Google is a household name for internet search. Most people are aware of consumer Gmail. However, many businesspeople are not aware of Google’s suite of applications for business, Google Workspace (formerly G Suite).
“Gone Google” is a term Google coined for companies that have adopted Google Workspace. At the time of publication of this post, Google states that over 5 million companies have gone Google. With over 125 million businesses in the world, there’s clearly some upside for Google.
Google Sites is not necessarily the first application that enters the mind of most people as a platform for building out a corporate website, but there are a number of Google Sites use cases that organizations can take advantage of.
One of the great aspects of Google Sites is the fact that it has the built-in sharing options that are common to all Google Apps components. These granular permission levels make Google Sites easy to adapt to a variety of “non standard” use cases.
Here are five ways to use Google Sites other than as a corporate website platform.
We used SurveyMonkey Audience to collect data about what CRM systems were deployed at organizations across the U.S. The main question we asked in the survey was “What is your organization’s primary CRM system?”
After the survey finished its run, SurveyMonkey provided us with a CSV file of the survey results from approximately 750 respondents. The first thing we did was to upload the CSV file to Google Drive and then open the file with Google Sheets. Once we had the data in Google Sheets, we were able to easily create pivot tables and associated charts.
Through the use of simple-to-install browser apps and extensions, several vendors now offer Gmail users instant access to business productivity and sales enablement tools.
Users of business Gmail, part of Google Apps for Work, have several options for scheduling emails, tracking whether emails were opened and finding out whether links were within opened emails were clicked by recipients. And this is only a subset of the empowering functionality that’s available to Gmail users.
If you are thinking about moving from your current email provider to business Gmail for your organization, you’re probably wondering what would be involved with associating existing users’ email addresses, which are in a email@example.com type format, with a new Google Workspace account.
Also, what’s the best way to get your users’ often years worth of sent and received email into their Gmail accounts?
A move to business Gmail involves a number of technical tasks. However, this post is designed to provide a mainly non-technical overview of the tasks and options involved.
Could Chromebooks be the sleeper device that IT managers have been waiting for?
Ever since laptop computers first became widely adopted within corporations, IT departments have been responsible for imaging machines, updating software and providing remote technical and application support to salespeople and other mobile users. Any time a notebook computer breaks, is lost, stolen, or invaded by malware, there’s a time consuming replacement and/or repair process.
HubSpot is the company that defined the Inbound Marketing category. They provide the leading solution to SMBs that are looking for ways to have more people find their site on the Internet and to convert more site visitors to sales Leads.
Integration solutions are available to connect HubSpot to most of the leading CRM solutions, including Salesforce, Microsoft Dynamics 365, SugarCRM and NetSuite.
Google has been actively touting the collaboration features of Google Apps and has developed some excellent marketing content around the various components of Google Apps. But, what are some specific, real world examples of how Google Docs and Google Sites can be used for collaboration in business?
As a CRM consulting company with employees in different locations along the west coast, collaborative tools are very important to our overall efficiency and our responsiveness to customer needs. Here just a few of the ways we collaborate using Documents and Sites within Google Apps Premier Edition.
Using Google Sites to Manage Projects
With Google Sites, we can set up a Site for each customer. Each customer Site is shared with everyone within our company. Within a Site, one or more projects is set up for the customer. Within a project we’ve created template pages for areas such as:
The project summary
The customer’s CRM functional requirements
The data migration scripts that were used
An embedded spreadsheet for managing a punch list of open issues
A link to a folder that contains all project related Google Docs ranging from Statements of Work to training documentation
Subscribing to a Site or a page generates an email with every single change, which makes the notifications impractical if frequent changes are made. An option for a periodic digest email would be a good enhancement.
We also plan to replace our Twiki content with Google Sites, as Sites is a more user-friendly option and we don’t need to worry about managing uptime as we do with our Twiki.
Google Spreadsheets for Collaborating on Open Items
A Google spreadsheet has proven to be a very effective mechanism for creating a list of open items or issues that need to be addressed prior to a CRM cutover (or even post cutover). As a project manager/business analyst is logging issues found during his/her own testing or from customer feedback, a developer can be simultaneously viewing the same spreadsheet and tackling new issues as they are added as new rows in the spreadsheet.
If someone needs to be nudged to check the spreadsheet, an editor can send a friendly reminder email right from within the spreadsheet to one or more of the other collaborators. This list can also be shared out to customer contacts who already have a Google login or who don’t mind creating one.
Leveraging a Google Presentation to Collaborate on Application Testing
Taking the spreadsheet concept one step further, a shared Google presentation can be used by an application tester to include both text and screen shots to communicate needed fixes or changes to a developer. It’s very easy to take a screen shot of a problem area and the upload the screen shot to a slide along with text annotation. Crystal clear communication can be provided to the developer.
It does not seem that Google Apps Videos can be embedded within Google Presentations yet, but we hope that feature is added down the road. The ability to have a full motion explanation of an issue is occasionally needed — this is currently be accomplished by attaching an MOV or MP4 screencast to a GMail or by setting up a quick GoToMeeting.
These are just a few of the ways we’ve found that Google Docs and Sites can be used for collaboration. What are some of the ways that your organization collaborates with Google Apps?
It’s easy for a user of free GMail or of Google Workspace to take for granted the massive and highly sophisticated infrastructure behind what’s on their screen.
In fact, most people don’t really have any reason to think about what’s behind their user experience, any more than they care about what’s generating the electrical power that runs lights and appliances inside their house—as Nicholas Carr points out in his book, The Big Switch.
There’s no doubt about it. Cloud computing is gaining some serious momentum. Part of this momentum is due to the fact that the trust issues that were commonplace several years ago among buyers have been reduced to mere pockets of concern.
But, who are the most trustworthy application vendors in terms of customer data being safe and secure — and the application being available — should disaster strike one physical location?
Author’s Note:We first published this post over a decade ago after we adopted the then “Google Apps for Work.” The product, since rebranded Google Workspace, has served us well for all these years. In fact, we liked the product so much that we eventually transformed this website into a blog about Google Workspace.
An increasing number of our clients have been making the transition to Google Apps for Work for their email and other collaboration needs. After recently weighing the pros and cons of upgrading our current email server, we decided to make the move to Google Apps as well.