especially if you will not experience to many distractions (Tip: Use headphones and play music to help keep you focused)

Desk Chair

As you will be spending some considerable time at your desk it makes sense to invest in a good, ergonomically-correct and comfortable chair. If you are comfortable you will be more effective at your work. When you're uncomfortable it's hard to stay focused and productive.

Feel free to economise on other things. You don’t have to own a desk; you can move from the dining room table to den to the patio. But see your chair as an investment, not an expense.

Use the Correct Tools 

As with the chair ensure you get the possible tools to work. This includes a laptop, noise-cancelling headphones with a decent mic (we use a Jabra headset) and a good webcam (the ones built into laptops are generally only OK at a push) alongside a good phone be it mobile or a desk version.

But don’t forget none of the above is of any use if you do not have good broadband either at home or in the local co-working space or coffee shop!

And finally chose your software of choice carefully. We believe G Suite is the best for collaboration and fits in perfectly with a remote workers scenario as within its portfolio is Meet, Chat and Voice alongside its granular document sharing capabilities.

Plan Your Day & Create a Routine

Generally speaking, we can focus on any given task for 90 to 120 minutes. After that, we need a 15 to 20 minute break so we can recharge and get ready to achieve high performance on our next task.

So do this: Split your day into 90-minute windows. Instead of thinking about an 8-, 6-, or 10-hour workday, split your day into four or five 90-minute windows. That way, you will have, say, four tasks you will get done a lot more efficiently.

It might help to create a morning and nighttime routine.

The first thing you do in the morning is the most important thing you will do that day because it sets the tone for the rest of the day.

So prepare for that first thing the night before.

Make a list. Make a few notes. Review information. Prime yourself to hit the ground running for the next day.

Communicate!

Working from home might help you focus on your work in the short term, but it can also make you feel cut off the larger operation happening in the office. 

Instant messaging and videoconferencing tools (as mentioned under tools) can make it easy to check in with coworkers and remind you how your work is contributing to the big picture.

Working remotely requires you to overcommunicate. Tell everyone who needs to know about your schedule and availability often. When you finish a project or important task, say so. Overcommunicating doesn't necessarily mean you have to write a five-paragraph essay to explain your every move, but it does mean repeating yourself.

Exercise & Eat

Get up and move around every so often. If you are so inclined even go for a jog, whatever works for you but make sure you take a break from the screen.

Ensure that you drink water and eat healthily and at regular times as you would if you were based in an office.

See remote working as an advantage

The flexibility that working from home or remotely gives you means no lost time commuting, easy for you to get work done at odd hours -- hours you choose to work.

On your terms.

Contact

If you would like more information on how to set up your business for remote working with G Suite, please don't hesitate to get in touch, we would be delighted to have a chat about how we can help you transition to G Suite and make the most of the cloud.

info@cobry.co.uk / 0333 789 0102

October 1, 2019

How to Move your Organisation to G Suite

G Suite is rapidly becoming the go-to office suite for enterprises thanks to its intuitive interface and collaboration tools.

Although Microsoft Office remains the leader in terms of volume of users, G Suite has made massive inroads into Microsoft's dominance with the number of paying businesses that have made the move to G Suite having doubled in only two years.

The shift in business approach to their office suite can be explained in the fact that G Suite was born in the cloud and therefore did not come with any legacy programming or architecture. This, in turn, enabled the platform to innovate with highly collaborative tools such as Docs, Sheets and Slides. Gmail, the world's most popular email client, is the preferred choice for younger employees over Outlook and has, if required, complex email filtering and labelling functionality ensuring your inbox becomes more manageable.

Allied to this G Suite is device agnostic which means that employees can use their hardware of choice whether it is a Mac, PC or indeed the increasingly popular choice of a Chromebook - Google’s operating system of Chrome OS

A further, less heralded, factor in its increasing market share lies in Google’s drive to crack the education market. G Suite for Education, which includes apps like Gmail, Google Drive, Docs, Sheets and Slides as well as Calendar, Jamboard and Meet, began in 2006. As of January 2019, 80 million educators and students worldwide use the Education tier along with 30 million Chromebooks. This strategy will, in essence, mean that students will already be familiar with the tools G Suite brings to the table.

So what are the steps to shift your organisation from your current solution to G Suite?

Leadership Buy-In

The first step to any successful migration has to be that the project needs to have decision-makers on board from as high up the organisation as possible using and engaging with G Suite. 

However, the challenge will be in getting these senior employees to try something new, as they will likely have been in the Microsoft world for some time. This group of people will need to see the benefits of the move to G Suite, but their buy-in is crucial to the success of the project.

Often projects fail when there is a lack of time allocated at the planning stage by key influencers, this must be avoided at all costs as planning is key to a successful deployment. 

Humans Don’t Like Change

As a general rule, human beings do not like change, getting taken out of our comfort zones or trying something different. We get set in our ways and become closed off to the idea that another way could be better and lead to benefits.

It is a crucial part of the project that evangelists are recruited, team members who can shout out and embrace the benefits of the change. These will be the cheerleaders and will have the most influence on colleagues at the coal face.

Tailor Your Approach

The benefits of making the move to G Suite will be different to each department within an organisation so when engaging, tailor the approach and training. Each tool within G Suite will have a greater impact on some departments than others. 

For example, the Finance department, typically the most resistant to moving from Excel to Sheets due to the complex nature of formulas, will need to buy into the migration of their work. 

Another example of having a different approach would be with the executive administrator or PA’s who manage multiple inboxes and calendars. The interface and settings will look different in Gmail and Calendar to Outlook and will need different deployment instructions. 

Focussing on touchpoints that affect the users in their day to day tasks will help ensure a smooth rollout and better adoption.

Phased Roll Out

No matter the size of the organisation or if spread over a number of different locations the best rollout will be a phased approach.

As well as migration issues, resources will need to be deployed for user knowledge gaps, training and problem resolution. So with all of that to be managed, migrating per department or location could be a good bet.

Most importantly, communication with stakeholders is key. Users will become frustrated and disillusioned if they are not kept in the loop with key milestones and project wins. Here the client evangelists will play an important role in this as they can amplify updates and help heal pain points within the user base.

Contact to Move to G Suite

As official Google Cloud Partners, Cobry has deployed G Suite and migrated organisations of all sizes throughout Scotland and across Europe. 

If your organisation is considering making the move to G Suite, or has already set up their account but would like some help with device management, or any other aspects of G Suite, please get in touch via the details below – we would be delighted to have a chat.

info@cobry.co.uk | 0333 789 0102

August 14, 2019

G Suite FCA Compliance

Financial Companies Seize Path to the Cloud

When Board meetings within the Financial Services sector start addressing the subject of migrating to the Cloud you can be sure that this technology has matured to provide a credible improvement on legacy infrastructure. So much so, that we have recently helped multiple financial companies gain FCA approval by leveraging the powerful security features within G Suite.

Highly regulated companies such as HSBC, ABN Amro, Allianz and Paypal have all taken the plunge and invested in Google Cloud & G Suite FCA compliant tools.

What did these companies consider in this process though and how can it be applied to yours?

Securing company data

Unfortunately, it is almost impossible to prevent your employees’ mobile devices being lost or getting stolen from time to time. When these incidents occur it does not have to be such a worry.

G Suite keeps your company’s data secure with mobile device management (MDM) policies. With basic management, you can ensure that mobile devices require screen locks and/or strong passwords on your employees’ devices, keeping your corporate data secure. In addition, G Suite allows you to erase confidential business data with device wipe, or selected account wipe for Android or iOS. You can see the list of devices that are accessing corporate data in the Google Admin console.

G Suite's Mobile Device Management means that you can manage, secure and monitor all mobile devices that are in your organisation. It is possible to manage a range of devices, including phones, tablets, and even smartwatches. People are still able to use their own personal devices for work (BYOD) as you will be able to wipe their corporate accounts on their devices, should the worst happen.

So, how does G Suite protect my data?

When you decide that you would like to store your data with G Suite, it is then protected in a number of different ways. This includes advanced phishing detection with the aid of machine learning, authentication with security key enforcement and also prevention of data leakage.

Due to G Suite being a 100% cloud-based system it means you can be protected from attacks such as Ransomware, viruses, and malware. There is no need to install a separate system for spam processing because Gmail uses Machine Learning to automatically filter any spam and to scan all emails for suspicious and dangerous content.  The G Suite administrator can also control all attachments sent and received by your organisation so that nobody opens or sends anything that they shouldn’t.

Other security-centric features include:

  • Confidential Mode - users can help protect sensitive information from unauthorised access using Gmail confidential mode. Recipients of messages in confidential mode don't have the option to forward, copy, print, or download messages, including attachments. Users can set a message expiration date, revoke message access at any time, and require an SMS verification code to access messages.
  • Data Loss Prevention (DLP) -  analyses the files in your organization’s Team Drives for sensitive content. You can set up policy-based actions that will be triggered when any sensitive content is detected.
  • Gmail Security Sandbox - a sandbox detects the presence of previously unknown malware in attachments by virtually "executing" them in a private, secure sandbox environment, and analyzing the side effects on the operating system to determine malicious behaviour.

2 Factor Authentication keeps your data secure  

Using 2 Factor Authentication (2FA) provides users with a better option to secure their accounts. As well as 2FA over an encrypted connection, users can also block unauthorized access to their accounts with Google Prompt that delivers real-time prompts, telling the user when they have logged into a device.

This update comes through as a pop-up notification on the Google app. This allows users to answer “yes” or “no” when asked, “are you logging in?”

Allied to that, additional control can be gained from deploying Cloud Identity. For full details please click here.

Automatic rules ensure G Suite FCA compliance

There are now new device rules for Device Management, which allows G Suite admins to define custom rules that create triggers for certain actions or events. For example, if something occurs on one of your company’s devices that’s been specified in a custom rule, the corresponding action that’s been set will automatically be carried out. Some of these rules include;

  • Approve select mobile devices when the device is enrolled.
  • Block access to corporate data if a specific app is installed.
  • Block access to account/wipe the device if the user has more than 5 failed screen unlock attempts.
  • Block access to/wipe the account if there is suspicious activity found on the device.

3rd Party App Control

Google can also protect your data against phishing attacks. Google provides 3rd party control with OAuth apps whitelisting. This gives your company extra control over 3rd party applications that have access to your data. It is now possible for admins to specifically select which apps can have access to which users G Suite data. This keeps your data safe as it is ensuring that your users don’t accidentally grant access to apps that may be malicious.

Google Cloud & G Suite FCA Accreditations

As if that wasn’t enough, Google Cloud Platform has been awarded independent security standards including ISO27001 and ISO27017 (see the full list here)

And finally a quote from the CIO of HSBC -

“We have peace of mind knowing that Google Cloud takes security and compliance very seriously”

Group CIO, HSBC (2018)

Contact Us

We are always happy to talk through your requirements here at Cobry, and we may even be able to give you a free IT security checkup in the process to help you with your G Suite FCA compliance!

July 29, 2019

G Suite Endpoint Verification

What is Endpoint Verification and why is it important? Endpoint Verification allows G Suite admins to see corporate device status’, including Operating System, Device type, and User information.

As well as covering G Suite’s Endpoint Verification solution below, our previous blogs address the other aspects of managing corporate devices and data through Mobile Device Management and Chrome Device Management, which are both also included in G Suite.


Google is an organisation that was built in the cloud, and has had security in mind from day one. This is evident when looking into its structure, technology, operations and its approach to customer data. The robust security infrastructure and systems become the default for each and every G Suite customer.

What is Endpoint Verification?

As mentioned, Endpoint Verification is a tool provided by G Suite that allows administrators to view information about devices that are accessing corporate data. To use Endpoint Verification in your organisation, you first need to install and be using G Suite in the Chrome Web Browser.

Once the technical configuration is complete and all devices are registered, admins will be able to see the below information:

  • Device ID, serial number, device type, and operating system.
  • Username and email address. 
  • The first and last time devices synchronized corporate data. 
  • If devices are encrypted and have a password. 
  • For devices running Chrome OS, admins can also see whether devices adhere to organization policies. 

Managed Devices

While corporate devices are the key to employee productivity, they can also be a weak link when it comes to application and data security, if not properly managed.

Endpoint Verification gives admins an overview of the security posture of their laptop and desktop devices. This provides a great platform for maintaining security across the organisation. The tool is available to all G Suite Business, and G Suite Enterprise customers and integrates with ChromeOS, macOS, Linux, Windows, iOS and Android devices.

Admins can tag endpoint devices running Chrome as approved or blocked as well as using the tag to configure access levels. They can also decide whether an additional review is needed for newly registered endpoint verification devices before they’re tagged as approved. 

You can then view the entire inventory of devices that have access to corporate data. From there, admins can approve or block access to specific devices based on any internal criteria. Examples include lost devices, which can now be ‘blocked’ from accessing apps, or approving new users who need to access applications as their job titles shift. Email notifications can also be set up for when a device is registered but needs admin approval.

Chrome Policies

Some of Google Chrome’s standard security features include Safe Browsing, sandboxing, and automatic updates to ensure that users are always protected from the latest viruses, malware, phishing attacks, and malicious sites. 

G Suite admins can deploy Google Chrome across their organisation and customise it to their requirements. There are over 280 policies available to help admins control how Chrome is used across all devices. For example, automatic updates can be scheduled to get the latest security fixes, block or allow specific apps and websites, as well as configuring support for legacy browsers.

Windows 10 Desktop Management

Enhanced desktop security for Windows allows you to manage and secure Windows 10 devices through the G Suite Admin console. It also enables Single Sign On (SSO) to allow users easy access to G Suite and other connected apps on Windows 10 devices.

G Suite admins can:

  • Enable use of existing G Suite credentials to login to Windows 10 devices, and access apps and services with SSO 
  • Protect user accounts with anti-phishing, anti-hijacking, and suspicious login detection technologies 
  • Ensure that all Windows 10 devices used to access G Suite are updated, secure, and within compliance 
  • Perform admin actions, such as wiping a device and pushing device configuration updates, to Windows 10 devices from the admin console

Contact

As official Google Cloud Partners, Cobry has deployed G Suite and configured Endpoint Verification for organisations of all sizes throughout Scotland and across Europe. 

If your organisation is considering making the move to G Suite, or has already set up their account but would like some help with device management, or any other aspects of G Suite, please get in touch via the details below – we would be delighted to have a chat.

info@cobry.co.uk | 03337890102

July 24, 2019

Cloud Telephony: Voice of the future, today.

Organisations are now adopting the latest technology to streamline a range of business administration and processes, one of the latest being Cloud Telephony. 

Cloud Telephony, such as Google Voice (an additional G Suite service), comes with many benefits over the more traditional on-premise solutions, however, one of the benefits rarely touched upon is the ability to ease day to day administration and consolidate offices in different locations.

Imagine being able to control onboarding/offboarding at the press of a button ensuring company security or indeed cutting hardware costs due to the cloud management involved in modern systems. This is especially true for organisations that have merged or acquired companies running on different systems and then had to try to integrate with their own.

For some companies, in this scenario, the acquisitions happened years ago and the enterprise has been living with the pain and expense of a tangle of diverse systems for a long time.

Companies that are looking after multiple locations with on-premises PBX have to contend with the fact that different locations could be running disconnected systems of different ages with different capabilities. Systems may not even be from the same vendor. Capabilities may be lost to interoperability problems. Productivity may be lost to inefficient communications. Getting every location onto a single standard may look close to an impossible task, but this is where cloud-based telephony really begins to shine.

The Advantages

Cloud telephony allows the consolidation of equipment and allows IT managers to benefit from standardised capabilities and total interoperability across locations. When system upgrades happen, they happen everywhere simultaneously, maintenance can be outsourced to your IT provider (such as Cobry) and fewer resources are required to understand and use systems across the business. 

Processes can also be standardised for greater efficiency and in most cases, you are able to reuse Cloud-ready hardware to reduce costs. Simply put, for businesses who want phone systems working together across multiple locations, cloud-hosted telephony systems present a much simpler and cheaper option to implement and maintain.

For users, the ability to keep in touch, everywhere and on any device connected to the internet, enables a freedom not previously enjoyed, while your phone number follows you across these devices - low battery on your phone, no problem, use your laptop/tablet instead. Integrations with other services such as Hangouts Meet and Calendar, if Google Voice is chosen, ensure smooth and productive communications. 

Further advantages also include no limits to adding new users, email transcription, spam call blocking, auto-attendant functionality and ring groups and best of all controlled from a single administration console.

Switching to Cloud Telephony

If your organisation is large or complex, making it hard to warrant an immediate switchover, you can take a staged approach. You are able to start with a cloud-based system at one location or department as part of a larger deployment. This is a clever, phased approach to phone system migration that’s gaining more steam among businesses that don’t want to replace all at once.

Still, some IT managers feel safer maintaining hardware that’s nearby, with the belief that the system may be pretty robust. It’s easy to run down the hall to a server closet if something goes wrong, right? But on-premises PBX systems are also dependent on forces outside a company’s control, an electrical grid outage, an Internet outage, a fire, burglary or severe flooding. Business continuity and disaster recovery is an often overlooked benefit of cloud deployment in general.

To Summarise

However you decide to approach upgrading your telephone system, one thing is clear, hosted communication is rapidly becoming the norm for businesses regardless of size, vertical or site complexity and shows no sign of slowing down.

Contact

As official Google Cloud Partners, Cobry has deployed G Suite and Google Voice for organisations of all sizes throughout Scotland and across Europe. 

If your organisation is making the move to G Suite or is now considering adopting Google Voice, please get in touch via the details below – we would be delighted to have a chat about how we can help.

info@cobry.co.uk | 0333 789 0102

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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