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SaaS Updates Summary: March 27-31

BetterCloud Monitor

April 3, 2017

5 minute read

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This week we had tons of updates from Google and Microsoft, as well as updates from Freshdesk, Zendesk, Slack, Salesforce, and Dropbox. Here’s the summary below:

Google announced several updates to Hangouts, Gmail, and Google+ that simplify things for enterprise administrators and users. Like what, you ask? Well, parting is such sweet sorrow: It’s time to say farewell to Google Talk, as well as several Gmail labs (like Authentication Icon, Google Voice Player, Picasa previews, Pictures in chat, Quick Links, Quote Selected Text, Smartlabels, and Yelp previews.) Google will also be removing carrier SMS functionality in the classic Hangouts app for Android, starting on May 22. For a complete list of updates, click the link at the bottom of this post.

Microsoft announced several new enhancements and partner solutions for Skype for Business in Office 365. These include two new calling features, Auto Attendant and Call Queues. It also includes a preview of the new Skype for Business Call Analytics dashboard, which provides IT admins with more visibility to identify and address call issues. For a complete list of enhancements, click the link at the bottom of this post.

Proactive support is everywhere. Freshdesk announced the AnswerDash for Freshdesk Integration. An AnswerDash pop-out Q&A tab will make Freshdesk information more accessible to end users. “This, in turn, frontends the ticket submission process, meaning that more end users can find most of the answers that they’re looking for without having to submit a Freshdesk ticket, start a chat, or contact a representative.”

And Zendesk published a post on Connect, the newest addition to the Zendesk product family. You can use Connect “when you want to reach out to your customers, providing them with proactive support through in-product messaging. Proactive messaging is a great way to inform, educate, or support your customers—before they even realize they need help. It allows you to anticipate and act on customer needs, helping to pre-empt issues, deflect tickets, and build trust with customers.”

And of course, here at BetterCloud, we’ve long been a fan of proactive support too. Check out our 2015 blog post on why we introduced it and why our customers love it: Beyond Satisfactory: Why BetterCloud Introduced Proactive Support.

For more information, check out the links below.

Google announced introducing new home automation integrations for Google Assistant. “You can now connect your Google Assistant to Best Buy Insignia, LIFX, TP-Link and Wink.” Now you can:

  • Cool down and “turn on the fan” with the Best Buy Insignia Wi-Fi Smart Plug
  • Set the mood for your dinner party and “change the living room lights to blue” with LIFX
  • Relax and “dim the living room lights” with TP-Link
  • Get comfortable and “turn up the heat” with Wink

With Android 7.0 Nougat, Google added more ransomware defenses. Here are a few examples as explained in a new blog post:

  • Safety blinders: Apps can no longer see which other apps are active. That means scammy ones can’t see what other apps are doing—and can’t inform their attacks based on activity.
  • Even stronger locks: If you set a lockscreen PIN prior to installing ransomware, ransomware can’t misuse your device’s permissions to change your PIN and lock you out.
  • Whacking clickjacking: “Clickjacking” tricks people into clicking something, often by obscuring permission dialogs behind other windows. You’re now protected from ransomware attacks that use this tactic to sneakily gain control of a device.

Slack and Jira enable more collaboration. “If you are working in Slack and need to look up a specific issue in JIRA, instead of having to jump out of your workflow, you can now ask the JIRA bot to find that information and send it directly to you.”

Salesforce offers several great Lightning tricks in their latest post. For example, “In Lightning Experience, your users can add contacts to multiple accounts and avoid the effort and messiness of creating duplicate contact records. A contact associated with multiple accounts has a primary account and can have as many secondary accounts as you want. To let your users add contacts to multiple accounts, from Setup, enter “Account Settings” in the Quick Find box, then select Account Settings. From there, select Allow users to relate a contact to multiple accounts.”

For more information, check out the links below.

G Suite is making the iPad more work friendly by finally enabling Google Calendar to fit the format. Now you can take advantage of all the Calendar elements you love wherever you see fit. In the post, Google highlights smart scheduling, which “suggests meeting times and available rooms based on your team’s availability and room preferences.”

Now, for a simple, yet meaningful update. You can now convert text to all CAPS, all lowercase, or title case right in Google Docs. All you need to do is “simply choose ‘Capitalization’ from the Format menu in Docs” and you can convert any in the Doc.

Next, Google has a new home for open source. According to the announcement blog post, “Free and open source software has been part of our technical and organizational foundation since Google’s early beginnings.” That’s why they’re launching “opensource.google.com, a new website for Google Open Source that ties together all of our initiatives with information on how we use, release, and support open source.”

Finally, OneNote gets a neat enhancement. The update lets users embed “live content” on a site “for a more interactive learning (or teaching) experience, or just an easier time jotting down and maintaining notes.”

For more information, check out the links below.

On this fine Friday, we’ve got updates from Dropbox, Office 365, Google, and Salesforce.

Dropbox transitioned from UIImage to their “own image class with which we could precisely control when and how the pixels are transformed allowed us to reduce memory spikes from 60MB to 40MB, and peak memory usage by more than 50MB. (Check out the teaser graph above.) In this particular case, the complexity introduced by swapping out UIImage with our own was worth the reduction in resource utilization and increased stability.”

Office 365 saw a big month of advancements to Office 365 Groups.

Google now lets you book fitness classes right in Google search. “Visit ‘Reserve with Google’ on desktop or mobile. There you can search for fitness studios near you, use filters to pinpoint exactly what you’re looking for, get recommendations for new classes, or book a spot in the session you already know and love. At checkout, you’ll even be able to take advantage of intro offers when available and buy class packages or memberships.”

On the Salesforce front, they explain how they rolled out Lightning (one of their new products) “Over the past year, Salesforce has been moving department after department to Lightning Experience. It’s an exciting journey that we know you are on as well. To help you be an Awesome Admin, we talked to the admins on the Salesforce IT team to understand how they went through the process of enabling Lightning Experience.”

For more information, check out the links below.

For yesterday’s SaaS updates (and beyond), click here for our archive.

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