Friday, 21 November 2014

Two useful features in Google Business you might have overlooked.

Today I had a very nice chat with Google Business tech. support. I was completely blown away by their excellent service. My technical issue quickly got sorted and afterwards the friendly Google techie asked if I had any other questions regarding the Google Business apps. No rush, so a few things came to mind and I asked away. Ten minutes later I had learned some new tricks for managing my company with Google Business. My original issue required a fair portion of techno babble to get it explained, but no problem either. The solution I was offered was furthermore so simple that I felt like a complete idiot for not thinking of it myself. I could have handled it all myself without any tech. support. Oh well, I got a nice chat out of it and learned two really useful new things :)

"So what is point to all of this?... Is there a point? Let's make a point" --- Bill Hicks
Indeed Bill, let's. I thought this was worth a post for the following two reasons:

  1. Just as inspiration and a kind reminder to other business professionals. From my personal experience I would say that about 80% of the calls I make to customer service centres (both tech. and non-tech.) ends up being horrifyingly frustrating experiences. Especially Danish companies let me down time after time. Being of service to their customers should be the top concern of any business. They are the reason they exist.
  2. The two things I learned, obviously! They are up next!

Managing your multiple Google+ profiles

I started using Google Business some years go. In fact, as soon as I learned about I wanted it, because who doesn't want Gmail, Google Calendar, etc. at the work place? I have never liked the Microsoft Office products and Lotus Notes makes we want to hang myself. So Google Business it is, and it is dirt cheap! I love the Google services (at least from a geeky/efficiency/convenience point of view), and I use them every day, all day. Multiple Google accounts, that is, multiple e-mail addresses and calendars are fine. That makes sense. One for work, one for private, for instance. I actually have three Google accounts (two work, one personal). But then Google+ was launched... I sat down and made my personal profile, with all my circles, and that serves as my single personal G+ profile. But I have two more profiles! Google+ for Business is an awesome collaboration tool and good social community tool inside companies, but why did they force those business profiles to be publicly available!? I constantly have people adding my business accounts to their circles but I never share outside the company with them, and why would I? And I don't follow them on my phone, just like I don't have work mail on my private phone because that is stress suicide. I work all the time but I don't need to stress about it as well. So I really don't feel like maintaining three profiles with three sets of circles. Well, good news. You can now prevent that! If you are an administrator you can log in and prevent the company G+ profiles from being listed in public G+ searches.

Here's the link (courtesy of the excellent Google techie):

The individual employees can still contact people outside your domain, which is practical for video conferencing, customer service, and so on. Each employee can also choose to be listed publicly, if they so wish, and if someone has your company G+ profile URL or your work e-mail they can still directly add you. I still wish that I could could make my other two profiles completely invisible to the outside world and that I would have to e-mail a one-time URL in meeting invitations for on-line conference calls. But the biggest problem for me is now solved.

This feature did not exist when I signed up and configured my company account, and I never noticed that it was added. So now I am free from future G+ profile confusion! :) Hopefully this will please others just as much as it pleases me.

Secondary domains beats aliases.

Also, back when I started using the services you could not add multiple domains to your company account unless they were to all function as aliases for your primary account. That is still a great feature since you often have multiple domains (.com, .net, national extensions, etc.) but all for the same company, website, e-mail, etc.. However, large corporations will need more than aliases and secondary domains might be just what they need. Instead of creating your other domains as aliases of the primary domain you can add them completely separated from it. Now you can create individual users on different domains but also still add all domains to certain users if that is what you want. I can see many practical applications for this for large international corporation but without adding any complexity at all.

Here is the link to the configuration guide:

Many large companies probably wont need secondary domains because they have their own servers and IT departments, but that is changing, and quickly. Get your company cloud based! It is so much cheaper, more convenient and the customer service is apparently great! :)