Founded in 2006 by Huffington Post co-founder Jonah Peretti, BuzzFeed has quickly grown into a media powerhouse, serving up content to a global audience of more than 100 million. Combining breaking news coverage, viral videos and editorial content, BuzzFeed has managed to reimagine and reshape media for an online world.
Born in the Cloud
BuzzFeed’s approach to media is cutting-edge and so is its outlook on IT – the company was founded using Google Apps shortly after the suite went live. According to BuzzFeed’s IT Team Lead, Justine Bienkowski, the company ultimately chose Google Apps because of its ease of use, employees’ familiarity with Gmail’s interface and the lack of a need for on-premise email servers.
Getting Even More Out of Google Apps with BetterCloud
After operating on Google Apps for six years, BuzzFeed’s IT team decided to change the way the company used Google Groups, transitioning from using Groups as email aliases to Google Groups for Business. To do so, BuzzFeed needed to update all groups and permissions in bulk. Due to limitations in the Google Apps Admin console, Justine began searching for a third-party administrative tool and ultimately found BetterCloud.
Now the company uses BetterCloud for Group management and so much more. In fact, Justine has come to rely on BetterCloud so much that she refers to the application as the tool she never knew she needed until she had it.
User Offboarding Workflow
Whenever Justine and her IT team of four receive notice of a departing employee, they immediately go to BetterCloud’s offboarding tool. They rely heavily on the workflow, which allows IT admins to proceed “click by click” through a set of pre-determined steps. Justine and her colleagues also appreciate the deprovisioning tool’s custom checklist, which they’ve filled out with items like “Retrieve laptop” and “Obtain building access card.”
Prior to BetterCloud, Justine and the IT team relied on a spreadsheet that listed all the steps necessary to deprovision a user. “Now, BetterCloud reminds us to do everything that we need to do. It’s useful,” adds Justine, “because you can be really smart and awesome, but everyone forgets stuff sometimes – it’s nice to just have it all laid out.”
Similarly, Justine prefers BetterCloud’s user provisioning workflow to the native user creation setup offered in the Google Admin console.
Password Reset Policies
BuzzFeed also makes use of BetterCloud’s password policy tool, which forces all employees to change their Google Apps account password everything three months. While this is a smart and easy way to secure BuzzFeed’s Google Apps accounts, Justine must rely on BetterCloud to do so as “there is no way to do this natively in Google.”
Justine and her team are also using BetterCloud’s Apps Audit feature to explore third-party applications authorized by users in their domain. Before the tool was available through BetterCloud, Justine said she hadn’t even thought about what kind of applications were accessing their Google Apps data, but now that she has access to this information, she plans to use the tool heavily.
Google Drive Overview
To get a clear picture of any publicly shared documents on the BuzzFeed domain, Justine uses BetterCloud’s Google Drive visibility tools. “It’s nice to see exactly what is public facing and if there’s something that needs to be rectified I can either contact the user or update the sharing settings myself.”
Email Signature Standardization
In the future, Justine plans to roll out BetterCloud’s email signature standardization tool in coordination with the company’s marketing department. She says the tool will be handy for updating contact information for employees in different offices and will easily create a standardized look without having to “hound” employees.
Typically, Justine keeps BetterCloud open in a tab all day long in case she needs to create a user, deprovision an employee or update a group. She relies on BetterCloud every day because it “takes the tools given in the Google Apps Admin console and makes them better.”
For more on how BuzzFeed uses BetterCloud, read 6 Ways BuzzFeed Uses BetterCloud to Manage Google Apps.