5 Tips to Help your Enterprise Switch to Google Apps

Thursday, September 5th, 2013


May was definitely a good month for Google this year, with two major enterprises announcing their decision to switch to Google Apps within just days of one another. The City of Boston migrated 20,000 of its employees to Google Apps, and the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) switched 12,000 employees over in a 90-day rollout.

Whether you’re switching your enterprise over on a similarly large scale or opting for the 90-day rollout, Google can help you with the technical process every step of the way. When it comes to easing the transition for employees, however, the following tips will help you achieve as smooth a transition as possible for the people who will ultimately use Google Apps on a daily basis.

5. Point out compelling features that differ from the old system
Whether it’s the search functions of Gmail or the collaborative nature of Google docs, point out the Google Apps features that you think your users will find most valuable. Highlight features that contrast with the old system to help users understand that, after the initial growing pains, the switch will ultimately provide them with a smoother and more efficient system.

4. Point out old favorite features that are still the same
In addition to showing users the innovations that Google Apps has to offer, you can also reassure them that the switchover is for the best by showing them the helpful features they’ll still have access to. For example, Gmail can be configured to have the pop-up email notifications like the ones in MS Outlook (by going to Settings → General → Desktop Notifications → select radio button for “New mail notifications.”)

3. Encourage employees to use Chrome
In addition to offering better security features than other browsers, Chrome offers a compatibility with Google Apps that users won’t be able to take advantage of if they’re still using Firefox or Netscape. Be sure to show users the features they can access specifically through Chrome, such as shortcuts to the applications and Google Apps training videos.

2. Update enterprise policies to accommodate Google Apps
Due to the nature of the cloud, employees will now be able to access their work email and other types of enterprise data from anywhere there is an internet connection. To mitigate security risks, introduce an enterprise-wide policy that ensures users are taking steps to keep their own mobile devices secure due to the sensitive nature of the data that’s now on them. You can also take advantage of the Google Apps migration to establish better password security on all devices, including on-premise in addition to mobile.

1. Configure Training Resources to Suit your Enterprise’s Needs
Because Google Apps has such a comprehensive set of training resources, most enterprises won’t need to outsource trainers for their Google Apps migration. The resources are so wide-ranging, however, that IT will need to wade through them to highlight what’s most important and cut out any extraneous parts that could confuse users. Make sure that the team members leading the migration consult the Google Apps Change Management Guide before directing employees to the User Guides that will best suit their specific needs.

Don’t forget to back it up!
Once you’ve decided to “Go Google,” be sure to choose a Google Apps backup provider that’s scalable enough to cover server backup in addition to other systems you might add in the future (Office 365, Salesforce, etc.). Also look for a cloud restore system, like Cloudfinder, that provides cross-platform search capabilities for data management across multiple applications.


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