Last Build Date: Thu, 19 Jan 2017 21:00:00 +0000
Thu, 19 Jan 2017 21:00:00 +0000
G Suite helps teams cut through clutter and get right down to business: accomplishing more with less rigmarole. In November, we welcomed DocuSign to the Recommended for G Suite Program to trim time businesses spend on e-signatures and approvals. This G Suite integration makes it easy to fast-track signatures with multiple signers, which is especially valuable for our customers in the real estate industry.
Sereno Group, a real estate brokerage firm in California, uses DocuSign and G Suite to schedule signings, maintain communication between agents and clients, and easily exchange paperwork. By using less complicated tools, agents can build their business and clientele faster.
“When our tools are easier to use, agents can spend less time managing paperwork and devote more time to their clients,” said Tim Proschold, VP of Group Strategy & Success at Sereno Group.
Sereno Group agents save time by using other G Suite integrations, like DocuSign for Google Drive and the DocuSign Gmail extension. Agents use Zipforms, online forms used by real estate agents, to store important deal information. Then others can go into these Zipforms, assemble important real estate, add in files or documents stored in Google Drive with the DocuSign for Google Drive integration and send materials to clients for them to sign. Tracking the status of signatures is easy with the DocuSign Gmail extension. Sereno Group agents can see the status of signatures directly in Gmail to know what’s pending and what’s complete.
Other brokers are catching on too. Chris Lopez, broker with World Class Properties, is saving time with DocuSign and G Suite: “I sign between five and 10 documents every day and I save up to 10 minutes on each document. That frees up nearly eight hours a week for me to focus on what’s important for my clients.”These real estate agents are clearly on to something. According to DocuSign, Sereno Group real estate agents are using DocuSign tools more and more — last year they used 18,000 envelope signatures up from 5,500 the year before. To learn more about how to use G Suite and DocuSign for your business, sign up for this webinar on February 7, 2017 at 10am PST / 1pm EST.
Fri, 13 Jan 2017 18:00:00 +0000Successful retail outlets are always striving to improve customer service. Brick-and-mortar stores are borrowing a page from their online counterparts and turning to new technologies like Chrome to help make shopping easier and more fun for customers. Here are five ways retailers are using Chrome to personalize shopping, manage ad campaigns, offer local information and speed up the ordering process:Personalized shopping The best retail experience is personalized and relevant. Putting umbrellas and raincoats in front of a store during a rainstorm, for example, boosts inbound traffic and makes satisfied — and dry — customers. But other than displaying umbrellas in the windows, how can a store advertise a spur of the moment promotion like that? Chico’s, a women’s apparel and accessories chain, uses Chromeboxes to tailor promotions across its U.S. stores. While bikinis are featured in digital displays in Florida, coats might be featured in Chicago and cocktail dresses in Las Vegas. Chico’s is working on bringing personalized content to 5,000 screens in its stores.Express ordering Australia’s Famous Fish by Steve Costi restaurant chain is mixing the best of self-service technology with old-world aesthetics. They introduced kiosk-based interactive menu boards based on Chrome which let people place their orders. This means customers have shorter lines and they get their food faster too. Customers are pleased, and there’s been a noticeable boost to the bottom line. At the company’s Fountain Gate location, for example, average orders are 28.7% higher when customers use the kiosks. “Combining self-service touch screens with dynamic menu boards, the commercial Chrome technology is already providing a huge return on investment,” says Jon Sully, director of Famous Fish. “We’re seeing a noticeable increase in brand awareness and a large boost in customer spend.”Going local Where are the fish biting today? If you’re a sporting goods store and answer that for your customers, they’ll stay loyal for life. Scheels, a sporting-goods chain with 26 stores in 11 states, uses Chrome digital signs to display information about nearby river conditions and advice on the latest equipment and local fishing techniques. “They’re incredibly popular features that have helped build customer loyalty,” says Josh Diemert, lead systems administrator for Scheels.Scheels also lets customers place orders using in-store kiosks. That frees up staff to provide more specialized service to individual customers. “We’ve taken the in-store experience to a new level by leveraging technology to make shopping fun, while at the same time empowering our sales team to deliver a better quality of service,” says Diemert.Managing hundreds of campaignsStore managers have a lot on their plates, and managing in-store digital signage campaigns can distract them from their most important work of helping customers and supporting their staff. Compass Group Canada turned to Chrome digital signage for promoting in-store offers in its restaurants and coffee shops. One marketer can now manage dozens of campaigns using Chrome Device Management, saving hundreds of hours of work a week. And campaigns are carefully tracked to make sure they perform well, leading to a 2% to 4% sales boost, which adds up for a company with $2 billion in annual revenue.Bring more employees and processes onlineIf more retail employees have better access to computing, stores can move many of their processes online and make them more efficient. This includes everything from inventory checks, HR tasks, employee training on new store offerings, shift coordination, and marketing activities. The challenge has always been that it’s expensive to get a device for each employee, and it’s insecure to share a typical PC amongst multiple employees.Chromebooks can be shared seamlessly between man[...]
Thu, 12 Jan 2017 17:00:00 +0000Whether you have a team of five or 500 a seamless, collaborative workflow is critical in the digital age. Our goal is to make sure that your nonprofit is able to focus on changing the world by using technology to save time -- not waste it. In the digital age though, information sharing can often be complex; your team might not work in the same office, or even the same timezone. Some team members might be in an office with computer access, while others are in the field on mobile devices. Who from your team should be able to access confidential documents? This brings us to a key question: How do you empower team members to work together towards a common goal, and use technology to enable it?Great question. We’d like to introduce you to G Suite - (formerly Google Apps for Work ). G Suite aims to help teams work together in real-time -- no matter where they are in the world.Today, we’re spotlighting a few nonprofits to share how their teams are using Google tools and apps to improve workflow and internal communication. Mercy Beyond Borders - Internal Communication with Sheets & SitesMercy Beyond Borders (MBB) is a U.S. nonprofit that aims to forge opportunities for women and girls in extreme poverty to learn, connect, and lead. Utilizing a small office in the U.S. as home base, MBB targets rural areas in Haiti and South Sudan. In both of these areas, cultural norms and poverty prohibit full participation of women. In fact, these areas offer minimal education and opportunities for employment, which often impedes the development of leadership skills or positions. Mercy Beyond Borders focuses its programs on providing trainings, scholarships, leadership camps, and business loans for women.To achieve their mission, Mercy Beyond Borders faces the challenge of balancing US-based operations with field work in remote areas like South Sudan and Haiti. Their nonprofit partners range from large organizations to local schools to individuals. So how does Mercy Beyond Borders ensure that all staff, vendors, and partners stay connected and working together in sync? MBB-trained nurse in South Sudan village. Photo credit: Mercy Beyond Borders Mercy Beyond Border began using G Suite to streamline its workflow, connecting their team across the globe. Using G Suite, MBB’s team is able to access, share, and collaborate together in real-time. Take a glimpse into how they do it:Track Finances: MBB manages their overseas program budget expenditures in Google Sheets. Using this tool, the domestic office tracks monthly vendor payments in Haiti. This enables the staff to wire more money as needed in order to ensure program success. Additionally, using Sheets enables the team to provide transparency in the organization, clarifying spending and creating a simple overview of total annual expenses. This standardized and collaborative approach to data enables better efficiency and communication between domestic and international offices.Store images: Mercy Beyond Borders regularly takes photos in the field to keep the domestic office up to date on progress and communicate stories to their donors. The team overseas is able to upload the pictures to Google Drive, which allows them to share or retrieve the images at any time. Share Information: It’s imperative that MBB shares frequent updates with the Board of Directors, highlighting current developments, areas for growth, and new opportunities. To keep the Board of Directors apprised of progress, the team created a MBB Board website with Google Sites as a way to provide updates outside of meetings. The site functions as a central hub, where the Board can find all relevant information and resources at their discretion. The website is organized in subsections including internal updates from the Executive Director, background articles on country conditions and descriptions of new partnership[...]
Mon, 09 Jan 2017 20:00:00 +0000G Suite helps businesses stay connected from all over the globe. Here are a few examples of Google Cloud customers who are using G Suite to collaborate, increase productivity, and drive efficiency, no matter where they are. Customers stock their fridges easier with Morrisons, G Suite, and Google Cloud PlatformEleven million customers trust Morrisons, a leading UK supermarket, to provide quality food at affordable prices each week. With 120,000 staff nationwide across more than 500 sites, good communication is crucial. G Suite helps Morrisons connect every member of their team affordably, whether they’re picking stock in a warehouse or serving customers in store.Morrisons used to print half a million sheets of paper every week and file them in over 3,000 filing cabinets in order to fulfill compliance requirements. Now, with collaboration in Docs and rapid information collection with Forms, they've reduced paperwork. Outside the office, staff have replaced clunky VPNs and outdated handheld devices with G Suite, which can work on any device. And with Google’s intuitive administrative tools, local managers can set up new accounts in three minutes instead of five to ten days.Instead of shared logins, all employees have a G Suite account, and Google+ brings these colleagues from across the company together to share tips and advice. Morrisons also improves services based on customer feedback collected by shop floor staff that use apps on mobile devices. Remote researchers with the UK Department of Health collaborate with G Suite to solve global health concernsApproximately 600,000 patients between 2014-2015 participated in studies with the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR), a part of the the UK Government’s Department of Health. Whether NIHR researchers are investigating to see if nuts can cure nut allergies or testing the effectiveness of schizophrenia medication, every one of their projects is different in its size, duration, and location. This means they need to cater to a fluctuating roster of around 6,500 remote researchers on top of 2,000 core organizational staff. With G Suite, NIHR has cut their IT system costs approximately in half compared to their previous system and have also saved an estimated several million pounds using Hangouts to replace travel.Each team member uses Gmail instead of disparate email addresses or aliases like before. They use Google+ as a corporate broadcast tool to reach all of their users with news and advice.They also can work from any device with peace of mind knowing that their data will stay secure with appropriate security permissions no matter where they designate their “lab” for a day. Since the team switched to G Suite four years ago, they’ve yet to experience a loss of service or data. NIHR researchers integrate G Suite with the vast array of systems. Some use Awesome Table to plan diaries and manage processes, and others use G Suite and Maps to create heat maps from source data to assist in research. Travis Perkins uses G Suite and Chromebooks to build the UK’s future infrastructureTravis Perkins plc is the UK’s leading building merchant and largest supplier to the construction market. The company’s IT team uses G Suite to help their 30,000 colleagues optimize their work day.Coordinating 2,000 building supply branches, home improvement stores and suppliers is a major challenge, and G Suite tools encourage creativity among employees in central offices and on the warehouse floor by showcasing these new user-led solutions.For example, customers often arrive in store with a brick they want to match, and by photographing the brick and uploading the photo to Google+, masonry experts across t[...]
Mon, 09 Jan 2017 14:00:00 +0000
We're eight weeks out from the most influential cloud conference of the year, and today we're excited to announce new keynote speakers. On March 8-10, 2017, Google Cloud Next '17 will bring together thousands of developers, partners, customers and IT professionals with industry leaders and experts from Google at Moscone Center West in San Francisco.
Next '17 is a unique opportunity to hear from the Google leaders who are helping define the future of the cloud, including Diane Greene, SVP of Google Cloud; Urs Hölzle, SVP of Technical Infrastructure, Google Cloud; Brian Stevens, VP of Cloud Platforms and Prabhakar Raghavan, VP of Apps, to name a few.
In addition, we're excited that Sundar Pichai, CEO of Google and Eric Schmidt, Executive Chairman of Alphabet will be sharing their vision in keynotes at Next.
You'll also have the chance to hear from some of the brightest minds in technology, including Fei-Fei Li, Chief Scientist for ML/AI, Google Cloud and Professor of Computer Science at Stanford; Vint Cerf, Google's Chief Internet Evangelist and Sam Ramji, VP of Compute and Developer Services, Google Cloud. We have more exciting industry leaders that will be joining us onstage, so stay tuned for more updates.
We've planned three packed days of content, sessions, talks and tracks to share what's next for Google Cloud and the industry more broadly. Day one will focus on our vision and business strategy, day two will share Google's cloud technology and product roadmap and day three of Next '17 will center around the cloud ecosystem and why we’re committed to building an open cloud.
Beyond the keynotes, Next '17 offers opportunities to engage in hundreds of sessions, code labs, solutions workshops, machine learning activities, technical training, bootcamps and certification programs. Participate in more than 250 technical sessions led by Google experts paired with customers and partners. You can learn about everything cloud, from using cloud machine learning and container development on Google Cloud Platform (GCP), to building with an API-first architecture, to creating G Suite add-ons.
Ready to register? Take advantage of early bird pricing ($500 discount!) until January 17.
We look forward to welcoming you in March.
Thu, 05 Jan 2017 15:00:00 +0000
Today, we’re excited to announce the acquisition of Limes Audio. The Limes Audio team builds technology that makes voice communication systems sound better, so that you can hear the person you're talking to, and they can hear you.
As more and more businesses adopt our video conferencing solutions, powered by Chromebox for Meetings and Google Hangouts, it’s critical that we provide a great audio experience. With G Suite customers now relying on video communications for their day-to-day meetings, it's more important than ever to ensure low-cost, high-quality audio.
One of the biggest challenges to a great video meeting is the audio quality. Conference rooms today come in all shapes and sizes and that can provide a challenge for acoustics. Additionally, a poor internet connection can hamper voice quality in video conference calls. Limes Audio has been building solutions that remove the distracting noise, distortion and echoes that can affect online video and telephony meetings, improving the overall online conference experience.
We’re excited to work closely with the Limes Audio team to introduce new solutions that offer our customers the best online voice quality on the market.
Welcome Limes Audio!
Fri, 16 Dec 2016 14:30:00 +0000
Depending on where you are right now, these words may have just zoomed thousands of miles, across the bottom of several oceans, at nearly the speed of light, to reach your screen. Yes. The. Internet. Is. Magic.
A few of months ago, my friend Lo and I were given a challenge by the YouTube channel What’s Inside. Could we get our hands on a chunk of an underwater internet cable, so they could attempt to cut it in half? We didn’t know how we’d do this, but figured there was a way (lots of emails). And of course, we were excited to find the answers to our own questions about these cables in the process.
Like, how many underwater internet cables are there? (More than 250 active, fiber optic cables that connect cities and data centers all over the world.) What’s the history of these cables? (The first transatlantic telegraph cable is more than 150 years old.) Do sharks really bite them? (Yes, but they don’t pose as big a threat as internet headlines might lead you to believe.) How much traffic can they handle? (The equivalent of 10 million YouTube videos a second.) How big are they? (Skinnier than a breakfast burrito.)
Our search for a cable took us to New Hampshire to visit one of the factories that creates them, as well as aboard a ship to see the Monet cable being loaded onto it. Our trip also taught us things we never knew to ask. For example, the internet smells like a freshly paved driveway. And when these cables are loaded onto the ship, they’re coiled by hand. Which means they’re literally walked the entire distance that they will eventually stretch. (In the case of the Monet cable, from Florida to Brazil.)
If you haven’t already, please watch the video version of this story above, so you can see for yourself what a fascinating, lengthy part of the internet these cables are. And if you’re curious about something else related to Google or how the internet works, I hope you’ll leave me a comment on YouTube, or send me a tweet. Not only will your words potentially travel thousands of miles and to the depth of the ocean to reach me, but maybe one day, I’ll get to travel to some far off corner of the internet to bring back an answer to you.
P.S. We also successfully completed our mission and delivered a chunk of cable to What’s Inside. To see whether or not they could cut this cable in half, check out their video.
Tue, 13 Dec 2016 18:00:00 +0000Since joining the Google Cloud team in August, we’ve been hard at work bringing Orbitera to Google Cloud Platform customers and partners. Today, we’re excited to announce that Orbitera supports Test Drives that run on GCP and we’ve completed a successful Test Drive beta that includes software providers like Barracuda, DivvyCloud, Looker, and Vormetric. Thanks to the support of our partners and great team we continue to provide immediate value to customers looking to experience third-party solutions on GCP.Orbitera Test Drives are fully functioning and interactive software demonstrations offered on the cloud. This is a popular way for businesses to try software before buying it — no software license, credit card or even cloud account required.At Orbitera we make it easier for businesses to try, buy, deploy and manage complex software in the cloud. One-click Test Drives empower businesses to try software before buying it, and comprehensive consumption billing management gives corporate IT unprecedented visibility and control.Here’s what some leading software providers had to say about their Orbitera Test Drives on GCP: Looker is a Data Platform that makes it easy for everyone to find, explore and understand the data that drives their business.“First impressions are very important, and that’s why we chose Orbitera Test Drives to increase lead-to-deal conversions. Trying a fully-functional instance of Looker’s Analytics Platform with just a few clicks and no procurement or deployment hassle is a great introduction to Looker.”- Keenan Rice, VP, Alliances at Looker Vormetric’s comprehensive high performance data security platform protects data wherever it resides with transparent encryption, powerful access controls, and centralized key management.“Comprehensive solutions like ours can be a challenge for prospective customers to get up and running in a test environment, making it hard for them to really get to know the product and its capabilities. With an Orbitera Test Drive on GCP, customers can get a fully functional environment in minutes, and that makes for a very favorable first impression and gives our sales team a real head start on closing the deal.”- CJ Radford, VP, Cloud at Vormetric DivvyCloud’s BotFactory is a simple point-and-click tool for users to configure, build and deploy bots that automate cloud management tasks."We've worked with some of the leading cloud adopters in the world to solve common cloud problems through automation of policies. We're very excited to bring this solution to the broader market through our bot system in BotFactory. This Test Drive will show customers how they can connect a cloud account to BotFactory and find and fix these cloud problems in a matter of minutes."- Jeremy Snyder, VP of Business Development at DivvyCloud, creators of BotFactory Test drive Orbitera todaySee how easy it is to try full-stack software with Orbitera — take a Test Drive for yourself. Try Looker and BotFactory by DivvyCloud, and come back soon for more Test Drives by leading software providers.Google Cloud Partners: for a limited time, we’re running a promotion to let you create, operate, and run a Test Drive of your software on GCP at no cost for up to one year. Follow this link to sign up.[...]
Thu, 08 Dec 2016 18:00:00 +0000Two years ago, we launched Android for Work to help connect organizations and enable their employees to work smarter and more efficiently. As a program, Android for Work introduced a common set of APIs built directly into Android and Play, providing a consistent way of managing any Android device.Android has extended enterprise support significantly since Lollipop, with security as a top priority. Android helps protect enterprise data and user privacy at a platform level by storing work and personal data separately on personal devices. Most recently, with Nougat, we added support for file-based encryption, always-on VPN, and a separate password for work apps. These and other management capabilities expand on the multiple layers of protection that come built-in with Android.With the expansion of capabilities in Android, we've also seen partners unlock new use cases for customers. As an open platform that can fit any form factor, Android now powers a growing range of purpose-built devices from leading manufacturers such as Zebra and Honeywell that can help companies and their employees work in new ways. Android: Powering the world's work devices Thanks to these investments and the work of our partners, Android has become the most popular operating system on enterprise smartphones shipped globally. Android devices account for 62 percent of worldwide enterprise smartphone shipments, according to IDC*. Worldwide enterprise smartphone shipments by platform To match the progress of enterprise support in Android, going forward we’ll refer to enterprise capabilities simply as part of Android and Google Play. With platform-level support shipping with every GMS compatible device, Android for Work and Play for Work have become a core part of Android and Google Play. We think this change better reflects the built-in nature of enterprise features of Android and our commitment to enterprise mobility.We've only begun to see how mobile technology can benefit businesses, and as a platform, we rely on the innovation that comes from our ecosystem partners. To further that collaboration, our London office will be hosting an Android Enterprise Partner Summit in January for our Android partners -- to apply for a spot to attend and learn more, go here.Customers interested in how Android can improve their business can learn more or get started and try it here.Source: *IDC Worldwide Mobile Phone Tracker 2016 H1.[...]With platform-level support shipping with every GMS compatible device, Android for Work and Play for Work have become a core part of Android and Google Play.
Wed, 07 Dec 2016 17:00:00 +0000Google and Slack share the same vision for the future of work: that smart software can bring teams together and make all of their work and conversations seamlessly available in one place. The result is that teams can move faster and more efficiently. We’ve each been building towards this vision independently, and today we’re announcing a partnership that represents our intent to build towards this vision together.We also share the same commitment with Slack to offer our customers choice through open platforms. We want our customers to use the tools they need to be successful and for many companies, including AOL, R/GA and Shopify, that's a combination of G Suite and Slack.Through this partnership we’re increasing our joint product and engineering efforts to strengthen the link between the content in Google Drive and the communication in Slack.“At R/GA, we’ve found that we create our best work when we can bring teams together in real time from different disciplines, and often different locations. Rolling out G Suite and Slack across the agency, we’ve been able to seamlessly collaborate, connect more easily with our clients, produce better work and reduce the time it takes to get the work done. We depend on smooth integrations to make the most of what both platforms can do for our teams and our clients,” says Nick Coronges, Chief Technology Officer at R/GA.Google Docs and Drive were among the earliest Slack integrations and remain the most popular. In fact, a Drive file is imported in Slack approximately 60,000 times every weekday; that’s a file shared every 1.4 seconds.Our partnership will focus on several new, richer features including:Instant permissions: We’re smoothing out permissions so that files shared in Slack are immediately available to the right teammates. When a file from Google Drive is shared in a Slack channel, the system will automatically confirm that everyone in the channel has access to that file. You can easily add or remove file collaborators with a single click.Previews and notifications: Files shared in Slack will preview the content you need at a glance. And you’ll never miss an update, since Google Drive and Docs notifications will be delivered to you in Slack.Slack channels + Team Drives: Team Drives keep teams in sync by creating a central place for shared content, enabled by a new group-level ownership model. Announced in September, Team Drives is currently available to early adopter customers and slated for broader release in 2017. Customers will be able to pair Team Drives and Slack channels to keep content and conversations in sync. New files uploaded to the connected Slack channel will be automatically stored in the Team Drive; relevant Team Drive updates will be shared in Slack, and the set of people with access will stay in sync between the two products.Provisioning Slack from G Suite: Companies that run on G Suite already run their organizations via the cloud, and soon with just a couple of clicks in the G Suite Admin console they can provision Slack for teams or the entire company.Working with Slack, we’ll continue to explore how we can make our products work better together, but also ways Google products and technologies can help Slack scale and serve their customers. We look forward to the many ways we can work with Slack and to the enhanced experience we'll deliver together for our customers.Google and Slack increase joint product and engineering efforts to strengthen the link between the content in Google Drive and the communication in Slack.[...]
Tue, 06 Dec 2016 14:00:00 +0000Every year people search on Google trillions of times; every minute people upload more than 400 hours of YouTube videos. All of that takes an incredible amount of processing power — which means energy. Our engineers have spent years perfecting Google's data centers, making them 50 percent more energy efficient than the industry average. But we still need a lot of energy to power the products and services that our users depend on. We began purchasing renewable energy to reduce our carbon footprint and address climate change — but it also makes business sense.I’m thrilled to announce that in 2017 Google will reach 100% renewable energy for our global operations — including both our data centers and offices. We were one of the first corporations to create large-scale, long-term contracts to buy renewable energy directly; we signed our first agreement to purchase all the electricity from a 114-megawatt wind farm in Iowa, in 2010. Today, we are the world’s largest corporate buyer of renewable power, with commitments reaching 2.6 gigawatts (2,600 megawatts) of wind and solar energy. That’s bigger than many large utilities and more than twice as much as the 1.21 gigawatts it took to send Marty McFly back to the future. To reach this goal we’ll be directly buying enough wind and solar electricity annually to account for every unit of electricity our operations consume, globally. And we're focusing on creating new energy from renewable sources, so we only buy from projects that are funded by our purchases.Over the last six years, the cost of wind and solar came down 60 percent and 80 percent, respectively, proving that renewables are increasingly becoming the lowest cost option. Electricity costs are one of the largest components of our operating expenses at our data centers, and having a long-term stable cost of renewable power provides protection against price swings in energy.Our 20 renewable energy projects also help support communities, from Grady County, OK, to Rutherford County, NC, to the Atacama Region of Chile to municipalities in Sweden. To date, our purchasing commitments will result in infrastructure investments of more than $3.5 billion globally, about two-thirds of that in the United States. These projects also generate tens of millions of dollars per year in revenue to local property owners, and tens of millions more to local and national governments in tax revenue.So, we’re on track to match our global energy consumption on an annual basis by next year. But this is just the first step. As we look to the immediate future, we’ll continue to pursue these direct contracts as we grow, with an even greater focus on regional renewable energy purchases in places where we have data centers and significant operations. Since the wind doesn’t blow 24 hours a day, we’ll also broaden our purchases to a variety of energy sources that can enable renewable power, every hour of every day. Our ultimate goal is to create a world where everyone — not just Google — has access to clean energy. For more on these next steps, read our white paper. How Google purchases and uses renewable energy. Operating our business in an environmentally sustainable way has been a core value from the beginning, and we’re always working on new ideas to make sustainability a reality — like enabling the building of healthy workplaces and creating a living, breathing dashboard for the planet. We’ve reported our carbon foot[...]
Tue, 29 Nov 2016 10:00:00 +0000Editor’s note: Today we hear from Steven Simons, IT Manager for Customer Retail and Product Systems at Toyota Motor, Europe. Read how the world’s largest automaker used Chrome digital signage to provide its showroom customers an innovative and immersive customer experience.It’s no secret that the internet has transformed how people buy cars — a Toyota study shows an increasing number of people research online before visiting a retailer. In fact, the study found, most people purchase a car after visiting only one showroom. So at Toyota Motor Europe, we set out to create a more engaging customer experience by extending our customers’ digital travels into the showroom, and connect browsing online with seeing our cars in person.We first experimented with digital signage in our showrooms in 2014 to display information about our cars in ways that reflected what customers saw online. However, the system we were using was expensive, unstable and difficult to maintain and manage. So, we turned to Chrome in late 2015 and replaced our existing digital signage with Asus Chromeboxes connected to 42-inch flatscreen TVs. We manage and program all of the devices centrally from Toyota headquarters. Retailers just install the Chromeboxes and TVs, and they’re up and running. That way, retailers can focus on their customers rather than on technology.The Chrome-based digital signage has become an important sales tool. It displays videos about Toyota vehicles, customized according to the showroom area where the signs are located. So, if a system is installed in a showroom where hybrid cars are popular, the videos highlight hybrids.Salespeople use the screens to show customers in-depth information about Toyota vehicles. Thanks to Chrome, salespeople can easily answer customers’ technical questions about things like a car’s Bluetooth capabilities, leading to a smoother sales process. The signs also feature a car configurator, which allows customers to explore and personalize their vehicles. Consumers typically come in with plenty of online research in hand, and they can pick right back up with these configurations in store on our digital signage. Across Europe, 100,000 customers a month use the signage. We’ve deployed Chrome digital signage in 3,000 showrooms so far, and plan to install between 7,000 and 10,000 digital signs in total across 3,600 Toyota retailers in Europe. Google Cloud partner Fourcast worked with us on the deployment with a packaged, end-to-end solution, and ensured the systems were delivered on a tight, five-day timeframe.The Chrome-based digital signage is more reliable and easier to deploy than the previous solution, reducing time spent on maintenance, management and troubleshooting. It also saves us on hardware and deployment costs.Chrome-based digital signage has done everything we hoped it would. Its features let us show off what’s great about Toyota cars. It’s popular with sales staff and customers, as evidenced by increased usage since it was deployed. Retailer demand is greater than we estimated, showing that it’s an important sales enabler. Overall, the system is meeting our customers’ needs while reinforcing our reputation as a technically sophisticated company. Thanks to Chrome digital signage, our customers enjoy a more unified online and offline sales experience.[...]The Chrome-based digital signage is more reliable and easier to deploy than the previous solution, reducing time sp[...]
Tue, 22 Nov 2016 18:00:00 +0000Earlier this year, we announced that a totally rebuilt version of Google Sites was on the way. Since then, we’ve worked with a set of customers through an Early Adopter Program to test the new Sites and fine tune the experience. Today, the new Google Sites is ready for all customers. We’ve started turning customer feedback into new and improved features. For example, some customers asked for the ability to measure how much engagement their sites were getting. You can now track site performance with Google Analytics. Other customers asked for more customization and different designs, so you can now choose between six themes to give your site the right look.Nadia Lee, a product and change manager at Dow Jones, tested the new Sites to build a few informational sites for her teams and had this to say: “Sites is much more user friendly than other tools I’ve used, especially for non-technical people. It’s nice that I can collaborate in real-time with colleagues and see the edits they’re making. And, the final product looks clean and well-designed.”Since its launch in 2008, Sites has made it possible for employees to build working team and project sites without writing a single line of code (no HTML, CSS or any other all-caps acronym.) But, web technologies have progressed a lot in the past decade, and the new Sites is an even more approachable way to build a site.Sites as easy to create as a docNow, it’s easier than ever to create a site and add text, links, images and more with a quick cut-and-paste, or simply drag-and-drop to rearrange and resize elements on the page.Sites integrated with your favorite appsThe new Sites is built to work with your favorite Google apps so you can insert content from the tools you use most. It’s easy to embed a schedule from Google Calendar, a video clip from Google Drive, or a location from Google Maps. You can also insert content from Docs, Sheets, Slides and Forms and a live version will be presented within the site. Sites built togetherThe new Sites is the first truly collaborative tool for building team and project sites. Using the same technology as Google Docs, the new Sites brings real-time, multi-user coauthoring so the whole team can add and update a project site without worrying about conflicts or locked pages.Sites that are beautiful and functional on any screenThe new Sites also includes themes and layouts designed to intelligently scale and flex to any screen size, so they look great when you access them on a 30-inch monitor at your desk or on your smartphone during your commute. And, an integrated preview mode lets you see what your site will look like on a desktop, a tablet and a smartphone while you’re editing so you can build the most useful team and project sites.The new Google Sites is open for business. If you’re a G Suite customer with Google Sites enabled, you can get started building on the new Sites now or learn how to enable Sites in the Admin Console. Customers can continue to use classic Sites as we continue to add capabilities and improve the new Sites.[...]
Tue, 22 Nov 2016 17:00:00 +0000At Google, we have a rich history of exploring the furthest reaches of what machine learning can do to help increase access to information and improve our daily lives. For more than a decade, we’ve driven machine learning research that powers many of Google’s systems and products. Today, Google Cloud users across industries — from financial services and healthcare to retail, web services and media and entertainment — now have mightier machine learning models at their disposal through our growing number of intelligent apps and cloud services.We’ve recently announced several machine learning updates across our public cloud and productivity services. Here’s a rundown of the latest products and features that can help fuel business intelligence, operational efficiency, productivity and collaboration.Maximize recruitment efforts: The new Cloud Jobs API uses machine learning to help companies hire great talent. By understanding the nuances behind job titles, descriptions, skills and preferences, the API matches job seeker preferences with relevant listings. Learn how it works.Analyze images faster, for less: We’ve improved performance and efficiency of our Vision API by taking advantage of Google’s custom TPUs, resulting in an ~80% price reduction for large-scale deployments.Translate long-form docs: For users that need long-form translation services, a new premium edition of Cloud Translation API uses a model tailored to increase accuracy on several major language pairs. This tool is built for particular business use cases, such as translating long-form emails and documents. We’ve also reduced the price of the standard edition for higher usage volumes.Better understand text structure and sentiment and turn questions into formulas: With Explore, Natural Language Processing translates questions into useful formulas and offers up instant answers in Google Sheets. And the new Cloud Natural Language API, now generally available, does a better job than ever before at identifying names of people, companies and locations in text. It also now offers improved sentiment identification and syntax analysis. Learn more.Supercharge cloud computation for complex jobs: With hundreds of times as many computational cores as Central Processing Units (CPUs), Graphical Processing Units (GPUs) are great for medical analysis, financial calculations, seismic/subsurface exploration, machine learning, video rendering, transcoding, scientific simulations and more. We’ll offer GPUs in early 2017 to Google Compute Engine and Google Cloud Machine Learning users.Find stored files on mobile nearly 50% faster: Customers can now use Quick Access in Google Drive on their Android devices to easily and instantly access files that they need. Machine intelligence works behind the scenes to understand individual user needs based on interaction with colleagues, recurring meetings and Drive activity.Use smart scheduling to save time: Our G Suite customers now spend less time finding the right time to meet. They can now schedule a time and book rooms with machine assistance that includes room suggestions based on previous bookings and time suggestions that account for conflicts easiest to resolve, such as recurring 1:1 meetings.Tap the power of Google Search to strengthen Docs content: Explore in Google Docs taps into Google’s search engine and machine intelligence to add suggestions based on content within documents. It recommends related topics, images and more for web and mobile docs creation.Format presentations faster: Explore in Google Slides adds ease and speed to creating the most presentable presentations, with design suggestions based on slide content. Recomme[...]
Mon, 21 Nov 2016 22:00:00 +0000
Today, we’re excited to announce the acquisition of Qwiklabs. Founded in 2012, Qwiklabs provides hands-on lab learning environments for leading cloud platforms and infrastructure software vendors.
There’s no faster way to get hands-on experience with a cloud environment and to learn all the ins and outs of today’s modern cloud solutions than in a Qwiklabs lab. Qwiklabs offers step-by-step instructions to learn a popular cloud service, test different use cases and train your teams to become cloud experts.
With Qwiklabs, we’re closing the IP skills gap in the cloud. More than half a million users have collectively spent over 5 million hours learning how to successfully deploy and manage multiple cloud technologies through the Qwiklabs platform. We’re focused on offering the most comprehensive, efficient, and fun way to train and onboard people across all our products on Google Cloud, including Google Cloud Platform and G Suite.
We want to help businesses get the most out of their cloud investment and, with Qwiklabs, we’ll give users a place to learn and expand their cloud skills to deliver more innovation, more features and more efficiency for their customers.
We’re thrilled to welcome Qwiklabs to Google Cloud. Stay tuned for more from the Qwiklabs team at Next ‘17!
Thu, 17 Nov 2016 16:00:00 +0000
Today, the Google Cloud team is excited to announce a strategic alliance with Intel to support and accelerate enterprise adoption of the cloud. We’ve worked closely with Intel for years on datacenter processor technology, and are now expanding our collaboration to help enterprise customers move from legacy infrastructure to an open, secure and future-proof cloud. The alliance will focus on technology integrations and joint market education efforts.
Google and Intel have been working closely for many years to engineer and validate processor technology within the data center. With this new alliance, we'll explore technology solutions for our enterprise customers in the areas of Kubernetes, machine learning, IoT and security, combining Google Cloud software capabilities with Intel’s advanced hardware. The alliance will focus on:
Kubernetes - Optimizing Kubernetes for Intel architecture to support a broad range of workloads. Intel is a major contributor to the Kubernetes ecosystem and enables enterprises to run OpenStack as a managed Kubernetes workload. Intel and Google engineers have already delivered code optimizations that have improved feature transparency on Intel architecture. This work is also expected to improve workload capabilities, including virtual network performance and prioritization of shared resources.
Machine Learning - Accelerating TensorFlow performance on Intel processors, for example by allowing TensorFlow to leverage all CPU cores and vector lanes for improved parallelism, integrating high-performance libraries such as the Math Kernel library (MKL) into TensorFlow, and optimizing memory allocation and data layer operations across a range of topologies.
IoT - Creating a secure platform for connecting Intel’s IoT edge devices to Google Cloud Platform (GCP), where the data can be analyzed to inform better decisions — a critical capability for industries like retail and manufacturing.
Security - Enhancing security integrations between Intel hardware and GCP infrastructure that will further improve security for enterprise customers.
In addition to exploring a number of new joint cloud solutions, with Intel we’re focused on developing technical education and market development materials that support the IT practitioners who are managing the transition to a multi-cloud world.
By deepening Google’s unique relationship with Intel, we can better help enterprises transition to the cloud.
Wed, 16 Nov 2016 18:00:00 +0000
We recently launched new tools in G Suite like Explore, Action items, and other features to help your teams save time and focus on what’s important: creating impactful work, quicker. We know time spent re-creating files in the workplace takes away from the time your team can spend collaborating and achieving results.
That’s why, today, we’re rolling out custom templates in G Suite for the Docs, Sheets, Slides and Forms files your teams use the most.
With this new feature, your team can simply submit files to shared template galleries in the Docs, Sheets, Slides and Forms home screens for your co-workers to adapt and use as needed. With these customizable templates, your teams can focus less on formatting and more on driving impact and sharing success.
Wed, 09 Nov 2016 18:00:00 +0000Presentations are a staple in business communication. When done right, they help tell a story that can captivate, persuade, or inspire audiences. But crafting that story can be tedious, especially if you’re constantly flipping between screens to copy and paste charts, images, or figures into your slides.If only there was an API for that….Today, we’re announcing the general availability of the Google Slides API which gives developers programmatic access to create and update presentations in Slides from any data source. We previewed the Slides API at I/O earlier this year to change how business presentations are built. Now, your teams can use a number of ready-to-go integrations to turn your business data into presentations, with just a click.Build beautiful, up-to-date presentations in seconds using Conga, Trello, Lucidchart and ZapierWhether you’re looking to populate a quarterly business review (QBR) deck, add specs for weekly design review slides, or refresh event registration data for your daily update, the third-party apps below let you quickly and easily build beautiful, data-rich presentations.Generate your next QBR deck with Conga: Conga makes document creation and reporting for Salesforce easy. With its Slides API integration you can create a quarterly business review presentation in Slides from your standard Salesforce Account records in seconds. Read more here. Create vivid project updates with Trello: Trello helps you organize and prioritize project information in highly visual ways. With its Slide API integration, you can turn any Trello board or set of cards into a Slides presentation with just a click. Read more here. Review complex visualizations with Lucidchart: Lucidchart helps you create complex diagrams and visuals easily. With its Slides API integration you can export flowcharts, mockups, and other such visuals, break them into slides to cover specifics in more detail, and rapidly iterate on the content. You can find Lucidchart on the G Suite Marketplace and read more about the integration here.Create and respond to custom proposals requests with Zapier: Zapier lets you create and automate business workflows. With its Slides API integration you can create, collaborate, and share dynamic presentations using Slides with just a few workflow rules. You can get started with the Slides integration on Zapier or learn more about it here.All of these app integrations are available to try today — and this is just the beginning. We’re working with many other software vendors, including ProsperWorks, AODocs and Form Publisher to help you do more in less time in all sorts of ways.Developers can start using the Slides API today. Documentation and demos are available at developers.google.com/slides and they can read more about it here.[...]
Tue, 08 Nov 2016 02:00:00 +0000Google Cloud Platform (GCP) continues to rapidly expand our global footprint. Today, we're lighting up our latest cloud region in Tokyo – asia-northeast1.As one of the fastest growing technology markets, the Asia-Pacific region has been important to GCP since the beginning. Building on our existing Taiwan cloud region, Tokyo doubles our presence in Asia, for a total of six zones.These cloud regions build upon Google’s networking backbone, including recent investments in FASTER and PLCN submarine cables. Google has an immense worldwide networking presence, in Asia and around the world, resulting in high performance for GCP customers. Low latency and high performance are key considerations when choosing a region to deploy resources. By opening a dedicated cloud region in Tokyo, we’re bringing Google’s compute, storage and networking services directly to Japanese businesses. Based on our testing, customers in cities like Tokyo, Osaka, Sapporo and Nagoya experience 50-85% lower latency on average when served from the Tokyo region compared to Taiwan. "Our mercari atte service provides the best user experience with GCP’s highly available network capability and edge caching. Now that the Tokyo region is open, we can use GCP for other services that have low-latency requirements." - Tatsuya Tsuruoka, Principal Engineer, Mercari “We have been using GCP services in big data analysis for the entire Recruit Group. We are very glad to hear this news and really appreciate the launch of GCP Tokyo region, which will enable us to leverage more GCP technology and services that require low latency. We would like to use the advanced services of GCP Tokyo region, such as machine learning, and are looking forward to growing our business through our mutual partnership with Google.” - Keiichiro Maeda, Corporate Executive Officer (Big Data, ID Point), Recruit Technologies Co.,Ltd. Available now, the Cloud Region in Tokyo offers the following core services:Compute services, including Google Compute Engine, Google Cloud Storage, Google Cloud Persistent Disk, Google App Engine Standard Environment and Google Container EngineDatabase and data analytics services, including Google Cloud Datastore, Google Cloud Dataflow, Google Cloud Dataproc, Cloud SQL Second Generation and Google Cloud Pub/SubAll core networking and security services, including Google Cloud DNS, Cloud VPN, Cloud Router, Auto Scaling and Load Balancing, and Google Cloud IAMTo help onboard customers, we’re also working with several partners in Japan who will provide their services from the new Tokyo region. Some of our early partners include JSOL, a provider of data analytics and machine learning solutions, and Groovenauts, which develops online gaming technology.In the last few years, GCP has grown to serve a diverse set of customers from mobile gaming studios to traditional enterprises, all of whom depend on our cloud regions and network to reach their customers across Asia and beyond. We look forward to welcoming businesses to the Tokyo region and are excited to see what they build with our platform.You can follow our locations page for updates on the availability of [...]