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FlashPanel Rewind: A Look Back at the Most Popular FlashPanel Features of 2012

David Politis

January 3, 2013

4 minute read

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FlashPanel2012 was a great year here at BetterCloud. We saw the conceptualization, testing and release of our flagship cloud management tool, FlashPanel. Since it’s official launch in the Google Apps Marketplace this past July, product adoption has far outpaced our expectations with over 13,000 organizations and 5.5 million users on the product today.

In the months since our launch, we’ve heard from thousands of customers about their favorite features and the BetterCloud team even has a few of their own. To give you an in depth look at the top ten features, please join us for our FlashPanel rewind webinar.

What: FlashPanel Rewind: A Look Back at the Most Popular FlashPanel Features of 2012
When: Wednesday, January 8, 2013 at 1:00 PM EST
Where: Register Here

For a webinar sneak peek, take a look at five of our top features of 2012.

1. Apps Butler

Apps Butler is a chat buddy installed in your Google Talk client. Through the Apps Butler, users can chat commands and directory lookups. Super administrators or users with delegated access can even send broadcast messages to their entire domain using the command “/broadcast” and we recently added a GroupCast feature (a BetterCloud favorite) to allow group members to broadcast messages only to a certain Google Group. To test it out, use the command “/groupcast [group email] <message>.”

If at any time you forget one of the various Apps Butler commands, simply chat “/help” to the Apps Butler.

Apps Butler – Real World Application

Andrei Barburas, Community Relations Services Officer at international non-profit IICD, instructs colleagues to use Apps Butler to look up company shared contacts in the field.

According to Barburas, when employees are traveling around the world, they need mobile access to shared contacts so IICD makes heavy use of Apps Butler through Google Talk’s mobile app. The feature allows users to chat directory lookups to the Apps Butler and receive the appropriate information in return almost instantly. instantaneously.

2. Access Control

Particularly in large organizations, FlashPanel’s Access Control feature is invaluable. By creating and assigning various access roles, domain super administrators can allow certain employees – like help desk attendants or HR associates – access to limited areas of FlashPanel. Most commonly, we see super admins granting access roles for user deprovisioning, password resets and shared contacts updates.

Access Control – Real World Application

Ahmed Nagy, Director of Egypt’s El-Massria Integrated Schools, is using FlashPanel to bring Google Apps to hundreds of faculty members at three campuses around the country. To help manage the growing school network, Nagy created access control roles. With Access Control, HR and IT help desk associates can create, suspend, remove and edit user accounts. Delegating some administrative controls is a vital step in eventually turning full domain management duties over to the school’s IT department, leaving more time for Nagy to oversee other activities at the school.

3. Google Drive Visibility and Security

One of our newest features, Google Drive Visibility and Security, brings powerful security control and management tools to Google Apps organization’s large and small. Domain administrators can not only view how documents are shared and with whom, but can now create sharing policies and set up auto compliance to put incorrectly shared documents back into line with preset policies.

Google Drive Visibility and Security – Real World Application

Zach Crockett, IT administrator at Schmidt Mortgage Company, says Drive Management is an “awesome awesome feature” and notes that sharing policies, auto compliance and the ability to immediately change a document owner will be a huge help if an employee is ever terminated.

4. Email Auto-Responders

FlashPanel’s email auto-responders, found in the application’s Email Tools section, gives IT administrators an easy way to remotely set auto replies (or “vacation responders”) without having to log into an individual user’s account. This comes in handy when an employee is unexpectedly out from work or, in the case of Fig & Olive, when unexpected weather causes vast disruptions.

Email Auto-Responders – Real World Application

FlashPanel came to the rescue during Hurricane Sandy, which forced New York City restaurant Fig & Olive to close its West 13th Street headquarters for a week when lower Manhattan went dark. Matthew was able to set auto replies for each member of his management team remotely. In such a chaotic time, the ability to set auto responders and ensure inbound emails received some sort of answer were priceless. Matthew said in terms of managing his domain during the storm he “couldn’t have asked for anything more.”

5. Email Signatures

Email signatures help standardize the look of a company. It can be hard for every employee in an organization to create a standardized signature on their own through Gmail settings, so FlashPanel’s email signature tool allows the domain admin to create (from scratch or through the use of a template) an email signature and push it out to the entire organization or certain users, groups or OUs. And since individual users have the ability to change email signatures on their own in Gmail settings, FlashPanel allows admins to enforce a signature policy on a daily, weekly or monthly basis.

Email Signatures – Real World Application

Giordana Rock, Innovation Team Leader at Proactive Accountants, calls FlashPanel’s email signature tool a “godsend.” At a previous organization, Rock had to walk employees through a painstakingly long 32-step process to set up their signature, involving everything from inserting the correct font to hyperlinking the company logo. Rock knew there had to be a better way and was simply “blown away” with FlashPanel’s signature tool. Now, at Proactive Accountants with the help of FlashPanel, Giordana has created 6 email signature templates for various departments as well as separate signatures for the company’s CEO and Director. Giordana even uses the signature tool to push out new signature designs for holidays or marketing campaigns.

We’re so pleased we can bring you these great tools and more all in one application. For more on these features and the entire list of FlashPane’s most popular tools of 2012, join us Wednesday, January 9 at 1 PM ET – register here.