Google Apps highlights – 11/12/2010

Five new themes available in Gmail
Some people are happy with the classic white and blue color scheme in Gmail, others like to spice things up and make their inbox feel a little more personal. Last week we added five more themes to choose from in Gmail, bringing the total to over 35 designs. Take a look, maybe you’re in the mood for a floral backdrop or something more playful like this new Marker theme.

Visualizing character-by-character document co-editing
From day one, Google Docs allowed multiple people to work on the same document together at the same time from different computers. But until you experience this for yourself, it’s hard to understand how much time this can save. Imagine being able to work together without the hassles of shuttling attachments back and forth, and reconciling people’s edits each time. If you’re a Google Docs newbie, we think this video we created last week helps bring the possibilities to life.

The business value of faster collaboration
We recently commissioned the help of Forrester Consulting to measure the “Total Economic Impact” of Google Apps that customers can expect over three years by moving from traditional technologies to the cloud. While we encourage you to assess the potential impact for yourself, Forrester’s analysis (PDF) found that with Google Apps, a typical large business of 18,000 employees experiences:

  • Productivity gains even larger than cost savings
  • Ove 300% return on investment
  • Break-even under seven months
  • Total economic impact over $10,000,000 (NPV)

Service activity graphs for administrators
To give administrators a window into how users in their organizations are collaborating in new ways, last Tuesday we added service activity graphs to the Google Apps control panel. These charts make it easy for organizations to quickly spot usage trends that they might not have anticipated and make adjustments accordingly, like scaling back technical support for legacy technologies.

App Tuesday: eight new applications to choose from in the Apps Marketplace
The Google Apps Marketplace is where third-party software developers list their applications that integrate seamlessly with Google Apps—and the number of offerings in the Marketplace continues to grow. On Tuesday, we added eight new applications ranging from personal relationship management and administrative tools to idea management and Google Site management solutions.

Who’s gone Google?
It’s been two weeks since the last update here, which means tens of thousands of businesses, schools and organizations have moved to the cloud with Google Apps. Small businesses around the world like Belle and Rollo and YETI Coolers turn to Google Apps, so they can focus on business instead of managing complex technology. Companies like National Geographic save money in a tough economy with Google Apps, while giving their most demanding mobile workers better tools to work efficiently. And universities like NYU are joining the Google Apps family to give students the modern, web-based tools that allow people to work together in more collaborative ways. To all, a warm welcome!

I hope these updates help you and your organization get even more from Google Apps. For details and the latest news in this area, check out the Google Apps Blog.

Posted by Jeremy Milo

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