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Preview: Official Google Enterprise Blog

Official Google Cloud Blog

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Updated: 2016-10-20T16:04:46.923-07:00


ASICS stays on top of its IT game with Google


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From street fashion to the Olympic arena, ASICS has provided quality products to its customers for more than six decades. But when it comes to sports, being the best has never been just about tenure. Athletes reach new heights thanks to a number of factors, including innovation in the sportswear that they rely on for peak performance.

Much like their athletes, ASICS is evaluating the tools they use to perform at their peak — but in IT. Many companies across industries are asking, “how can our global brand stay competitive in a crowded, ever-changing business landscape?” For ASICS, innovative IT is a major part of their regimen. From studying athletes' performance and predicting the needs of customers, to developing products in smarter ways, technology is now the driving force. As a global team, ASICS stays in sync around the world by using G Suite tools like video, instant messaging, collaborative documents and storage, which help ASICS’ employees create and innovate effortlessly.

Together, ASICS and Google Cloud are partnering in IT innovation to help deliver exceptional sporting experiences to athletes around the world. To find out more about G Suite products, visit

Announcing Google Cloud Next ’17


Mark your calendars! Next ’17, our marquee event for the Google Cloud community, will take place on March 8–10, 2017 at Moscone Center West in San Francisco.

Next ’17 is the destination for Google Cloud developers, partners, customers, and IT professionals to learn, get inspired and experience first-hand the tools, technologies and services that Google Cloud is building for the next-generation enterprise, including all of the products across Google Cloud Platform, G Suite, Maps, Devices and Education.

We’ll kick things off on March 8 with keynotes featuring the Google Cloud leadership team, new product announcements and demonstrations and perspectives from industry leaders. There’s so much great content in the works for this year’s event that we’re adding a third day to the agenda. Throughout these three days, we’ll be hosting more than 200 sessions, hands-on code labs, solutions workshops, machine learning activities, partner tracks, technical training and certification programs.

Attendees will be able to connect with the entire Google Cloud team including our engineers, product leadership, developer advocates and more. We'll also have hundreds of partners involved throughout Next ‘17, bringing together the entire Google Cloud ecosystem.

Sign up here and we’ll keep you posted when registration opens and other important updates become available.

See you at Moscone in March!

Introducing Google Cloud


Today we’re announcing Google Cloud, Google’s unique and broad portfolio of products, technologies and services that let our customers operate easily in a digital world with the performance they demand.

Google Cloud spans every layer of the business, including all of Google Cloud Platform; our user facing collaboration and productivity applications — now named G Suite; all of our machine learning tools and APIs; the enterprise Maps APIs; and also the Android phones, tablets and Chromebooks that access the cloud. All this, built for the cloud from the get-go.

Moreover, Google Cloud has been engineered in an enterprise appropriate way, with integrated systems that ensure service levels — all components are integrated and meet customers’ service and cost levels.

Google Cloud products are for customers of all sizes: from the self-employed or startups all the way to the world’s largest enterprises, including Google itself.

Google Cloud is more than products — it is also how we work alongside companies in an engineering-centric way. Because digital transformation and moving to the cloud are technical processes, we have customer engineers, customer reliability engineers, site reliability engineers and product engineers supporting our customers as they migrate, deploy and evolve. Our approach and our commitment to Google Cloud customers is simple: we’re in it together.

The cloud partner that customers choose really matters. It amounts to picking which technology curve to bet on, and it’s a long-term bet: there's more to be had than cost savings and increased security. Over the next five years, businesses of every kind will be transformed by smart data, analytics, machine learning and digital communications. What is going to differentiate business in the future is digital technology.

Today we are also introducing a significant lineup of new cloud technologies and machine intelligence capabilities as well as services, and we're showcasing how a cross-section of our customers and partners — including, Airbus, Home Depot, Snap Inc (formerly SnapChat), Evernote, Niantic Labs (Pokemon Go), Telus, Accenture and Pivotal — use and work with Google Cloud.

Finally, in addition to introducing Google Cloud, we’re also announcing G Suite, our new name for Google Apps for Work. G Suite is a set of intelligent apps — Gmail, Docs, Drive, Calendar, Hangouts and more — designed to bring people together, with real-time collaboration capability built in from the start.

This is just the beginning. We look forward to building this future together.

All together now. Introducing G Suite.


Posted by Kelly Campbell, Senior Director of G Suite Marketing, Google Cloud All around the world, businesses are filling up with busyness. Employees today are more plugged-in than ever before, but technology too often gets in the way of turning ideas into game changers. For businesses, sharing and communicating has gotten complicated and often happens in silos. The bigger the company, the bigger the challenge. But what if technology lived up to its promise for us at work? What if it helped us cut through the noise so we could work together to focus on what matters? We created Google Apps for Work ten years ago (back when it was Google Apps for Your Domain) to do just that — to help people everywhere work and innovate together, so businesses can move faster and go bigger. And today, we’re introducing a new name that better reflects this mission: G Suite.G Suite is a set of intelligent apps—Gmail, Docs, Drive, Calendar, Hangouts, and more—designed to bring people together, with real-time collaboration built in from the start. And there’s a lot more on the way. Because we believe that when organizations break down silos, connect people and empower them to work together, we get the speed, agility and impact needed to compete in today’s market.So in the spirit of teamwork, we partnered with some of our favorite illustrators from around the world to bring our ideas to life with their iconic creativity.                                    "All together now" by Matt Blease                                       "Great ideas happen outside the office" by Josh Cochran                          "Meet face to face in any place" by Jean Jullien With G Suite, information can flow freely between devices, apps, people and teams, so great ideas never get left in the margins again. Imagine the future for your business, if this was how it could be . . . allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="360" src="" width="640"> Special thanks to artists Jean Jullien, Matt Blease, Chris DeLorenzo, Tomi Um, Jan Buchczik, Josh Cochran, Xarly Rodriguez.[...]

G Suite: intelligent tools designed for teams


Posted by Prabhakar Raghavan, Vice President Apps, Google Cloud Research shows that each week we spend the equivalent of three work days on common tasks like emailing, scheduling and attending meetings and gathering information, and only two work days on the role we were hired for. Repetitive, mechanical tasks that take up our time are exactly the kinds of tasks that computers are great at, and advances in machine intelligence help make this a reality. Today we’re launching new capabilities across G Suite to help employees reclaim their time and come together as teams on strategic and creative projects so they can better serve their customers.Google has been driving machine intelligence research for over a decade, and the same underlying work that beat the world Go champion earlier this year is also powering more than one hundred product efforts, from instant translation to photo recognition, across Google. A year ago, Smart Reply launched, offering auto-generated replies for emails that only need a quick response. Now, more than 10% of all replies on mobile are sent using Smart Reply. The reception has been so strong that we're continuing to apply machine intelligence across our suite to solve customer problems.Smarter storageSecond only to wrestling with their inboxes, searching for and gathering information is a top drain on employees’ time. In fact, up to a full day per week can be spent on this alone. Quick Access in Drive on Android will make the most relevant files to the work you’re doing easily accessible — right at your fingertips when you open Drive. Based on signals like your interaction with colleagues, recurring meetings and activity in Drive, machine intelligence helps Drive understand the rhythm of your workday and offers the files you need before you even ask. Our customer research shows that Quick Access saves about 50% of the time an employee would usually spend finding a file.Smarter schedulingFinding time to meet with colleagues can be hard, especially when the list of people and locations you’re coordinating starts to grow. Google Calendar uses machine intelligence to help you easily find a time when invitees are free, and it also suggests available rooms based on your previous bookings. And, when the list of invitees grows long and no times are available, Calendar will suggest times across the group where the conflicts are easiest to resolve, such as recurring 1:1 meetings.Smarter spreadsheetsA year ago we launched Explore in Google Sheets to help you summarize your spreadsheet data with automated charts and insights. But, many users might not experience the full value of spreadsheets because they can't write formulas. This is a case of the computer requiring you to speak its language. Machine intelligence turns this upside down, so now the computer understands your language. You can simply enter your question using natural language and Explore in Google Sheets will use Natural Language Processing to translate your question into a formula and offer an instant answer.Smarter documentsIn 2012, we launched a research capability in Google Docs that brought the power of Google’s search engine right into your document. Today, we’re adding Explore in Google Docs with machine intelligence to automatically recommend related topics to learn about, images to insert and more content to discover. You can even use Explore in Docs to find a related document from Drive, so you spend less time switching between apps and more time polishing your ideas.Smarter presentationsTurning your inspiration into a presentation can be a lot of work. Often, employees spend more time formatting slides than thinking creatively about the story they want to tell. Now, as you add content to your presentation, Explore in Google Slides dynamically offers layout suggestions that help your content shine. We’ve seen that people save over 30% of the time they would have spent on formatting when they used this capab[...]

Google and Accenture: building for the enterprise


Today, Accenture and Google announced a new alliance to develop solutions that bring together cloud, mobility and collaboration for enterprises that will help clients embrace the digital transformations technology can enable.

Most importantly, this collaboration is based on the real needs of businesses across markets. Enterprise customers are looking to Accenture for their deep understanding of specific industry needs and to Google for our technical strengths in machine learning, analytics, mobile technology, augmented reality, IoT and big data.

Google and Accenture will work together to deliver solutions to customers in a number of industry-specific verticals, including retail, healthcare, energy, finance and others. The solutions will combine technology from across Google’s products and platforms. Accenture and Google will provide dedicated resources from each company with expertise in cloud solutions architecture, mobility and app development to help bring these solutions to large enterprise clients.

Our collaborative efforts with Accenture open up a new world for enterprises looking to cloud and mobile solutions to change the way they do business. We're excited about the possibilities of what we can create together.


Google Cloud Platform sets a course for new horizons


Posted by Brian Stevens, Vice President, Google Cloud (Cross-posted on the Google Cloud Platform Blog.) As we officially move into the Google Cloud era, Google Cloud Platform (GCP) continues to bring new capabilities to more regions, environments, applications and users than ever before. Our goal remains the same: we want to build the most open cloud for all businesses and make it easy for them to build and run great software. Today, we’re announcing new products and services to deliver significant value to our customers. We’re also sharing updates to our infrastructure to improve our ability to not only power Google’s own billion-user products, such as Gmail and Android, but also to power businesses around the world. Delivering Google Cloud Regions for allWe’ve recently joined the ranks of Google’s billion-user products. Google Cloud Platform now serves over one billion end-users through its customers’ products and services.To meet this growing demand, we’ve reached an exciting turning point in our geographic expansion efforts. Today, we announced the locations of eight new Google Cloud Regions — Mumbai, Singapore, Sydney, Northern Virginia, São Paulo, London, Finland and Frankfurt — and there are more regions to be announced next year.By expanding to new regions, we deliver higher performance to customers. In fact, our recent expansion in Oregon resulted in up to 80% improvement in latency for customers. We look forward to welcoming customers to our new Cloud Regions as they become publicly available throughout 2017.Embracing the multi-cloud worldNot only do applications running on GCP benefit from state-of-the-art infrastructure, but they also run on the latest and greatest compute platforms. Kubernetes, the open source container management system that we developed and open-sourced, reached version 1.4 earlier this week, and we’re actively updating Google Container Engine (GKE) to this new version. GKE customers will be the first to benefit from the latest Kubernetes features, including the ability to monitor cluster add-ons, one-click cluster spin-up, improved security, integration with Cluster Federation and support for the new Google Container-VM image (GCI). Kubernetes 1.4 improves Cluster Federation to support straightforward deployment across multiple clusters and multiple clouds. In our support of this feature, GKE customers will be able to build applications that can easily span multiple clouds, whether they are on-prem, on a different public cloud vendor, or a hybrid of both. We want GCP to be the best place to run your workloads, and Kubernetes is helping customers make the transition. That’s why customers such as Philips Lighting have migrated their most critical workloads to run on GKE.Accelerating the move to cloud data warehousing and machine learningCloud infrastructure exists in the service of applications and data. Data analytics is critical to businesses, and the need to store and analyze data from a growing number of data sources has grown exponentially. Data analytics is also at the foundation for the next wave in business intelligence — machine learning.The same principles of data analytics and machine learning apply to large-scale businesses: to derive business intelligence from your data, you need access to multiple data sources and the ability to seamlessly process it. That’s why GKE usage doubles every 90 days and is a natural fit for many businesses. Now, we’re introducing new updates to our data analytics and machine learning portfolio that help address this need:Google BigQuery, our fully managed data warehouse, has been significantly upgraded to enable widespread adoption of cloud data analytics. BigQuery support for Standard SQL is now generally available, and we’ve added new features that improve compatibility with more data tools than ever and foster dee[...]

Announcing our free 60-day trial of Chrome device management for Google Apps customers


Google Apps customers, it’s now easier than ever to set up Chrome device management to manage employee Chrome devices directly from your Admin console. If you’re still deciding whether Chrome device management is the best option for your business, you can also visit the Admin console to start a 60-day free trial of Chrome device management on up to 10 devices.1
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With Chrome device management, you can manage and configure more than 200 features, policies and settings for your Chrome device fleet (and you can buy devices from our Chrome Store). These settings provide added security for your employee and business data, tools for improved employee productivity and time savings with easier device management.

As an administrator, Chrome device management lets you easily configure Chrome features for users, set up Chrome devices to access specific Wi-Fi networks and VPNs, automatically install Chrome extensions and apps and more. You can apply each setting to specific sets of users and devices, or to everyone in the organization. For example, you can configure a device to automatically connect to a specific network or restrict devices from it.

You can also manage public session devices where multiple users can share the same Chrome device without the need to sign in with a username and password. Public session configurations are ideal on Chrome devices used for kiosks, loaner devices, shared computers or any other purpose in which users don't sign in.

For more details and instructions, check out the Help Center article about Chrome device management trials and subscriptions.

1 The trial is only available for customers in the U.S. and Canada and currently only available if you haven’t already purchased a Chrome device management license. It applies to annual Chrome device management licenses, so is not applicable for Education customers.

Flexibility meets efficiency for award-winning arts centre Vooruit, thanks to Google Apps


Posted by Wim Roose, Head of IT at VooruitEditor's note: Today we hear from Wim Roose, Head of IT at Vooruit, Belgium’s most culturally significant arts centre, as he describes how Google Apps has given it the freedom to develop and grow while remaining true to its values. With 80 members of staff, hundreds of artists and countless partners to manage each year, communication and collaboration has become key to running the centre efficiently without losing the essential spirit of the organisation. Vooruit is a unique place, not least because of its rich history and visionary objectives and aims. Can you tell us a little about its history and vision?Vooruit was originally designed and built in 1914 as a festival and arts centre. It had a ballroom, a cinema and a theatre, as well as exhibition spaces and venues for debates and meetings. It quickly became the epicentre of the Ghent-based labor movement, and the building itself became a symbol of the socialist movement in the interwar period. Even the name Vooruit itself means “cooperative.” Although it was abandoned and fell into disrepair, it was regenerated in the early 1980s by a group of friends who wanted to re-establish its significance and honour its history, and that’s what we still do today. We welcome around 300,000 visitors a year and host up to 600 events annually, meaning there’s something for everyone. We’re incredibly aware of the role we’re playing in Vooruit’s continuing history to provide arts services to the public, which is why we were determined to find a 21st Century IT solution that would allow us to work in the spirit of creativity, collaboration and cooperation that shaped the original Vooruit.Tell us why you chose Google Apps to help deliver Vooruit’s objectives.Google Apps was an intuitive choice. As an IT guy, I love the openness of the Google ecosystem. We wanted to find a way of working that suited the company’s ethos rather than working against it, something that would allow us to work freely and collaboratively instead of having to conform. We also needed something that would support our organic growth and help us meet the efficiency needs of the modern world, and Google’s cloud-based apps do just that. Our building may be historic but the way we work needs to be as efficient and modern as any business operating today. In fact, our investment in a digital office was necessary as well as logical — if we’re to continue to work with the government and other organisations to deliver public arts and culture services, we need to be compatible with their way of working, but without compromising our own values. Google Apps make that possible.Can you explain how you use Google Apps to increase efficiencies?As opposed to working in the limiting and closed building automation system we largely relied on before, the Google ecosystem allows us to integrate everything into one interface, and for me that’s a giant step forward.Gmail was the starting point for our digital revolution, and underpins how we work. We’ve migrated all 100 members of our staff from Outlook to Gmail, and we now send and receive up to 12,000 emails each month. Many of us now use Google Keep to create our “to do” lists, which means we can work collaboratively on projects with ease. The continuous updates to each project list allow us to work together with maximum efficiency, meaning no more duplication of effort or jobs left undone, as we all share access to the same real-time information. Gmail also allows us to track communications more effectively, and we can now communicate with each other — and artists and external partners — much more easily.You’ve said that Vooruit is all about collaboration and cooperation — how does Google Apps help support this?Google Drive has also been an integral part of our digital solution, a[...]

The business of connection: How Osmose links the front office to the field


Posted by Ben Flock, Director of Operations Support, Osmose Editor's note: Today we hear from Ben Flock, director of operations support at Osmose, which provides inspection, maintenance and rehabilitation services and products to electric and telecommunications utilities. Read how Osmose provides its field workers with connectivity using Chromebooks. In business, as in life, connection breeds success. When you feel connected to your team, your network, your customer, your family, relationships are stronger and everybody wins.Osmose is in the business of connecting people. We do the work that ensures your utilities are up and running so when you open your laptop, you can connect to the internet, and when you pick up a landline telephone, you get a dial tone. We offer reliable service by maintaining the poles on which utility and electric lines are strung. This means our crews spend most of their time away from the office, and we rely on Chromebooks to keep them connected in the field.Foremen are our first line of management and key to our operations. In the past, foremen had little connectivity and limited technology when working on a job site. They used paper and pen to collect data and complete administrative tasks. When they worked remotely they often missed important family events, such as childrens’ ball games or recitals. This made it hard for us to attract and retain staff. The problem compounded as we grew: we've tripled our number of field crews since 2006. Each crew has on average three people in it: a foreman plus two other field workers.To connect our teams and provide greater mobility, we replaced paper with Chromebooks. The devices combine the best features of tablets and laptops: they’re light, easy to use and have keyboards. Chromebooks are tough and sturdy, and well-suited for field work, including some models which have waterproof keyboards and rubberized edges so they can withstand rough weather and hard treatment in the field. They provide our crews with the capabilities they need at a price that has allowed us to provide one for each field crew at a relatively low cost.Chromebooks play a central role in our employees’ work from the day they start at Osmose. All onboarding forms are completed online, eliminating the vast majority of our paperwork. Every crew member is issued a Chromebook during their eight-week training period, which makes the process faster and more convenient because they can refer to it for information any time they want.Our foremen use Chromebooks on a daily basis and see the most significant benefits. They’re able to send data from the field, communicate with the main office and access safety information with the touch of a button. They can easily complete administrative tasks without carrying heavy binders. And it’s now possible for our crews to enjoy a better work-life balance because they can work from anywhere and their colleagues and family can reach them at any time via email or Google Hangouts video calls.We’re now expanding how we use Chrome devices. We’ve introduced Chromebox for meetings in our conference rooms and our training environments. Some of our vice presidents are also using Chromebooks for everyday computing because of their portability and convenience. These devices are helping to fuel our growth and accomplish our mission to help people stay connected.[...]

Georgia creates a faster, friendlier driver’s license experience with help from Chrome


Posted by Jeff Smith, CIO, Georgia Department of Driver ServicesEditor's note: This week, we’re sharing two stories from Georgia state government agencies that have gone Google. Today we hear from Jeff Smith, CIO of Georgia Department of Driver Services, which provides secure driver and identity credentials to 3.5 million customers each year. See how Georgia Department of Driver Services saved hundreds of thousands of dollars, reduced wait times by 80% and improved customer service and experience with help from Chromeboxes. Think about the last time you got a new driver’s license. What was the experience like? I’d bet it involved take-a-number tickets, long lines and outdated computers. Recently, the Georgia Department of Driver Services (DDS) decided to change the image in our offices across the state. In the years following the 2008 recession, the economy suffered and people feared losing their jobs. As a result, tax revenue was affected and Georgia government agencies faced 10 percent budget cuts across the board. Our management team came up with a creative solution — what if, instead of resorting to layoffs, furloughs or salary reductions, we could cut costs in other ways? Switching to Chromeboxes was one of the ways we saved money to meet the required budget cuts.We submitted a formal proposal to the state technical authority to use Chromeboxes in our offices, and they gave us the green light once they understood it would be a secure solution. Chrome’s rigorous security settings and features mean we don’t have to worry about a customer data breach. The simple fact that devices store no data and reset automatically at the end of each session makes Chrome a secure solution for our locations. Since we started using Chromeboxes in 2013, we’ve saved hundreds of thousands of dollars each year and expanded our use of Chrome to create a better customer experience. We designed our central Atlanta customer service center to look more like a mobile retail store than a traditional government office. Instead of sitting behind a reception counter, employees greet customers on the floor and help them fill out applications online at high standing tables. Our staff interacts more personally with patrons and can serve them faster, too — the average wait time in remodeled offices equipped with Chromeboxes has dropped by 80% from 30 minutes to six.Chromeboxes are so intuitive that patrons of any age, background or technical ability can use them with ease. Some of our patrons know English as a second language, while others, like my dad, have trouble using computers. But it seems that anyone, including my dad, can use Chrome. Patrons also take the written portion of their driving test using these devices. Or, if a customer forgets their required identification documents, they can even use the device to access and securely print a water bill or bank records.We’ve modernized our office and are now more customer-centric by switching to Chrome. While getting a new driver’s license or ID may never be a thrilling errand, we can now make it an easier and more friendly experience for every customer who walks through our doors.[...]

What you love about Google Search — now for Drive


Posted by Josh Smith, Product Manager(Cross-posted on the Google Drive Blog)Innovation is critical for business success, so we're constantly trying to build tools that enable our customers to do more. Starting today, you can use Natural Language Processing (NLP) and other new and improved features in Drive search on web to find files easier and faster. You'll also see a couple of highly-requested Google Docs features that have been added based on your feedback (thank you!).Search faster and with easeNatural Language Processing (NLP) is a fancy way of saying “search like you talk.” You can type things like “find my budget spreadsheet from last December” or “show me presentations from Anissa.” Drive will understand what you mean and give you the option to click for those specific search results. Drive NLP will get better with each query — so keep on searching. ;)Get help with speling — er, spellingWhen you're trying to find a doc fast, it's easy for typos to slip into your search. Drive now has a new autocorrect feature that suggests corrections to misspelled search terms — which can really help when your brain is moving faster than your fingers.Enjoy other updates based on your feedbackWe’ve also added a few small but mighty features in Google Docs to help you create your best work:You can now easily split your document into multiple columns in Docs. Just choose “Columns” in the “Format” drop-down menu when you need more formatting options to get your point across.We know that work happens in all types of file formats. So, when you open, convert and edit non-Google files in Docs, Sheets and Slides, we’ll now save a copy for you. Just view or download the non-Google source file in its original format directly from Revision History in Docs, Sheets and Slides on the web.These features are available globally and will roll out gradually starting today. As always, tell us what you think about these new features on Google+ and Twitter. We’re listening.[...]

With Chromebooks and Google Apps, Georgia Department of Community Supervision switches to “virtual offices”


Posted by Phil Sellers, CIO of Georgia Department of Community Supervision Editor's note: This week, we’re sharing two stories from Georgia state government agencies that have gone Google. Today we hear from Phil Sellers, CIO of Georgia Department of Community Supervision, which oversees 200,000 probationers and 25,000 parolees across the state. See how Georgia Department of Community Supervision has saved millions of dollars and switched to virtual offices with Google Apps for Work and Google Chromebooks. The mission of the Georgia Department of Community Supervision (DCS) is to protect and serve our citizens by effectively supervising offenders. As CIO, it’s my job to make sure our busy officers have the technology they need to serve the community. Last year, the Department of Community Supervision went through a big transition. The state merged three different departments into the DCS, which added over 100 new offices to our existing 50. Because our staff spends most of their time driving around conducting community supervision visits, they’re rarely in the office. This means dozens of offices sat empty each day and we were wasting hundreds of thousands of dollars on rent each year. As a state government agency, efficient spending is always a top priority, so we knew we needed a change. We decided to try something that had never been done in Georgia state government history: eliminate the majority of our offices entirely and allow hundreds of our 2,100 staff members to work remotely instead. Our existing desktop computers and office applications didn’t have the features to support remote workers, so we started looking into alternatives. I was familiar with Google’s cost-cutting, collaborative and mobile-friendly features, so my team led the switch to Google Apps for Work and Google Chromebooks. We’ve since saved millions of dollars on rent, enterprise licensing contracts, hardware, IT support costs and employee productivity. We no longer have dedicated IT services for routine storage and email support, and our small IT staff of 35 doesn’t need to roll out patches and antivirus software. If an officer closes her Chromebook or loses power, she doesn’t have to worry about trying to recover lost data. If we need to replace a device, it’s inexpensive and fast to get someone back up and running.We’ve also reduced security concerns, which is crucial for a government agency. Officers used to store their data on laptops, so if their device was lost or stolen, they’d lose sensitive information about parolees and probationers. With Chromebooks, we store everything in the cloud and can easily wipe and replace a device if needed. Officers use a 2-step authentication to enter our systems, which adds another layer of security. Chromebooks and Google Apps played a key role in making the switch to “virtual offices” a success. 95% of the devices in the field are Chromebooks and Android phones, so officers working remotely can easily access the apps they need and share information with their colleagues using Google Docs, Google Drive and Google Hangouts. Because officers can work from anywhere, they can design their own schedules, helping them better manage their work-life balance and be more effective at visiting the offenders under their supervision. Since we’ve adopted the policy, officers are more productive, and sick leave and employee turnover have decreased.Every technology we build, buy or deploy should help officers do their jobs better. That means encouraging chiefs to get out of the office and ride along with their officers and giving IT staff the freedom to develop new applications without having to worry about maintaining devices or troubleshooting storage and email. Sinc[...]

Scheels thrives in brick-and-mortar retailing by offering top-notch customer service using Chrome


Posted by Josh Diemert, Lead Systems Administrator, ScheelsEditor's note: Today we speak with Josh Diemert, lead systems administrator for Scheels, a 26-location sporting-goods chain with stores in 11 states. Scheels, an employee-owned, privately held business with more than 6,000 employees, has a long history of adapting to changing times. Founded in 1902 as a small hardware and general merchandise store in Sabin, Minnesota, it added sporting goods in 1954, athletic clothing in 1972, and eventually grew into an all-sports chain. In this interview, we see how the company continues to adapt today, using Chrome to deliver better service to its customers with expert advice.Why is technology important to Scheels? We aim to understand our customers and give them personal attention and local information. 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.How has Chrome helped?Chrome has dramatically improved our digital signage. We use Chromebits to power digital signs in key parts of the business, like our fishing shops. The signs display information on nearby river conditions and advice on the latest equipment and local fishing techniques. They’re incredibly popular features that have helped build customer loyalty.Given the success of our digital signage, it made sense to use Chrome for our in-store kiosks. The kiosks allow customers to order items that aren’t available in their local store. It’s the best of both worlds: hands-on advice from a local professional and access to the large inventory of an online retailer.Our sales team also uses Chromebooks to streamline the customer workflow. Some purchases require background checks and a lot of paperwork, but Chromebooks makes it easy and more efficient to fill out the required forms. The technology also puts the right information at our employees’ fingertips, helping them provide better on-the-spot advice to our customers.How did you get started with Chrome?About three years ago we transitioned to Google Apps with the help of Google Apps Premier Partner Agosto. We purchased our licensing through them. They also gave us guidance on migrating our data out of Lotus Notes and into Google Apps, and showed us the benefits of Chromebooks over the legacy machines we were using. When we saw the difference, we decided to try Chrome for digital signage, kiosks and our sales staff. What other kinds of benefits have you gotten from Chrome?Before Chrome, it was a pain to get digital signs working — it could take a week or more to set up our legacy hardware. With Chromebits, it takes ten minutes to set up a digital sign, and we can manage them all from one location. This saves valuable time for our IT department. We’ve also saved money. We were considering Windows laptops for our sales associates, but by choosing Chromebooks we’re saving $200 per laptop.Overall, the biggest benefit has been giving our customers the attention they deserve, whether by offering local information, access to a larger range of products through our in-store kiosks, or making the customer workflow process easy with Chromebooks. We pride ourselves on being experts on everything we sell. With Chrome, our experts can spend more time with our customers and show them the personalized customer support that helps them choose exactly the right camping gear for a first family camping trip or the mountain bike that’s exactly the right height and weight. We’re such big believers in Chrome, we now turn to it as the first option for any new challenge.[...]

Pushing the boundary of Enterprise Security with Verified Access


Posted by Saswat Panigrahi, Senior Product Manager, Chrome for Work With security breaches that pose threats to businesses and their customers on the rise, CIOs are demanding more from their vendors when it comes to the security of their systems and devices. Advanced security is a mainstay of every Chrome device, regardless of price or type, and today we’re taking the next major step in bringing greater security to the enterprise with Verified Access for Chrome OS devices. Verified Access is the means by which a network service, such as a VPN gateway, a sensitive server, an Enterprise certificate authority (CA) or an Enterprise Wi-Fi access point can get a hardware-backed cryptographic guarantee of the identity of the device and user that’s trying to access it. Verified Access ensures that their state is unmodified and policy compliant. This matters because most businesses, particularly large enterprises, have policies and requirements in place that allow network and data access only to enterprise-managed and verified devices, but many of the current solutions rely primarily on heuristic client side checks. But, a bad actor that can compromise your Operating System can probably also fake the signals being checked for. Verified Access addresses this core challenge by leveraging the Trusted Platform Module (TPM) present in every Chrome OS device to enable enterprise network services to cryptographically confirm the identity and status of verified boot and enterprise policy using a Google server-side API.When integrating with an enterprise CA, for instance, hardware-protected device certificates can be distributed only to managed, verified devices. For years, Google has been using Verified Access to enhance security by ensuring the veracity and policy compliance of Chrome devices before allowing access to resources, and now we're making it available externally. Duo Security and Ruckus Wireless have already integrated with our Verified Access API.Duo Security, a trusted access provider, now uses Verified Access internally to reliably assess the security of Chromebooks. Michael Hanley, Director of Security at Duo Security says “Given that many other security properties that are essentially native to the security model and architecture of Chrome OS, Verified Access gives us a reliable way of measuring foundational, hardware-backed security properties of Chromebooks before they access our services. It’s a high-assurance way for us to clear Chromebooks for access internally and be certain that only our users and our devices are passed through to sensitive services and data. It’s a great step toward even stronger endpoint security posture for our company and our customers.”Ruckus Wireless has integrated its security management platform, Cloudpath ES, with the Verified Access API to securely differentiate between IT-owned and user-owned Chromebooks. The capability is available today in Cloudpath ES version 4.3. Kevin Koster, Chief Architect at Ruckus Wireless says, “The Verified Access API allows us to be cryptographically certain that a Chromebook is IT-owned before issuing it a certificate or allowing it to join the wireless network as an IT-owned device. Combined with Chromebook’s existing security features, Cloudpath creates a secure environment that is transparent to the end-user and the administrator. Over the last several months, we have been successful in deploying the solution in both education and high-security environments, including a global retail chain.”Identity, network and security providers, we also invite you to integrate with the Verified Access API. Administrators, here’s how you can deploy it.In other security news[...]

How Jtel used Chrome to reinvent the call center


Editor's note: Today we hear from Lewis Graham, Chief Executive Officer of Jtel, which provides call center technologies for telecommunications companies and enterprises. Read how Jtel is transforming the call center industry using Chrome, which has added efficiency, time savings and ROI (45% increase for Jtel customers).

Think about the last time you needed to get in touch with a business. How did you contact them? You may have picked up the phone, but it’s just as likely you sent an email or a text message, tagged the company in a post on social media or visited the website to chat with a customer service rep. Today, there are dozens of ways for people to communicate with businesses. Companies who embrace this fact are rewarded with more engaged customers.

Jtel set out to reinvent the call center so businesses can handle all the ways people get in touch with them. Based on our 25 years of experience providing call center technology for telecommunications firms and enterprises, we’ve built a new multi-channel call center platform using Chromebooks and WebRTC. WebRTC is an open source project for real-time browser-based communications that was developed by Google. The Chrome and WebRTC solution eliminates telephones while letting agents handle email, chat and voice calls. Rather than switching between a phone and computer, the agent uses just one device.

Chrome has improved our call centers on three important fronts: call center teams work more efficiently, their calls are more effective and they save time. Chrome devices are easy to configure and manage, and they’re highly reliable — particularly important because call centers are notoriously difficult to install. Chrome and WebRTC have dramatically reduced the time required to set up a new call center: it takes four hours to set up a center with 200 to 300 Chromebooks, compared to the four days it takes to set up a traditional call center of similar size.

Chrome saves our customers money as well. In a traditional call center, each agent needs a PC and a telephone. There are also high deployment costs for each agent because of the complexity of the systems. Between hardware and implementation, it adds up to almost $1,300 per agent. Chrome and RTC save a huge chunk of that — about $800 per agent. By our calculations, that leads to a 45 percent increase in ROI for our customers.

Chromebooks with WebRTC also transform the way companies interact with their customers. It lets agents connect with customers in multiple ways, not just by phone. And it allows companies to integrate their call centers with their CRM systems so they can create self-service modules for their customers. This empowers customers to resolve issues on their own.

Companies need to to be able to help customers, however they choose to get in touch. Today, that’s through phone calls, emails, text messages and live chat. As these channels keep evolving, we will, too, thanks to Chrome and our partnership with Google. Chrome is helping us build the future of communications.

How Elsa State Bank made a road map to the future with Android for Work and Google Apps


Posted by Jaime Hinojosa, Information Technology Officer, Elsa State Bank Editor's note: Today we hear from Jaime Hinojosa, Information Technology Officer at Elsa State Bank, which has served Texans since 1945. Learn how Elsa State Bank overhauled its IT department to provide its workforce with the tools to be more mobile and productive. Elsa State Bank's 20,000 customers across South Texas depend on our expertise in commercial, consumer and agricultural finance. We’re always looking for ways to better serve our customers and grow our customer base. As an IT officer, I introduce, evolve and maintain the technology that helps our 100 employees acquire more customers. Security, durability and affordability are top of mind when I’m researching a new solution.In 2010, we looked to modernize our IT solutions. Our employees wanted greater flexibility to pursue customer leads outside of the office. At the time, our employees were using laptops and smartphones that didn’t have the security, functionality or mobile management we needed. I started researching other solutions and discovered Google Apps for Work, Google Mobile Device Management (Google MDM) and Android devices. I believed these solutions would help us achieve our goal of giving our team greater mobility with tools that not only advanced productivity but that also offered the security, central management and cost efficiency we required — I was right.Today we use Google MDM to manage 40 Samsung Galaxy smartphones and Samsung Note tablets. These Android devices help us save time and money. One example: We used to print and ship 300-page binders for board meetings, which was wasteful and inefficient, but now, board members use Android tablets during meetings to view and share annual reports and quarterly earnings presentations. Our employees are already benefitting from greater mobility at work. Lenders now commonly travel to construction sites to meet with customers, receive progress updates and pursue more loan opportunities. Loan officers who work away from the office can receive reminders about upcoming client meetings on their Android smartphone, locate and reach their destination using Google Maps and retrieve relevant customer documents from the cloud with Google Drive. The security of Google Apps was essential to our purchasing decision. Since commercial institutions can be targeted by cybercriminals, protecting our customer data is especially important. Our centrally-managed Android devices help us save time and money without compromising security, and IT administrators benefit from capabilities like mobile device management. Remote administration also helps us save time and money from a pure logistics standpoint — we don’t have to be on site to solve individual problems that arise. Before we adopted Google Apps for Work and Google MDM, our employees were clamoring for tools that allowed them to work from anywhere and better serve our customers. The integration of Google Apps and Google MDM, supported by Android devices, has vastly improved what our employees can accomplish each day. These tools have helped keep Elsa State Bank competitive amid a rapidly evolving work environment. [...]

Google and Box Partner to transform work in the cloud


Today, we announced a partnership with Box to power collaboration and productivity for businesses of all sizes. As part of this partnership, Box will integrate with Google Docs and Google Springboard to deliver a seamless experience for working and collaborating in the cloud.

The integration between Box and Google Docs will enable Box to act as a third-party repository for Docs, Sheets and Slides, allowing users to create and collaboratively edit Google Docs directly from Box.

We’re also working together to integrate Box with Google Springboard, which connects people and information with Google-powered search and intelligence. Through this integration, Springboard will help users find the right information at the right time, no matter where it’s hosted — in Gmail, Drive, Docs or in Box.

We want our customers to have flexibility in their choice of tools and to have the most productive and collaborative suite possible for their needs. In fact, several of our own customers, like Avago, Intuit, Internet2 and Whirlpool already use Box and Google together, and these integrations will contribute to a more productive and collaborative enterprise. We’re excited to partner closely with Box to expand our efforts in the enterprise and transform how businesses work in the cloud.

How Suffolk Libraries uses Chrome devices to keep visitors coming back for more


Posted by Leon Paternoster, Deputy Head of IT, Suffolk LibrariesEditor's note: Today we hear from Leon Paternoster, Deputy Head of IT at Suffolk Libraries in Ipswich, UK. Suffolk Libraries serves the UK county’s population of over 700,000. Learn how Suffolk Libraries uses mobile technology to keep its members engaged and interested in visiting their local branch. As a modern library network, we’re more than a place to read — we connect our members to the world around them. That connection could be a book, a newspaper or access to the internet. My job as deputy head of IT involves supporting and growing our libraries’ web services. Making access to information fast and easy across any and every library-owned device is a main focus for my team.We know our members love browsing the web when they visit the library, so we wanted to make getting online as seamless as opening a book. In 2014, we worked with our partner Ancoris to replace many of our outdated Windows PCs with Google Chromebooks. We also purchased a number of touchscreen Google Chromebases, which allow children to interact with websites without using a keyboard or mouse. Ancoris developed a Chromebook Access Management System (CAMS) that integrates the Chromebooks with our existing library management system. This controls who can log on and how long they can stay online. Today we have more than 200 Chrome devices available for visitors to check out across our 44 branches. Now visitors are able to go online anywhere in the library. From young children playing literacy games to students diving into heavy research, customers of all ages can engage with material — whether at a shared table or in a quiet nook — on their Chromebook until the device is due back. Chromebooks and Chromebases have been so cost-effective — both initially and once deployed — that we’ve been able to increase the number of computers available to library users while upgrading our technology overall.Now that we have fast and simple ways for our visitors to get online, our branches are hosting new programs that people love. For instance, some branches have introduced “Code Clubs,” weekly meetings for younger visitors to play games and explore coding languages like Python and Scratch. We also provide a free family history service that helps members research their family trees online. From an IT perspective, Chrome devices are ideal. They’re secure, easy to use and require very little of our team’s time to manage. With Chrome Device Management, we don’t have to worry about data on lost or stolen devices because we’re able to centrally shut down devices that we’ve identified as lost or stolen. Despite staff concerns about theft, we haven’t had a single Chromebook stolen. And with automatic system updates, the Chromebooks stay fast, up-to-date and ready to use at a moment’s notice.Our technology is a huge draw for library members. They look to us as a portal for information as well as a resource for pursuing their interests and professional goals. Chrome devices are the perfect library companion for our visitors and a simple solution for our IT team.[...]

Keeping Android safe: Security enhancements in Nougat


Posted by Xiaowen Xin, Android Security Team (Cross-posted on the Android Developers Blog.) Over the course of the summer, we previewed a variety of security enhancements in Android 7.0 Nougat: an increased focus on security with our vulnerability rewards program, a new Direct Boot mode, re-architected mediaserver and hardened media stack, apps that are protected from accidental regressions to cleartext traffic, an update to the way Android handles trusted certificate authorities, strict enforcement of verified boot with error correction, and updates to the Linux kernel to reduce the attack surface and increase memory protection. Phew!Now that Nougat has begun to roll out, we wanted to recap these updates in a single overview and highlight a few new improvements.Direct Boot and encryptionIn previous versions of Android, users with encrypted devices would have to enter their PIN/pattern/password by default during the boot process to decrypt their storage area and finish booting. With Android 7.0 Nougat, we’ve updated the underlying encryption scheme and streamlined the boot process to speed up rebooting your phone. Now your phone’s main features, like the phone app and your alarm clock, are ready right away before you even type your PIN, so people can call you and your alarm clock can wake you up. We call this feature Direct Boot.Under the hood, file-based encryption enables this improved user experience. With this new encryption scheme, the system storage area, as well as each user profile storage area, are all encrypted separately. Unlike with full-disk encryption, where all data was encrypted as a single unit, per-profile-based encryption enables the system to reboot normally into a functional state using just device keys. Essential apps can opt-in to run in a limited state after reboot, and when you enter your lock screen credential, these apps then get access your user data to provide full functionality. File-based encryption better isolates and protects individual users and profiles on a device by encrypting data at a finer granularity. Each profile is encrypted using a unique key that can only be unlocked by your PIN or password, so that your data can only be decrypted by you.Encryption support is getting stronger across the Android ecosystem as well. Starting with Marshmallow, all capable devices were required to support encryption. Many devices, like Nexus 5X and 6P also use unique keys that are accessible only with trusted hardware, such as the ARM TrustZone. Now with 7.0 Nougat, all new capable Android devices must also have this kind of hardware support for key storage and provide brute force protection while verifying your lock screen credential before these keys can be used. This way, all of your data can only be decrypted on that exact device and only by you.The media stack and platform hardeningIn Android Nougat, we’ve both hardened and re-architected mediaserver, one of the main system services that processes untrusted input. First, by incorporating integer overflow sanitization, part of Clang’s UndefinedBehaviorSanitizer, we prevent an entire class of vulnerabilities, which comprise the majority of reported libstagefright bugs. As soon as an integer overflow is detected, we shut down the process so an attack is stopped. Second, we’ve modularized the media stack to put different components into individual san[...]

Vivint Solar builds a work-from-anywhere culture with Google Apps and Dialpad


Posted by Mike Hincks, Director of IT Infrastructure at Vivint Solar Editor's note: Today we hear from Mike Hincks, Director of IT Infrastructure at Vivint Solar, a leading provider of residential solar power in North America. The fast-moving enterprise is using Google Apps, along with Dialpad, to drive collaboration and support for a workforce that's 63% remote. Register here to join our YouTube Live event on September 15 at 10 a.m. to learn more about how Dialpad, a Recommended for Google Apps Technology Partner, can modernize your IT strategy to support the anywhere worker. Vivint Solar’s mission is to flip the switch on how the world consumes power. With millions of homeowners adopting solar for economic and environmental benefits, our workforce has rapidly grown to nearly 4,000 employees spread across 51 offices.Much of that growth has been within our mobile workforce. Today, about 63% of our employees work remotely. Our sales professionals and technicians are constantly on the road building relationships with customers, and they need the right technology to ensure that they’re able to get their jobs done as efficiently as possible. We turned to Dialpad to eliminate the hurdles of traditional voice technology, which can include multiple steps to reach successful deployment and ongoing maintenance challenges. Integrating communications and productivity in the cloud with easy access to Gmail, Calendar and Docs across every deviceDialpad’s pure-cloud communications solution directly ties voice, video and messaging with Google Apps. Our mobile workforce immediately saw increased productivity once we made the switch. To get started, employees downloaded the Dialpad app, which automatically synced their meetings, emails and shared documents from Gmail, Calendar and Drive. The fact that it works across laptops, tablets and mobile devices (not just a desk phone) frees our workforce to work where and when they want.Dialpad’s native integration with Google Apps allowed us to connect two mission-critical tools, and now our mobile workers can get their jobs done faster and more efficiently. When employees log in with their Google credentials to view recent emails, shared documents and upcoming calendar events, they get insights and rich context right from the Dialpad app. In addition, Dialpad syncs with Google’s global company directory, so employee contact information is always up-to-date. And if an employee needs to call a colleague or customer, they can click-to-call with Dialpad straight from Gmail.A simple deployment of scalable, high-value technology, without the overheadOur transition to a pure-cloud communications platform with Dialpad and Google has resulted in significant cost savings and impactful productivity gains. For example, our prior telephony system needed a team of five people to manage and administer it full-time. Now, one employee spends only 5% of their time managing our new system.Traditional IT voice systems come with hundreds of thousands of dollars in yearly infrastructure and hosting costs, while modern competitors require significant professional services just to get the product up and running. Dialpad, by contrast, had no upfront capital expenditures or ongoing maintenance costs. When switching to Dialpad, we were able to get our communications network deployed in just a couple of days without the high upfront costs — and Google Apps integrated instantly.As our business continues to grow, both tools will scale seamlessly and neither requires the[...]

Google Apps and devices as building blocks for change at ISG


Posted by Daniel Durgan, IT Business Partner at ISGEditor's note: Today we hear from Daniel Durgan, IT Business Partner at ISG, an international construction services company delivering fit out, construction, engineering services and a range of specialist solutions. Daniel explains why there’s never been a better time to digitally transform the construction industry. The construction industry is undergoing a digital revolution. Companies that have for decades relied heavily on printed contracts, drawings and documents are now moving to online tools to save time and money and keep productivity up in a marketplace that’s more expansive and more demanding. At ISG, we’re using Google’s cloud-based tools to ensure that we’re at the forefront of this industry shift. With Google Apps, we’re taking full advantage of technology-enhanced collaboration, productivity and mobility. Over the course of a few hours, I can use Google Drive to review a presentation on my tablet, Gmail to check emails and Google Calendar to schedule meetings on my phone while away from the office. I can also jump into a meeting with colleagues from around the world from any of the 26 Chromeboxes that are set up in one of our conference rooms. Whether I’m on a site visit, in the office or on the move, Google Apps allows me to continue working and collaborating with my team. Projects move fast with real-time collaborationIt’s essential for our business to control who has access to certain documents. Drawings must only be issued to authorised people, and each person must review the latest version as it’s being developed. Drive enables us to completely control what’s shared inside and outside of our company — the fact that our team alone has 1.5 million files in Drive speaks to our reliance on the tool for secure file storage. Google Docs allows us to collaborate on shared documents at the same time, no matter where we are in the world. I can start shaping up a proposal in London and invite a colleague in Europe to work on it with me. There’s also more of a human element. When someone comments, you see their face next to it — it ties you emotionally to the process. We keep track of all our revisions in Sheets to monitor our progress. And we can always instant message each other with quick questions or suggestions, so we feel connected, all the time. A lot of what we do is very visual. It’s hard to describe building plans and designs over the phone. With Hangouts, we can bring everyone together to discuss these plans and drawings as if we were all in the same room. We can move quickly from stakeholders to contractors to suppliers to make sure the right people are involved in the right conversations. Staff expect more from an IT solution A big part of my team’s role is to help build relationships and ensure employees communicate effectively and get the support they need. When we sent out a survey using Forms to ask all our staff what they’d like to see from IT, they told us they wanted to find out more about our Google tools. We’re using Synergise Google Apps Training to help our stakeholders go beyond the basics and use the suite to its full potential. Quality: getting it right the first timeQuality is extremely important in our business, so we carry out frequent on-site check-ins to ensure teams are following the proper processes and delivering a high standard of construction correctly the first time. When we do these quality checks, we submit recommendations[...]

How Compass Group Canada modernized its digital strategy with Chrome


Posted by Humza Teherany, CIO of Compass Group Canada and CEO of Compass Digital Editor's note: Today we hear from Humza Teherany, CIO of Compass Group Canada and CEO of Compass Digital Labs, a subsidiary of Compass Group PLC, a global food and support services provider who serves millions of people around the world every day and employs more than 500,000 employees worldwide. Learn how Compass Group switched to digital signs powered by Chrome to boost its digital marketing efforts in restaurants and coffee shops across Canada. To learn more about how Chrome devices can be used to engage your customers, watch this recorded Hangout. How do you design your digital strategy when you're part of a 20-year-old business with many brands, many partners and 32,000 employees in Canada? I faced this challenge when I joined Compass Group Canada leading technology and innovation four years ago. My top goal was to use technology to better consumer experiences and in turn grow our revenues. Compass Group relied on Google Apps already, so when we needed to revamp our digital signage, we turned to Google. Over the past two years, our technology field services teams, led by Jugveer Randhawa, installed more than 200 Chrome digital signage devices in our retail locations. We plan to add an additional 100 devices by the end of 2017. Before we switched to Chrome, our store managers were bogged down by running all of our in-store marketing campaigns. The screens we used weren’t connected to the internet and had to be manually managed on-site, one by one. Store managers had to upload new images every time we wanted to promote a new menu item, daily special or social media contest. By modernizing our approach using Chrome digital signage, we’re saving hundreds of hours each week on this formerly time-intensive process. Today one marketer can manage dozens of campaigns in stores across Canada using Chrome Device Management and our signage software.Adopting a digital-first approach means that Compass Group Canada can measure the return on its marketing investment, and Chrome is a key part of this. Each digital signage device costs about half as much as competing options, so we get more for our money. We use third-party software to analyze data from Chrome devices, so our marketing team sees how campaigns are performing right away. If we advertise a new pumpkin latte at a coffee shop, for instance, we can compare how many people saw our ad and how much our sales increased across stores.Since switching to Chrome digital signage, Compass Group Canada has seen a 2-4% boost in sales from our marketing promotions, which is significant for a company that makes approximately $2 billion in annual revenue. Chrome digital signage is part of a broader cultural shift at Compass Group. This year, we launched Compass Digital Labs, an offshoot dedicated to improving consumer retail experiences by building new technologies like mobile payment apps, on-site kiosks and wearable payment solutions.Our digital-first strategy encourages us to try techniques like event-triggered marketing — promoting hot chocolate when temperatures dip below freezing, or offering a two-for-one beer special at stadiums when the home team's winning. Consumer behavior is constantly changing, and we’re seeing how important it is to reach savvy customers on mobile, social and in stores. Our digital marketing strategy allows us to connect consumers with the right offers at the right time. Mill[...]

Google and Okta expand partnership to accelerate digital transformation for large enterprises


Today, Google and Okta announced an expanded alliance to help large enterprises transition from legacy on-premise directory infrastructure to the cloud and foster improved productivity, secure collaboration and rapid innovation.

Through this alliance, we’re expanding our relationship with Okta as a preferred identity and access management partner in the large enterprise segment. Okta and Google will jointly deliver a flexible, multi-cloud reference architecture that enables large enterprises to securely migrate from on-premise legacy infrastructure to the cloud and seamlessly deploy and manage Google Apps and other SaaS applications.

The Google-Okta reference architecture will enable a secure identity and access management solution for large enterprise customers by using Google as an authentication master and by using Okta as an identity bridge to address complex and advanced identity requirements. Using this reference architecture, enterprises can take advantage of Google’s scalable cloud infrastructure, state of the art account security and comprehensive application integrations. Enterprises can also benefit from Okta’s enterprise-grade identity and access management functionalities, such as bridging authentication for over 4,000 on-prem and cloud-based applications, and connecting distributed, multi-forest Active Directory environments.

Google and Okta will also equip global systems integrators (GSIs), Google resellers and independent software vendors (ISVs) with training, tools and support that enterprises need to accelerate their transformation to the cloud.

We’re excited to partner with Okta with the shared aim of accelerating the large enterprise shift from legacy directory infrastructure to the cloud.


Google adopts Privacy Shield


Editor's update September 23, 2016: Google's certificate is accessible here.

Yesterday, we submitted our certification of adherence to the EU-U.S. Privacy Shield framework.

The Privacy Shield establishes a new way to comply with European Union data protection requirements when transferring personal data from the EU to the United States during transatlantic commerce. As outlined in our Google Europe blog post, this is a significant milestone for the protection of Europeans’ personal data and promotes trust in the digital economy.

Google has committed to applying the Privacy Shield’s principles and safeguards to EU-U.S. transfers of personal data. No action is required on our customers’ part to benefit from the protection of this framework. Google’s certificate will soon be accessible here.

In addition to the Privacy Shield, we’ll continue to offer EU Model Contract Clauses to our Google Apps and Google Cloud Platform customers. Millions of organizations rely on our cloud services to run their businesses, and we’re committed to helping them meet their regulatory requirements by maintaining a diverse set of compliance tools.