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Google's Enterprise Cloud Problem
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Lorna Garey
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Lorna Garey,
User Rank: Author
10/9/2013 | 2:33:17 PM
re: Google's Enterprise Cloud Problem
Have you or your company set up such a skunk-works trial? It sounds great in theory, I just wonder how you get really busy people (rising stars are by definition busy I think) to set aside the time. You'd need a C-level champion on the business side.
Jack N FranF583
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Jack N FranF583,
User Rank: Guru
10/8/2013 | 5:18:46 PM
re: Google's Enterprise Cloud Problem
Elsewhere on the internet it was stated that some Google employees are measurably 300 times more effective than average. Just because most employees do grunt work and cannot be trusted to collaborate is no reason that a CIO that wanted to keep his job for 3 more years should not set up a skunk-works of about a dozen 'rising stars' to see what they could do better than the grunts at preparing for the cloud.
Shane M. O'Neill
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Shane M. O'Neill,
User Rank: Author
10/8/2013 | 3:36:15 PM
re: Google's Enterprise Cloud Problem
I've been asking myself how I would feel if my company switched to Gmail/Google Apps tomorrow (we currently use Outlook). It would be a big transition even though I've used Gmail as personal email for six years! I think I'm stuck on the perception that Gmail is for play, Outlook is for work, and I kind of like it that way.
Rhese Hoylman
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Rhese Hoylman,
User Rank: Apprentice
10/8/2013 | 2:45:03 PM
re: Google's Enterprise Cloud Problem
Lorna: Yes, as a reseller we do have access to account managers, and an enterprise support system. However, anyone that is discussing a lack of support response from Google must not be referring to the Google Apps for Business product (maybe the personal products). Google Apps for Business includes ticketed, email and phone based support, and not only that, but it is at no-charge, and is available to all paid users for the core suite of products (Gmail, Calendar, Contacts, Docs/Drive, etc..). Google does ask that users reserve the phone support option for "critical" issues, but it is available if you need it. Additionally, if you work with a reseller on your implementation, then the reseller typically acts as a first line of support as well.
Google's Blog entry re support: http://googleenterprise.blogsp...

Regarding the UI changes.. yes, there are ongoing improvements and changes to the UI (applications are all always a work in progress). Again, there are procedures in place that allow you to manage how and when these changes are implemented on your account. Changes are announced in advance and organizations can elect to be on the "scheduled" release plan (vs. the rapid release plan). For our customers, we put them on the scheduled release plan thus allowing us to test the UI changes in advance and prepare the clients for the upcoming change with appropriate communication or training in advance. Actually this is a much better approach than traditional "Office" applications, where there is no real change or innovation for months or years, then one big massive complete change all at once. Users tend to get used to the gradual change on a constant basis rather than huge changes all at once.
More about Release Tracks in Google: http://whatsnew.googleapps.com...

Lastly I agree with the other comments here that users are generally resistant to change and that can be overcome with successful planning, training and follow-up during the migration process.
Lorna Garey
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Lorna Garey,
User Rank: Author
10/8/2013 | 1:30:36 PM
re: Google's Enterprise Cloud Problem
Indeed - printing is a big problem. That was a smart move on the Gmail, winning over an "influencer" - way to use those soft skills :->
Thomas Claburn
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Thomas Claburn,
User Rank: Author
10/8/2013 | 12:57:35 AM
re: Google's Enterprise Cloud Problem
Some of the resistance to Google Apps is simply that it's different (which is not the same as evaluating software and finding it worse). People don't like change.
x7c00
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x7c00,
User Rank: Apprentice
10/8/2013 | 12:50:35 AM
re: Google's Enterprise Cloud Problem
I also love Chromebooks although I have not been able to sell the idea to any clients. I think the delivery of a functional desktop is the future of computing. I'd be shocked if Microsoft didn't move in this direction when they finally get the O365 monster to a stable place.
Google has to give the ChromeBooks/boxes the ability to easily connect to a network attached printer. Google Cloud Print is one of the things killing the word of mouth buzz. I might as well be discussing Algebra when I tell people about Google Cloud print. It's the same look I get when explaining Apple AirPrint. You know the look. Don't lie.
x7c00
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x7c00,
User Rank: Apprentice
10/8/2013 | 12:30:32 AM
re: Google's Enterprise Cloud Problem
After observing hundreds of users who I switched to Google Apps I think It's not just the conversation mode thing or the changes in interface for no apparent reason - except to keep developers busy thing - It's that many people are adverse to change of any sort. The folks who complain the loudest about GMails' conversation mode or the flat 2d interface or the way buttons appear then disappear - no ribbon, no tabs, "Where's the button for ..." folks - are the same people who complained about every version of Outlook being different.
Some of this complaining is reasonable some is not. People are most comfortable with what they're familiar with - surprise! Some of us tech people are no different. I remember helping one lady with Gphobia and spending a lot of time patiently answering her questions that I had asked her to compile over a weeks' trial period. I had many of these questions myself when I first used Gmail. I needed to win her over because she was well liked and respected in the office and her opinion really mattered with the other workers - including the bosses. I offered to hook her Outlook up as the front end if, after 2 weeks, she still hated Gmail. She had nothing to loose. She eventually came to prefer Gmail and liked the fact that she was now the office Gmail Guru. This was not totally due to my scheming. She was/is smart and quick and just needed a little reassurance and tutoring. Winning over the key people pays off in fewer help desk calls and many fewer death stares when I enter an office.
I (Mr. Change is Good) on the other hand was pissed that same week when I noticed that Google had changed and reorganized the Google Apps management console - for no other reason than to keep their developers busy.
Please ask them to work on perfecting Excel conversion before they make anymore interface changes. Or perhaps they could send send some patient Google Peep down to earth to personally tutor and reassure me. Fat chance.

Tim
Drew Conry-Murray
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Drew Conry-Murray,
User Rank: Ninja
10/7/2013 | 9:13:07 PM
re: Google's Enterprise Cloud Problem
They do in my case. My wife loves Gmail but I'm uncomfortable with the UI, probably because I just don't use it all that often. I'm familiar and comfortable with Outlook and I'd be one of those die-hards if I found out it was going away in favor of Google.
WKash
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WKash,
User Rank: Author
10/7/2013 | 7:59:33 PM
re: Google's Enterprise Cloud Problem
One of the valuable lessons about what went right when the U.S. General Services Administration migrated 17,000 employees over to Google apps and email in the cloud was the intense attention to communication and training that preceded and accompanied the transition. GSA essentially moved everyone's email cheese. But they were smart in helping employees prepare for the move, and how to move with it.
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