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The Top 5 Ways to Extend Google Apps for Your Business

BetterCloud Monitor

March 20, 2012

3 minute read

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Cost savings, increased productivity and high employee satisfaction are some of the most common reasons organizations “Go Google” and native features like Gmail, Calendar, Contacts, Docs and Sites enhance efficiency and streamline employee collaboration. However, some organizations require additional functionality outside of the standard Google Apps offerings. Whether it’s adding an application from the Google Apps Marketplace, or building workflows in Google Apps Script, it’s these customizations that make Google Apps a complete solution for many companies. Here are BetterCloud’s top 5 ways to extend Google Apps for your business.

Google Apps Labs for Gmail and Calendar
Google Labs
If you’re the experimental type, check out Labs for Mail and Calendar, which add useful features to your favorite Google Apps products. To access the Labs, an administrator must first enable the feature. Then simply go into your Mail or Calendar service settings page and select ‘Labs’ at the top of the screen.

Some of the best additions for Mail include ‘Signature Tweaks,’ ‘Right Side Chat’ and ‘Undo Send.’ Our favorite Calendar Labs include ‘Hide Morning and Night,’ ‘World Clock’ and ‘Year View.’ For more, check out BetterCloud’s ‘Top 5 Gmail Labs’. Happy experimenting!

Google Apps Marketplace

Google Apps Marketplace

The Google Apps Marketplace houses all third-party applications for Google Apps. Marketplace apps integrate directly with Google Apps and give users added functionality. Applications provide a wide range of administrative and end-user features ranging from expense tracking, to back up software, to domain security tools.

Administrators can add third-party applications to a domain by clicking the ‘More’ tab at the top of the inbox, then choosing ‘Find more services’ from the drop down menu.

Chrome Web Store

Chrome Web Store

If you use the Chrome Browser, you’re probably already familiar with the Chrome Web Store.  Much like the Google Apps Marketplace, the Web Store provides helpful add-ons and extensions for your browser.

However, the web store also provides handy enterprise features like Offline Gmail, Boomerang Gmail, which allows users to schedule emails, and many more.

Google Apps APIs

Google Apps APIs

Google Apps APIs allow developers to create custom-built plugins specific to an organization’s needs. Using the power of Google App Engine, which runs code on Google’s cloud infrastructure, savvy IT admins can create apps for their individual organizations.

Google has already made APIs available for provisioning, mail, contacts and calendars and releases more every year. Building off of these APIs broadens the scope of what’s possible in Google Apps and gives you a one-of-a-kind enterprise computing experience.

Google Apps Script

Google Apps Script

Google Apps Script allows you to automate repetitive processes and workflows, cutting back significantly on human error and increasing productivity and efficiency, not to mention employee satisfaction. Scripts also allow you to link third-party services with Google products, mine data from your domain (like Gmail inbox stats) and create rich user interfaces and menus.

Google Apps Script also allows knowledgeable IT folks to create custom spreadsheet functions, which make complex analysis possible in Google Spreadsheets and may just keep you from renewing your Excel license agreement.

Every business strives to be as productive as possible and switching to Google Apps is a step in the right direction. Adding third-party applications and extending the value of native Google Apps features furthers the benefits of ‘Going Google.’