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December 2009 Newsletter
Email, calendar and collaboration tools for your business
Hello Google Apps admins!
Here is your monthly dose of Google Apps news and updates. We hope you and your organization will benefit from these features and as always, we’d love to know what you would like to see in upcoming newsletters and welcome you to submit your feedback here.
We launched Google Groups for businesses and schools using Google Apps. Employees and students can now set up group aliases without taxing IT administrators for support, and group members can browse and search archives of messages sent to the alias. Group aliases also make it easier to share items like documents, spreadsheets, presentations and sites with a whole list of people at once, instead of adding recipients who should have access individually. You can watch an overview of what’s new on YouTube.
After making many improvements to Offline Gmail since it first launched as a Labs feature (like the new ability to add attachments while offline), now it’s easier for Gmail users to enable offline access and adjust their preferences. Just go to the “Offline” tab in Gmail’s “Settings” area.
We also launched templates for Google Sites. The templates gallery is filled with useful example sites ranging from wedding websites to corporate intranets, which you can copy and customize so they’re just right. This lets you create a useful, visually appealing collaborative workspace in seconds. And if you have a great site other people would find useful, you can submit it to the gallery. If your business uses Google Sites, templates you submit stay private within your company.
In the past, when you searched for a document, spreadsheet, presentation or PDF in your Google Docs list, the results were a set of exact matches arranged by “last modified date”. We now provide personalized search results in Google Docs, sorted by relevancy — a combination of factors including whether you’re an author on the document and if the file is explicitly shared with you. Search in Google Docs also supports stemming and synonyms now, so even if your search terms aren’t quite exact, you can still find what you’re looking for.
Google Apps Connector for BlackBerry Enterprise Server enables “push” email, contacts and calendar for BlackBerry devices. Two weeks ago, we added new functionality so businesses can support 500 BlackBerry devices per server — doubling the previous capacity. This lets businesses support fewer servers for BlackBerry users. We also added support for BlackBerry Professional Software, which is used by smaller companies to support up to 30 BlackBerry devices.
Last week, we released an update to Google Apps Sync for Microsoft Outlook, our tool that lets companies stop running Microsoft Exchange while still letting some employees use the familiar Outlook interface. Now, employees can sync multiple calendars between Outlook and Google Apps, and look up free/busy information from Exchange for co-workers who haven’t migrated to Google Apps yet.
Companies and schools using Google Apps sometimes want to limit how their users communicate with Google Talk and Gmail Chat. For example, some K12 schools don’t want outsiders instant messaging with their students. To meet this need, we now let IT administrators select if their users should only be able to chat with each other, and not with external users. This new option is found in the Chat service settings area of the Premier and Education Edition control panels.
We believe that our customers should be able to access their information on the mobile device of their choice, using the applications of their choice. That’s why we’re introduced support for push mail on iPhone and Windows Mobile devices.Google Apps now offers a complete mobile sync solution for businesses. Apps customers can now get push mail, contacts and calendar on major corporate devices: Blackberry, iPhone, Windows Mobile and of course, Android. With the over-the-air, always-on push connections, emails and changes to calendar events and contacts are reflected very quickly on their phones.
We’ve now introduced shared folders – far and away the most requested Google Docs feature. Shared folders work how you would expect them to and we hope they will make it easier for teams and groups to collaborate on documents together. We’ve also made it easy to upload multiple items to Google Docs. Instead of picking one file at a time, our new upload page lets you choose multiple files and upload them simultaneously, in just a couple of steps. We’ve also brought back “Items not in folders” (under “More searches”), based on your feedback and finally, we’ve also updated the look of the interface.
Google Video for business, a video hosting and sharing solution that enables enterprises and other organizations to use video as an effective medium for internal communication and collaboration and built on top of the same powerful infrastructure that powers YouTube,now allows for video uploads up to 16 GB vs. 1 GB if you have Google Gears installed.
Unified email, IM, and calendar, right from your inbox.
Switching between applications just to reach your contacts in different ways — like email, IM and event invitations — can be a pain. And once you’re there, your IM program may not have the same contact information that your email system stores, so you end up in the copy-paste routine. Just think about how much time you waste every year on small repetitive tasks like this.
Well Gmail is different, because instant messaging and calendar invitations are built right in. From the Gmail web interface, you can have IM conversations with the people you need to stay in touch with, respond to emails by IM, and search your whole instant message history. From Gmail, you can even include event or meeting details in messages you compose, so these occasions automatically show up in Google Calendar for you and your recipients. And everything shares the same contact manager, so once a friend or colleague is in the system, you never have to copy and paste their info between applications.
Email Preferences: We sent you this email because you indicated that you would like to receive email notifications about Google Apps. To change your preferences, access your Google App’s control panel (http://www.google.com/apps/intl/en/business/index.html – sign in required), click ‘Domain Settings,’ and then ‘Account information’. Remove the check besides ‘Email Notifications,’ and click ‘Save Changes.’
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