Saturday, October 1, 2011

[G] YouTube Creator Playbook: Get the audience to subscribe

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YouTube Blog: YouTube Creator Playbook: Get the audience to subscribe

This is part of an ongoing series sharing tips from the YouTube Creator Playbook, a resource of best practices and tips you can start using on your channel and videos right away.



If you’ve got great videos to share, help your channel grow by letting people know how they can subscribe and see them all. Subscribers can become your core audience for views, likes and comments, and especially your first wave of feedback on your videos. Here’s a few things to consider as your looking at your subscribers:



Provide great content on a regular schedule that viewers won’t want to miss. It gives your something to look forward to, and new fans can know what to expect.



Ask them! If your videos include a personality or someone who talks directly to the audience, just ask your viewers to subscribe to your channel. Don’t over do it, and have a good reason for why they should. Here’s a few ideas how to do it:







Use Annotations: Add annotations to your videos that link to subscribe buttons for your channel. This is a good way to encourage your viewers to subscribe if you aren’t on camera to ask them directly.



Make it easy to subscribe on your channel page. You already have one subscribe button on your channel page, but if you build it into your banner image and other parts of the channel design you give viewers more opportunities to subscribe. You can also share the subscription love with your fellow YouTubers and cross-promote other channels by enabling the ‘other channels’ module. Here’s an example from College Humor that shows related channels for their audience:







Try out some of the suggestions above and learn even more in the YouTube Creator Playbook.



Ryan Nugent, Audience Development Strategist, recently watched “Scared Scared Scared by Gavin Castleton.”


URL: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/youtube/PKJx/~3/vO8OMvh76UM/youtube-creator-playbook-get-audience.html

[G] AdWords Top Contributor Summit

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Inside AdWords: AdWords Top Contributor Summit



Global Top Contributor Summit: real people behind user names and friendly smiles instead of emoticons. Meeting offline for the first time! 

As you may have read in the official Google blog, the Global Top Contributor Summit recently took place in sunny California. This two-day event brought together for the first time over 250 Top Contributors from Google forums. Top Contributors are longtime members of the Google Help Forums who, over time, have distinguished themselves as true experts by providing helpful tips, advice, and support to other forum visitors.

In this blog post we wanted to tell you more about the AdWords Top Contributors (TCs) and the AdWords portion of the summit. Thirty-five AdWords Top Contributors from AdWords forums in 17 languages took part in the Summit. Coming from around the world, they had a unique chance to meet the AdWords Community Leads, along with Google management and engineering teams.



Alan Eustace talks about Google's focus on users and the importance of their feedback.

The first day of the summit was a gathering of all product Top Contributors. It offered presentations from Google's SVP of Knowledge Alan Eustace, product team managers and the Google Help Forum team. Googlers and TCs also had the opportunity to discuss the future of Google's online communities. The day ended with a ceremony to recognize outstanding Top Contributors.



Google and Top Contributors: collaboration in action

The second day was fully dedicated to AdWords. TCs met with the marketing and product teams to discuss product updates and future collaboration plans. During the Q&A session with the product team, TCs once again showed their outstanding product knowledge and interest in AdWords. We heard passionate discussion between the TCs and Product Managers on to how the next version of AdWords Editor should look. Once the general sessions were over, the participants split into groups with Googlers to brainstorm future initiatives and plans. Lastly, the management team of AdWords recognized the TCs for being the most active, creative and professional members of AdWords communities. In short, the day was filled with tough questions, constructive feedback, a sneak peek of upcoming product features, and well-deserved recognition.

The Summit went by fast, but left behind many joyful memories, new friends, and great feedback. We were touched to hear how much Top Contributors appreciated the opportunity to come to summit. "I've no words to describe how proud I am, to be part of this group of so extraordinary people. From outside… someone could think AdWords TCs are people who think only on how to earn money… no heart… no altruism…. What I've seen is really the opposite. I see collaboration, friendship, respect. Really, really, thank you very much to everybody," -- Andrea, Italy

Thank you all for coming!
AdWords Community Team



Posted by Andrew Truong, Inside AdWords crew
URL: http://adwords.blogspot.com/2011/09/global-top-contributor-summit-real.html

[G] A look at how display builds brands for marketers today

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Inside AdWords: A look at how display builds brands for marketers today

Last week, we shared examples of how direct response marketers are driving strong results with display advertising. But you’ve heard it before -- beyond driving immediate clicks and conversions, display builds brands. And as digital budgets accelerate, for an increasingly growing number of brands, display advertising has become an important part of their strategy. In fact, in the recently conducted Advertiser Intelligence Reports study, by Advertiser Perceptions, advertisers are planning on spending more digital display dollars in the next 12 months for brand goals than direct response.1

So this week, we’re turning our attention to pioneering brands who used display advertising as a critical component in their overall marketing mix to connect with their audience, engage them emotionally, and as a result, drive meaningful results. Let’s take a cl
oser look.

Animal Planet attracted 1.6MM viewers for the season premiere of River Monsters, putting it in the #1 spot among its target audience, by running an integrated video and rich media campaign across YouTube, AdMob, and the Google Display Network. (read case study)



Volvo drove an 88% lift in purchase intent for its new S60 sedan by leveraging the YouTube homepage and masthead unit, interactive video ads on AdMob, and standard IAB ads on the Google Display Network. (read case study)



Sealy reinvented its Posturepedic brand using YouTube promoted video ads and in-stream video ads, which drove 46% of its website traffic during the first week of the campaign. (read case study)


At OMMA Global this week, we shared a simple framework for brand building that we developed after analyzing the campaigns of our most successful brand advertisers. These “better practices” focus on three key areas: connecting with the right consumer at the right moment, delivering an engaging message, and measuring the metrics that matter.

Connecting with the right consumer at the right moment. As consumers continue to access the internet more frequently throughout the day, from a multitude of devices, it’s increasingly important for brand marketers to create device-inclusive, rather than device-specific, campaigns. And by targeting a combination of audience and contextual signals, it’s now easier than ever to reach the right person, at the right time, on the right device through the Google Display Network or DoubleClick AdExchange.

Engaging them emotionally. The best display ads don’t just leverage sight, sound, and motion, but also harness display’s interactive capabilities that drive deep engagement with a brand. Our research shows that rich media ads drive significantly better brand performance than standard Flash ads--1.7X for brand awareness, 2.7X in purchase intent, and 5X increase in brand favorability.2 We also see that newer ad formats, like mobile display and in-stream video, are even more effective at moving consumers down the brand funnel. Lastly, we’ve seen masthead ads on the YouTube homepage garner an 11% interaction rate and drive a 4X lift in engagement compared to standard ads.3

Measuring more robustly. Looking beyond simple clicks and conversions, brand marketers use Campaign Insights to measure increased awareness and interest through the lift in search queries and website visits. Paired with Google Analytics and Multi-Channel Funnels, advertisers can see a complete picture of the chain of online and offline media that drives brand engagement. And to close the loop, many of our brands match geo-targeted display campaigns to offline sales to measure the true impact of a display ad campaign.

More and more studies show that brand marketers who focus on these three levers see the the greatest return on their display ad investment. With display’s ability to connect more precisely with your target consumer, engage more emotionally with interactive messages, and measure robust metrics along all parts of the purchase funnel, it’s no wonder that display builds brands.

Watch this space.
google.com/watchthisspace

(1) Advertiser Intelligence Reports (AIR) study, Advertiser Perceptions, August 2011
(2) The Brand Value of Video and Rich Media Ads, DoubleClick, September 2011
(3) YouTube Homepage Impact Study, Compete, December 2010

Posted by Brian Zeug, National Sales Director, Display and Video
URL: http://adwords.blogspot.com/2011/09/look-at-how-display-builds-brands-for.html

[G] Helping larger businesses make the most of Google’s cloud services

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Official Google Enterprise Blog: Helping larger businesses make the most of Google’s cloud services

Posted by Rahul Sood, Global Head of Enterprise Partnerships

Today, we’re making it easier for larger businesses to use Google’s cloud services by announcing the Cloud Transformation Program.

With the Cloud Transformation Program, we’ve identified select Google partners that can help you get the most out of Google’s cloud services, including Google App Engine, Google Storage for Developers, Google Apps Script and Google Prediction API. Initially, Cloud Transformation Program partners will offer customized solutions in the following areas:
  • Cloud-based applications such as websites, mobile apps, social media apps, business process apps and customer-facing web apps built using Google App Engine and Google Apps Script
  • Predictive solutions such as fraud detection, customer sentiment analysis, and customer churn prediction built using Google Prediction API
  • Enterprise storage solutions such as storage for applications, data sharing and high-reliability backup built using Google Storage for Developers
Over time, we expect that partners will expand their focus as we add new cloud services.

We’re excited to have CSC, Cloud Sherpas, Cognizant, Opera Solutions, Razorfish, SADA Systems and TempusNova as our initial Cloud Transformation Program partners. These partners all have deep expertise and a proven track record of success helping businesses make the most of their IT investments, so we appreciate their support. To learn how you can use Google’s cloud services in your business, please contact one of our partners directly.
URL: http://googleenterprise.blogspot.com/2011/09/helping-larger-businesses-make-most-of.html

[G] Helicopter view of your driving directions on Google Maps

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Google LatLong: Helicopter view of your driving directions on Google Maps

Getting directions is one of the most popular features on Google Maps, whether it be for driving, walking, biking or transit. Today, we are launching a new feature that allows you to bring your upcoming trip to life, by allowing you to preview your route in 3D.

Let’s say you’re planning a road trip down the beautiful coast of California’s Highway 1 and want to be able to see what the route really looks like. California’s rugged coastline is not to be missed, but the top-down view really doesn’t give you a good sense of what this majestic terrain is like. Using the 3D preview; however, you can get aerial view of the route, as if you were in a helicopter flying above the road.


To preview your own route, it is as simple as clicking on a button. Start by entering your starting point, destination, and mode of transport like any directions; in this case, driving directions from ‘Carmel CA to Big Sur CA.’ Then, just click on the “3D” play button. The map will switch to Earth view and automatically start flying you along your recommended route.


You can pause the flight at any time by clicking anywhere in the 3D view or on the pause button in the lower left. While the flight is paused, you can explore the surrounding area in 3D by clicking and dragging the map. When you are ready to resume the flight, simply click on the play button in the lower left of the 3D view.

To help you keep track of which step you are on, the current leg of the trip is highlighted in the left panel. You can also jump to a different part of the trip by clicking on a different step.


You can get back to 2D mode by clicking on the “2D” button in the left panel at any time.

We hope you enjoy your flight.

Paul Yang, Google Maps engineer
URL: http://google-latlong.blogspot.com/2011/09/helicopter-view-of-your-driving.html

Friday, September 30, 2011

[G] How online display ads build brands for marketers today

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Official Google CPG Blog: How online display ads build brands for marketers today

Last week, we shared examples of how direct response marketers are driving strong results with display advertising. But you’ve heard it before -- beyond driving immediate clicks and conversions, display builds brands. And as digital budgets accelerate, for an increasingly growing number of brands, display advertising has become an important part of their strategy. In fact, in the recently conducted Advertiser Intelligence Reports study, by Advertiser Perceptions, advertisers are planning on spending more digital display dollars in the next 12 months for brand goals than direct response.1

So this week, we’re turning our attention to pioneering brands who used display advertising as a critical component in their overall marketing mix to connect with their audience, engage them emotionally, and as a result, drive meaningful results. Let’s take a cl
oser look.

Animal Planet attracted 1.6MM viewers for the season premiere of River Monsters, putting it in the #1 spot among its target audience, by running an integrated video and rich media campaign across YouTube, AdMob, and the Google Display Network. (read case study)



Volvo drove an 88% lift in purchase intent for its new S60 sedan by leveraging the YouTube homepage and masthead unit, interactive video ads on AdMob, and standard IAB ads on the Google Display Network. (read case study)



Sealy reinvented its Posturepedic brand using YouTube promoted video ads and in-stream video ads, which drove 46% of its website traffic during the first week of the campaign. (read case study)


At OMMA Global this week, we shared a simple framework for brand building that we developed after analyzing the campaigns of our most successful brand advertisers. These “better practices” focus on three key areas: connecting with the right consumer at the right moment, delivering an engaging message, and measuring the metrics that matter.

Connecting with the right consumer at the right moment. As consumers continue to access the internet more frequently throughout the day, from a multitude of devices, it’s increasingly important for brand marketers to create device-inclusive, rather than device-specific, campaigns. And by targeting a combination of audience and contextual signals, it’s now easier than ever to reach the right person, at the right time, on the right device through the Google Display Network or DoubleClick AdExchange.

Engaging them emotionally. The best display ads don’t just leverage sight, sound, and motion, but also harness display’s interactive capabilities that drive deep engagement with a brand. Our research shows that rich media ads drive significantly better brand performance than standard Flash ads--1.7X for brand awareness, 2.7X in purchase intent, and 5X increase in brand favorability.2 We also see that newer ad formats, like mobile display and in-stream video, are even more effective at moving consumers down the brand funnel. Lastly, we’ve seen masthead ads on the YouTube homepage garner an 11% interaction rate and drive a 4X lift in engagement compared to standard ads.3

Measuring more robustly. Looking beyond simple clicks and conversions, brand marketers use Campaign Insights to measure increased awareness and interest through the lift in search queries and website visits. Paired with Google Analytics and Multi-Channel Funnels, advertisers can see a complete picture of the chain of online and offline media that drives brand engagement. And to close the loop, many of our brands match geo-targeted display campaigns to offline sales to measure the true impact of a display ad campaign.

More and more studies show that brand marketers who focus on these three levers see the the greatest return on their display ad investment. With display’s ability to connect more precisely with your target consumer, engage more emotionally with interactive messages, and measure robust metrics along all parts of the purchase funnel, it’s no wonder that display builds brands.

Watch this space.
google.com/watchthisspace

(1) Advertiser Intelligence Reports (AIR) study, Advertiser Perceptions, August 2011
(2) The Brand Value of Video and Rich Media Ads, DoubleClick, September 2011
(3) YouTube Homepage Impact Study, Compete, December 2010

Posted by Brian Zeug, National Sales Director, Display and Video

URL: http://google-cpg.blogspot.com/2011/09/how-online-display-ads-build-brands-for.html

[G] Google News launches redesign in UK and India

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Google News Blog: Google News launches redesign in UK and India

Posted by Scott Zuccarino, Product Manager

Starting today, we’ll be rolling out changes to some international versions of Google News in an effort to unify the News experience across editions. As in the U.S. version, these changes offer richer visual navigation, help you find trending and popular news more easily, give you the option to further customize your news experience, and allow you to share pieces you care about in a simpler way.

We’ve also been working to give you a closer relationship with the publishers you love, who can now highlight some of their most compelling content right on your Google News homepage.

In order to bring you the best Google News experience possible, we’ll be periodically refreshing select editions, starting with the U.K. and India. We hope you enjoy these enhancements. As always, please feel free to submit your feedback or visit our Help Center if you have more questions.
URL: http://googlenewsblog.blogspot.com/2011/09/google-news-launches-redesign-in-uk-and.html

[G] It’s now easier to set up Google Analytics Site Search tracking for your Custom Search Engine

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Google Analytics Blog: It’s now easier to set up Google Analytics Site Search tracking for your Custom Search Engine

Cross-posted from the Google Custom Search blog

Google Analytics Site Search reports provide extensive data on how people search your site once they are already on it.  You can see initial searches, refinements, search trends, which pages they searched from, where they ended up, and conversion correlation.  In the past we admit that setup was a little challenging, but we’re happy to announce that now we’ve made it easy to setup Site Search tracking directly from your Custom Search Engine.

If you are already a Google Analytics user (and your site has the Google Analytics tracking code on its pages), go to the Custom Search Engine management page, select your CSE’s control panel and click on Google Analytics from the left-hand menu. We’ll display a list of your Google Analytics web properties so you can select one and tell us the query and category parameters that you want to track.

Once you save your changes, we’ll generate a new code snippet.  Copy it from the Get Code page, paste it into your site and setup is complete!

You can then access Site Search reports from the Content section of Google Analytics.

Happy analyzing!  If needed, you can find help with setup here and an explanation of the differences between Google Analytics and Custom Search statistics here. Let us know what you think in our discussion forum.

Posted by Zhong Wang, Software Engineer
URL: http://analytics.blogspot.com/2011/09/its-now-easier-to-set-up-google.html

[G] This week's Trends: space, holidays, and pranks

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YouTube Blog: This week's Trends: space, holidays, and pranks

Each weekday, we at YouTube Trends take a look at the most interesting videos and cultural phenomena on YouTube as they develop. We want take a moment to highlight some of what we've come across this week:

  • We studied a trend of popular composite videos created from photos taken in space.



  • We collected some of the popular Rosh Hashanah music video parodies being watched during the Jewish New Year.



  • We looked at how U.S. "X Factor" contestant Chris Rene jumped to popularity.



  • CBS News' The Feed examined the rising phenomenon of globally-popular Russian cat videos.



  • We tracked footage being posted from the "Occupy Wall Street" protests in NYC.



  • And this Carlsberg prank from Belgium became a global hit:







Check back every day for the latest about what's trending on YouTube at: www.YouTube.com/Trends



Kevin Allocca, YouTube Trends Manager, recently watched "29 years old and hearing myself for the 1st time!."


URL: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/youtube/PKJx/~3/EPhbHYQ9T0E/this-weeks-trends-space-holidays-and.html

[G] Problems with Microsoft Security Essentials

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Google Chrome Blog: Problems with Microsoft Security Essentials

Earlier today, we learned that the Microsoft Security Essentials tool began falsely identifying Google Chrome as a piece of malware ("PWS:Win32/Zbot") and removing it from people's computers.

If Chrome is working correctly for you, then there’s no need to take any action.

We are releasing an update that will automatically repair Chrome for affected users over the course of the next 24 hours. In the meantime, if you want to fix the problem with Microsoft Security Essentials and restore Chrome manually, please follow the instructions below.

How do I know if I am affected?

To repeat, if Chrome is working correctly for you, you don’t need to do anything. If you’re unable to launch Chrome or load new web pages, then you may be affected.

What actions can I take to fix this?

1. First, you need to update the signature files used by Microsoft Security Essentials on your computer. You need to do this before re-installing Chrome!

Run Security Essentials by opening your Start Menu, finding the “Security Essentials” program, and clicking the icon to launch it:


(You may also be able to open Security Essentials using its icon in the Windows system tray, near the clock.)

When Security Essentials loads, click the Update tab in Security Essentials, and press the large Update button:



Once complete, you can verify the update by clicking the triangle next to Help, selecting “About Security Essentials” and verifying that the “Antispyware definition” is 1.113.672.0 or higher.

Note (for advanced users): You can also update the signature files via the command line by running:

cmd.exe /c "%ProgramFiles%\Microsoft Security Client\Antimalware\MpCmdRun.exe" -SignatureUpdate

2. Next, you will need to un-install and re-install Chrome using the platform-specific instructions below.

Windows XP:
1. Click Start, click Control Panel, and then double-click Add or Remove Programs.


2. In the Currently installed programs box, select Google Chrome and click the Remove button.

3. If you are prompted to confirm the removal of the program, click Yes. By default, your local browsing data will not be deleted. Make sure you do not accidentally check the box labeled “Also delete your browsing data?”.


4. Visit www.google.com/chrome in another browser to download and install a fresh copy of Google Chrome.

Windows 7:

1. Click on the Start button , and select Control Panel

2. Click Programs (or Programs -> Programs and Features)



3. Select Google Chrome from the list of programs

4. Click the Uninstall button at the top of the list. By default, your local browsing data will not be deleted. Make sure you do not accidentally check the box labeled “Also delete your browsing data?”.


5. Visit www.google.com/chrome in another browser to download and install a fresh copy of Google Chrome.

Windows Vista:

1. Click the Start button , and select Control Panel

2. Click Programs (or Programs -> Programs and Features)


3. Select Google Chrome from the list of programs.

4. Click the Uninstall button located above the list. By default, your local browsing data will not be deleted. Make sure you do not accidentally check the box labeled “Also delete your browsing data?”.


5. Visit www.google.com/chrome in another browser to download and install a fresh copy of Google Chrome.


To repeat, we are releasing an update that will automatically repair Chrome for affected users over the course of the next 24 hours.

Posted by Mark Larson, Engineering Manager
URL: http://chrome.blogspot.com/2011/09/problems-with-microsoft-security.html

[G] Go hands-on with a Chromebook in London

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Google Chrome Blog: Go hands-on with a Chromebook in London

Many things in life, like football and rock music, are best experienced in person. Chromebooks are no exception.

So this week in London, we opened our first Chromebook experience inside a retail store. The brand new Chrome Zone is located inside the PC World / Currys superstore on Tottenham Court Road. Spend time with a Chromebook, discover cool web apps and chat with our Chrome specialists.

We’ll be opening Chrome Zones in additional locations in the United Kingdom over the next few months, so stay tuned. If you’re in London, do drop by and say hello!



Posted by Laura Thompson, Product Marketing Manager
URL: http://chrome.blogspot.com/2011/09/go-hands-on-with-chromebook-in-london.html

[G] OnTheFly™ 1.2 for Android just made it easier to plan your trip

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Official Google Mobile Blog: OnTheFly™ 1.2 for Android just made it easier to plan your trip

(Cross-posted on the ITA Software by Google blog)

We just released the latest version of OnTheFly™, our airfare shopping mobile app, for Android. One of the new features in v1.2 is flexible date search, which enables you to browse 35 days of potential departure dates on a calendar combined with an interactive “temperature” graph.


You can also save and access search history now, including particular itineraries of interest. We’ll even check price changes for those itineraries so you can know the best time to plan that dream trip.

If you haven’t already tried OnTheFly, you can download it for free from Android Market or the App Store. OnTheFly for use with BlackBerry (OS 4.6+) can be accessed at http://bbmatrix.itasoftware.com.

Posted by Stefan Frank, Product Manager
URL: http://googlemobile.blogspot.com/2011/09/onthefly-12-for-android-just-made-it.html

[G] Google Apps helps Philz Coffee focus on brewing the perfect cup

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Official Google Enterprise Blog: Google Apps helps Philz Coffee focus on brewing the perfect cup

Posted by Jacob Jaber, President, Philz Coffee

Editor’s Note: To celebrate National Coffee Day, today’s guest blogger is Jacob Jaber, President for Philz Coffee based in California.


In the late 1970s, my father Phil experimented with coffee blending at a grocery store on the corner of Folsom and 24th in San Francisco’s Mission district. He combined beans of multiple origins and brewed them one cup at a time. Since then, “Philz Coffee” has opened up seven more locations, hired 120 employees, and garnered a very loyal following. By this time next year, we expect to have six more locations and twice the number of employees so it’s very important that our operations and systems keep up.

We decided to check out Google Apps because our old system tied us to individual computers and wasn’t user friendly. In 20 minutes I set up Google Apps, gave everyone their usernames and passwords, and our 30 managers across all store locations were instantly connected. From day one, we’ve used chat in Gmail to ask quick questions, just like we would if we were all in the same room. I can now go on any computer in the world and it feels like I’m in the office, without actually needing to be in the office.

Google Docs has been critical to how we work. We recently streamlined our supply chain operations, and it was very helpful to have all the planning notes in a doc, allowing the different branch managers to edit at the same time, in the same version. We also created different docs to improve the freshness of our coffee beans by tracking how long they stay in the warehouse. We do a lot of qualitative reporting at Philz too, so we’re creating a Docs template that will help us aggregate customer reviews, form focus categories, make priority lists, and establish timelines.

With Google Calendar, my assistant doesn’t waste time managing my schedule because it’s so easy for me to do it myself. For monthly management meetings, I can see everyone’s calendar, select a time that works, and easily change it later or send out updates to attendees via email. There’s no more back and forth—everything just happens much quicker. With Google Search built right into Gmail and Docs, I can find what I’m looking for almost instantly. It doesn’t matter how long ago it was written or read.

I know that Google Apps will innovate, grow with us, and let me focus on brewing the perfect cup of coffee. It’s good for us now, and it’ll be good for us when we have 1,000 employees, too.
URL: http://googleenterprise.blogspot.com/2011/09/google-apps-helps-philz-coffee-focus-on.html

[G] Google Apps data protections - verified by third parties

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Official Google Enterprise Blog: Google Apps data protections - verified by third parties

Posted by Eran Feigenbaum, Director of Security, Google Enterprise

Editors note: This post is part of a series that explores the top ten reasons why customers trust Google with their business data. A complete top ten list can be found here.

We believe our customers should have lots of visibility into how we protect the data that is stored in Google Apps. And while it’s one thing for us to tell you how we protect the data, as we do in our blog posts and security white paper, it’s also helpful when independent third parties perform inspections and audits.

Cloud computing companies use the the SSAE 16 Type II audit, and its international counterpart ISAE 3402 Type II audit, to document and verify the data protections in place for their services. These auditing standards are defined by the The American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) and the the International Auditing and Assurance Standards Board (IAASB), respectively. These audit standards have replaced the SAS 70 Type II audit, which Google Apps first completed in 2008. In our audits, we specify the confidentiality, integrity and availability controls that our customers are most concerned about, which are then verified by our auditors. We recently announced that we’ve successfully completed the SSAE 16 and ISAE 3204 Type II audits for Google Apps, Postini services, Google Apps Script, Google Storage for Developers and Google App Engine.

Google Apps for Government has also received Federal Information Security Management Act (FISMA) certification from the U.S. Government. The FISMA certification includes a rigorous evaluation of the security processes and data protections in place in Google Apps for Government and is required by U.S. federal government customers, who must comply with FISMA by law.

Third party audits are only part of the security and compliance benefits of Google Apps. For more information visit our Google Apps security page.
URL: http://googleenterprise.blogspot.com/2011/09/google-apps-data-protections-verified.html

[G] The City of Mesquite has gone Google

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Official Google Enterprise Blog: The City of Mesquite has gone Google

Posted by Dirk Marshall, IT Manager for the City of Mesquite

Editors note: Today our guest blogger is Dirk Marshall, IT Manager for the City of Mesquite, Nevada. We’ll hear from Dirk on the benefits the city is enjoying by migrating 180 users to Google Apps.

Situated in picturesque Clark County, Nevada, the City of Mesquite features a thriving community, seven premier golf courses, lush casino resorts and a growing population of happy retirees.

Faced with growing budget constraints, the City was ready to upgrade its aging infrastructure and reduce IT overhead costs. We were looking specifically for a better way to align our technology with the productivity needs of our employees and simplify our IT systems. We were already maintaining two networks, Microsoft and Novell GroupWise, to meet our needs. As you can imagine, the licensing and maintenance fees for two different sets of servers were quite high.

The City of Mesquite has 180 employees, all of whom rely extensively on email and calendar. For example, there is heavy calendar sharing between management and their assistants, and many departments rely on resource scheduling for conference rooms and technical properties. During our cloud technology evaluation process, we focused on finding a platform that could maintain or enhance these features. Google Apps proved to be a cost-effective suite of applications that supported our work flows.

The switch to Google Apps has been widely accepted by city employees. Compared to Novell GroupWise, email management is easier and we have improved collaboration. Employees can co-edit documents in real time from different locations using Google Docs, which greatly reduces our need to meet face-to-face for certain projects. They also benefit from being able to access applications, emails and files from their mobile devices. The city departments used to send monthly PDF reports to the Mayor and Council, but now they are using Google Sites to share department news updates and statistics in a more graphical and easily accessible way.

The Google Apps platform has been both flexible and incredibly easy to use. With the help of our Google Apps implementation partner SADA Systems, we developed custom tools to easily activate important features and calendars for new users. This allows our employees to get up to speed more quickly and start collaborating productively sooner.

In addition to realizing important cost savings, we were also able to simplify our IT infrastructure and free up IT admin resources by moving to the cloud. The tedious and time consuming email backups and data recovery processes were eliminated. We were able to get rid of our Novell-dedicated servers and reduce our on-premise server count by six. With the time and resources saved, our IT team can focus on other critical missions to better support our government.
URL: http://googleenterprise.blogspot.com/2011/09/city-of-mesquite-has-gone-google.html

[G] Google Apps helps clients and attorneys collaborate at California law firm

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Official Google Enterprise Blog: Google Apps helps clients and attorneys collaborate at California law firm

Posted by Eric Hunter, Director of Knowledge Strategy and Technology at Bradford & Barthel, LLP

Editors note: Today’s guest blogger is Eric Hunter, Director of Knowledge Strategy and Technology at Bradford & Barthel, LLP, a mid-size law firm in Southern California. See what other organizations that have gone Google have to say.

In the legal industry we have a concept called law2020 - the idea that technology and the economy are causing law firms to change the way they run their businesses to survive in the next decade. Technology like Google Apps and social applications are creating a culture where the legal industry is much more connected with clients and clients have much more access to information about the law. Our primary reason for investigating Google Apps back in 2009 was to start preparing our firm to keep up with this new culture of constant communication and to help employees enhance client relationships through better sharing and collaboration.

Since we migrated to Google Apps in April 2010, we’ve made collaboration much easier and more efficient through the use of Google Sites, Google Docs, and shared Google calendars. Our attorneys have found Google Apps to be intuitive and flexible. With Google Apps, constant innovation comes with the package and we’re pleased by how many new features have been introduced over the past year and a half: priority inbox, offline access and page-level permissions in Google Sites, to name a few. As part of our competitive strategy moving forward, our goal is to use Google’s video, voice, and social tools to enhance collaboration both internally and with our clients.

We use Google Sites and Docs as our intranet and portals with our clients. As a result of this improved communication, we’ve seen improved efficiency across our departments, areas of practice, and externally with our clients. Teams are collaborating directly with clients when developing new business and during trials and depositions.

As a law firm handling confidential information for our clients, Bradford & Barthel takes security extremely seriously. We’re responsible for private information on individuals and companies and our best security option is Google Apps. Google has many security features - SAS70 Type II certification and two step verification included - that allow us to feel confident our data and the data of our clients is much safer than if we hosted it on premise.

Google Apps allows Bradford & Barthel to adapt and succeed in the digital age as we move towards the year 2020. We’re continually improving our knowledge sharing and collaboration tools. We’ve already seen a lot of productivity improvements and stronger relationships with our clients, and our firm’s approach to business is evolving as we continue to realize the benefits of technology in the legal industry.
URL: http://googleenterprise.blogspot.com/2011/09/google-apps-helps-clients-and-attorneys.html