Recently gone Google

Gone Google

Here’s a quick round-up of some of the organizations that have recently gone Google:

Whirlpool moves to Google Apps to build its “winning workplace”

Ageas keeps agents connected and mobile with Google Apps

Saudi Arabian pharmaceutical business saves 75% on IT by moving to Google Apps

Odell Brewing Co.
Google Apps keeps Odell Brewing Co. on tap

University College Dublin
Google Apps and Google Search Appliance help University College Dublin students and faculty stay informed

U.S. Army
U.S. Army to cut costs, improve collaboration and go mobile with Google Apps

National Outdoor Leadership School
NOLS keeps on trekking with help from Google Apps

Australian Fitness Network
Australian Fitness Network gets in shape with Google Apps

Contact us if you’d like to find out how your company can benefit by going Google.

Securing your WiFi network

Locking your wireless network is as important as locking your home or business. Learn how and why to create strong passwords for your network and router.

Learn more:

Google Apps: Share Docs, Slides and Drawings with people who do not have a Google Account

(Cross-posted from the Google Official Apps updates feed)

We are making it easier to share Docs, Slides and Drawings with people who don’t have a Google Account. As a result of this change, files shared outside your domain to an email address not linked to an existing Google Account can be viewed without having to sign in or create a new Google Account. If a file is shared with edit or comment permissions, the receiving user must still sign in with a Google Account in order to edit or comment on that file.

When a user directly shares with individuals who do not have Google Accounts, those recipients will be able to view the file without signing in. Because no sign in is required, anyone may view the file with this sharing link until the person who the file was explicitly shared with creates a Google Account and expends the invitation. Once the person creates a Google Account two things happen: (1) the sharing link will no longer work for new users to access the file and the sharing dialog will indicate that the invitation has been used; (2) any user who accessed the file using the sharing link while it was open and signed in using their Google Account will be added to the sharing access list for that file and will continue to have access. Users with permissions to change sharing settings can revoke this access if desired.

Google Apps admins can prevent this behavior by disabling sharing outside the domain to people who are not using a Google Account via a setting in the Admin console.

Editions included:
Google Apps, Google Apps for Business, Education, and Government

Release track:
Rapid release
This change is rolling out slowly to Rapid Release users starting today, once this rollout is complete, we will begin a slow rollout to Scheduled Release domains

For more information:

Recently gone Google

Gone Google

Here’s a quick round-up of some of the organizations that have recently gone Google:

National Rental Service
Property management, powered by Chromeboxes

Leon Speakers
Leon Speakers cranks up the productivity volume with Google Apps and Chromebooks

Back to School in Canada
Back to School in Canada with Chromebooks and Google Apps

SeaPort Airlines
SeaPort Airlines takes off with Google Apps

Contact us if you’d like to find out how your company can benefit by going Google.

More on Gmail’s delivery delays

(Cross-posted from the Google Official Enterprise Blog)

Posted by Sabrina Farmer, Senior Site Reliability Engineering Manager for Gmail

On September 23rd, many Gmail users received an unwelcome surprise: some of their messages were arriving slowly, and some of their attachments were unavailable. We’d like to start by apologizing—we realize that our users rely on Gmail to be always available and always fast, and for several hours we didn’t deliver. We have analyzed what happened, and we’ll tell you about it below. In addition, we’re taking several steps to prevent a recurrence.

The message delivery delays were triggered by a dual network failure. This is a very rare event in which two separate, redundant network paths both stop working at the same time. The two network failures were unrelated, but in combination they reduced Gmail’s capacity to deliver messages to users, and beginning at 5:54 a.m. PST messages started piling up. Google’s automated monitoring alerted the Gmail engineering team within minutes, and they began investigating immediately. Together with the networking team, the Gmail team restored some of the network capacity that was lost and worked to repurpose additional capacity, clearing much of accumulated message backlog by 1:00 p.m. PST and the remainder by shortly before 4:00 p.m. PST.

The impact on users’ Gmail experience varied widely. Most messages were unaffected—71% of messages had no delay, and of the remaining 29%, the average delivery delay was just 2.6 seconds. However, about 1.5% of messages were delayed more than two hours. Users who attempted to download large attachments on affected messages encountered errors. Throughout the event, Gmail remained otherwise available — users could log in, read messages which had been delivered, send mail, and access other features.

What’s next? Our top priority is ensuring that Gmail users get the experience they expect: fast, highly-available email, anytime they want it. We’re taking steps to ensure that there is sufficient network capacity, including backup capacity for Gmail, even in the event of a rare dual network failure. We also plan to make changes to make Gmail message delivery more resilient to a network capacity shortfall in the unlikely event that one occurs in the future. Finally, we’re updating our internal practices so that we can more quickly and effectively respond to network issues. We’ll be working on all of these improvements and more over the next few weeks—even including this event, Gmail remains well above 99.9% available, and we intend to keep it that way!

Four new ways to customize your Google Forms

(Cross-posted from the Official Google Enterprise blog.)

Posted by Elynn Lee, Software Engineer, Google Forms.

From classroom pop quizzes to RSVPs for your team offsite, you can use Google Forms in tons of different ways — which is why it’s important to be able to customize each form to fit your needs. Starting today, you’ll be able to take advantage of four new features to create your perfect form: progress bars, data validation, embedded YouTube videos, and custom messages.

Guide respondents through your survey with a progress bar
Sometimes it’s helpful to give respondents a sense of how much of a survey still needs to be completed, and now you can by turning on a progress bar in your form.

Google Forms progress bar

To turn it on, just check the progress bar box in the Form Settings tab.

enable progress bar in Google Forms

Get results the way you want them with data validation
Let’s say you’re using Forms to collect sign ups for an email newsletter. With data validation, you can now ensure that the email addresses are formatted correctly, and consequently avoid those unpleasant bounce-back messages.

To get started, create a new Text question in Forms, then click on the Data validation tab. Click the checkbox and select “Text,” then “Email address,” and voila, the survey taker will see an error message if they don’t enter an email address.
data validation in Google Forms

You can also set up data validation for maximum character count, numbers, zip codes, and more.

Embed YouTube videos
You can now embed a YouTube video right inside a form — perfect if you want to get feedback or ask questions about a video.

This works really well for quizzes in class, especially if paired with data validation and the progress bar. Embed a video and then use data validation to give hints when students enter incorrect answers, and add a progress bar so they know how far along they are in the quiz.

embed video in Google Forms

Add a custom message to closed forms
Sometimes when a form is closed, you still want to make information available for respondents who weren’t able to complete it in time.

Google Forms RSVP

After you’ve switched your form to “Not accepting responses,” you can now add your own message and instructions for follow up.