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Frequently Asked Google Apps Admin Questions

BetterCloud Monitor

November 13, 2013

3 minute read

General Google Apps Blue

We’ve wholeheartedly embraced Google+ at BetterCloud. From actively posting on our BetterCloud page to communicating with team members in our very own internal Google+ Community, the social network provides a great way to share information, stay in touch and learn from one another.

As expected, the Google Apps administrator community has also wholly embraced Google+. Admins often post questions and answers to common questions and pain points. We’ve combed the forums for questions we know are relevant to many of our readers. Take a look at community questions and our answers below. Feel free to leave your own tips or questions in the comments!

Question: Does anyone know if a reply email can be sent out from a disabled GAFE account or a redirect set up?

Answer: Jennifer,

While this cannot be done outright, our Director of Support, Michael Stone, has created a handy workaround.

First, change the email address of the suspended or disabled user.

Second, grant another active user access to this email address as an Alias.

Third, set up a filter in this active user’s inbox, which automatically sends a canned email response to any incoming emails sent to the suspended address. You can also optionally archive the incoming emails as well.

Question: My school is looking at moving our official mail and calendar from Exchange to Google.
– What arguments would support such a move?
– How did you go about making the change happen?
– What have you found (good and bad)?
– What were the key resistance factors?

Answer: Brian,

We’re obviously biased towards Google Apps, but from an objective standpoint (and especially in an EDU environment), making the move to Google from Exchange will provide your school with huge cost savings. Not to mention the amount of time you’ll save not having to upgrade and manage physical servers. Many younger users also use Google products at home and are familiar with Gmail and Drive already. Giving students and teachers the ability to collaborate online, share documents seamlessly and access their data from anywhere are also huge benefits of migrating to Google.

As for the actual migration, you should check out GAMME. Depending on the amount of data you have to migrate and the complexity of the migration, you might want to seek out help from a Google Apps reseller. For more migration resources, visit

As for the “good and bad,” like we said, we’re a tad biased. But some of BetterCloud’s favorite aspects of Google Apps include the ability to seamlessly collaborate and access the same information from any device literally anywhere in the world.

Some resistance you may encounter could come from faculty or administrative employees who are hesitant or reluctant to change years old ways of operating. With proper change management and training, you should be able to highlight the benefits of Apps over Exchange and seamlessly make the move to Google.

Question: Is there a way to limit student sharing in Google Drive to only within the domain and still let teachers share outside the domain? Current setup has all teachers on main domain and students on sub-domain.

Answer: Tim,

You can actually set up different sharing policies for different users, Groups or Organizational Units (OUs) with FlashPanel. Using a third-party application like FlashPanel, you can easily create separate sharing policies – ie. giving the “Teachers OU” the ability to share privately, within the domain, outside of the domain or publicly on the web. FlashPanel also allows you to create extremely granular policies like restricting external sharing to only a certain domain or blacklisting certain domains altogether.

Question: When a teacher invites a centrally created group to an event via Calendar, the invitees cannot RSVP. I suspect a setting. The groups are set up by our email admin and mirror what is in active directory.

Answer: John,

You’re right that this is an issue with Group settings. It sounds like in this case that the invitor does not have the ability to “View the group’s member list.” If this is the case, that would explain why the list of individual group members does not show up in the calendar invite. On the flip side, this setting also prohibits group members from accepting the calendar invite. Instead, they will receive an email notice about the event, but will not be able to accept the invitation. Group members will therefore have to add the event to their individual calendars.

Question: Can anyone explain how to properly use Organizations in Google Apps? Is this a good way to group students according to their class?

Answer: Davis,

Organizations or Organizational Units are a great way to group different grades or classes. OUs can also be used for different office locations, levels of management and product deployment tiers (testing, early adopters, general deployment etc.). In your case, using OUs to group classes will allow you to deploy different segments of Google Apps. For instance, perhaps your sixth graders need access to Google Drive, but younger students don’t yet need access to that area of the suite.

Have a question we missed? Submit it in the comments below or check out the Google Apps Administrator and Google Apps for Education communities on Google+.