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G Suite: The ultimate FAQ

 Everything you need to know about the new way to work

G Suite is changing the way teams get things done. So, to help you make sure it’s right for you, we’ve answered the most important questions about moving to G Suite. (If we’ve missed anything, ask us here.)

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General

The first thing you should know about G Suite is that it’s built for the cloud. So you don’t spend any time or money maintaining desktop software or on-premise servers.

And all your apps work consistently and smoothly no matter the device, browser or operating system you and your teammates are using. Which means it delivers reliable, mobile productivity.

But it also means Google can offer you everything you need in one neat package – file storage, file sharing, collaboration tools and better ways to talk to each other, including video, chat and email – all on a pay-as-you-go basis.

So you only pay for the users who need G Suite.

That’s pretty different.

Of course you can. We offer a Try-Before-You-Buy option where you get free licenses for a limited time, a project manager to help set you up, support and even training.

Get in touch with us to get started.

Call us at 1-877-633-1102 or fill in the form at the bottom of this page.

Not at all. In fact, a lot of our customers like to start with a small team while the rest of the company stays on the old tools. (Since you only ever pay per user this is really easy to manage.)

Another common approach we’ve seen our customers adopt is to start with Drive only, while still using their existing email system.

But even though G Suite is compatible with most of the old file formats (like .doc, .xls, .ppt), most people end up phasing out their old tools completely once they’ve made the switch.

In our experience, there are only two types of users who may not want to make the switch to Google Apps just yet.

  1. Remote workers who often have limited access to the internet: There are extensions to help your people work offline, but if some of your remote workers don’t have Internet access for weeks at a time, they should stick to desktop software. The question you should ask is ‘how little time do they spend online, and will that hinder their experience?’
  2. Specialized power users: Google Apps has most of the features that the majority of people use with traditional office suites (and then some). Moreover, since Google Apps is a cloud-based solution, new features are being added all the time. That being said, some of your power users who work on highly specialized files (like complicated financial spreadsheets) might want to stick to the software they’re used to for the time being.

The good news is, you have flexibility. Just start with one group in your organization — roll it out when it feels right, and roll it back if it feels wrong for any user.

G Suite makes the most sense when you’re trying to help your people work better together from virtually anywhere and at any time.

We’ve seen it work in media, publishing and marketing agencies of all sizes where file sharing and collaboration is common and chunks of the workforce are hired on a project-by-project (or even seasonal) basis.

But we’ve also seen it transform field services, construction, manufacturing and even professional services like real estate agencies.

From real-time access to machine manuals, orders and reports to streamlined job scheduling and time keeping –a cloud-based, mobile collaboration environment can help any business that wants to make it easier for people to work together.

The vast majority of people who make the switch find G Suite to be incredibly intuitive and easy-to-use from day one. And, to be honest, you may find a surprising number of teams have already started using G Suite behind IT’s back anyway (Shhhhh!).

At the same time, this is a new way to work and some of the features (like collaborating on the same document) may take some getting used to.

It’s why Google recommends you work with a certified provider (like Sprint) to help migrate and support your users.

For the most part, G Suite can replicate the features your people already use.

But since this isn’t just the old way of working with a bit of cloud stuff thrown in, Google has replaced some of the nice-but-rarely-used features in old solutions with newer, more useful features, like collaborating on documents, spreadsheets and presentations.

There are a number of browser extensions to help your people use Gmail, Google Docs and Google Drive offline. In fact, a lot of offline functionality is integrated straight into the apps themselves. In the extensions store, just look for the little ‘works offline’ icon (see below).

Img_GAFW_offline

And remember, cloud apps make it easier to stay online more often and in more contexts, because they work on all your compatible devices too. So the amount of time your people actually spend offline is shrinking every day.

The short answer is ‘very secure’.

One of the biggest benefits of cloud apps is that companies like Google can use world-class security experts (the kind only companies like Google can hire) to protect their apps and servers.

To zoom in to the nitty-gritties, take a look at Google’s Security and Compliance Whitepaper.

Yes. Millions of companies are already using G Suite.

Google’s data centers are built to reduce potentially exploitable vulnerabilities and they have built-in disaster recovery components so you shouldn’t lose any of your data. More importantly, they keep updating, patch-free so they’re only becoming more resilient.

It’s why G Suite can promise 99.9% availability with no planned downtime (and no sneaky loopholes about planned downtime) in every service-level agreement.

In fact, in 2012, Gmail’s availability was 99.984% meaning it was down for just an average of a minute a week.

In July of 2013, Nikesh Arora*, the then SVP and Chief Business Officer of Google noted that over 5 million companies are using G Suite.

To hear from one of them and find out what their experience was like, click here.

*Nikesh Arora joined Sprint’s Board of Directors on November 7, 2014.

G Suite migrations are really easy. Instead of weeks and months, they take just days and most users are trained and ready to use the apps in a day. The best part is, since these are cloud apps you won’t have to manage any further deployments – they’ll just keep updating.

But what can be complicated is when you need to integrate G Suite with your existing email, document sharing and business process systems.

So it’s worth working with migration services like Sprint’s Carefree Cloud support because we’ve dealt with important steps like changing Exchange Mail (MX) records and migrating contacts.

The way we see it, if you’re starting from scratch and don’t have any existing mail clients or business systems, you’ll be able to do the implementation yourself with a couple of calls to deployment professionals for confirmation.

But if you’re integrating with other systems, Sprint’s migration experts help you make sure you don’t disrupt business-as-usual during the migration.

That’s where certified providers like Sprint come in. Since Google is a product-focused company with limited professional services, it counts on support providers and migration experts like us to support you.

Sprint’s Carefree Cloud technical support service will manage your onboarding, deployment and implementation headaches for you. Find out more about Carefree Cloud here.

Well, we’re biased. But here’s how we look at it:

If you run a company with, say, less than 20 people and few legacy systems, you could certainly get away with managing Google Apps for Work on your own.

But the more people you have to manage and the more systems you want G Suite with the better it is to get support from certified providers like Sprint.

That way you can focus on analyzing your users to understand even the most granular requirements (like who works offline the most) while we deal with the implementation and licenses for you.

You give us the direction your business needs, and we give you the support you need.

Way less than the equivalent software.

The pricing for G Suite is simple, scalable and predictable so that any size of company can make the most of it. Here’s how it works:

G Suite Basic

For $5 per user per month, or $50 per user per year plus tax (to be clear, this means a reduced price for a full year commitment, paid monthly) you’d get:

  • Business email addresses
  • Video and voice calls on Hangouts*
  • Integrated online calendars
  • 30GB of online storage for file syncing and sharing
  • Google Docs, Sheets and Slides
  • Easy-to-create project sites
  • Security and admin controls

 

G Suite Business

For $10 per user per month (or $120 per user per year) you’d get everything in G Suite plus all this great stuff:

  • Unlimited storage (or 1TB per user if you’ve got fewer than five people using it)
  • Google Vault for eDiscovery covering emails, chats, docs and files
  • Advanced admin controls for Google Drive
  • Audit and reporting insights for Drive content and sharing
  • The ability to search and export to different formats
  • An archive for all your company emails subject to any retention policies or litigation holds
  • Set message retention policies
  • Litigation holds on inboxes

 

*Sprint mobile voice and data plans not included.

In a word – flexibility.

In the monthly plan, you can add and delete users whenever you need to. You only pay for the service during that month.

In the annual plan, you commit for a full year for a discounted rate. You can add users whenever you need to, but you can’t delete users without charge. The billing is still monthly (at $4.17 per user per month).

Please note: This only applies to the standard plan (see the previous question).

No. A user refers to each personalized email address (like Bob@yourcompany.com).

If you have a whole group using a single email alias that’s included for free (like support@yourcompany.com).

Google’s free consumer products don’t give you the features and control you need when you’re running a business.

With G Suite you get professional, business-grade email at your business’ domain, extra storage for Gmail and drive as well as a guaranteed 99.9% uptime.

From an administrator’s point of view, you get some crucial advantages like security management, interoperability with Microsoft Outlook, and full administration of all your user accounts.

But most importantly, when you sign up for the paid version through a provider like Sprint, you get the migration and management support you need.

you get a whole load of migration and management support too.

Sure. If you want to stick to the email interface you’re used to, you can send and receive emails from your favorite desktop client using either the IMAP or POP email protocol.

And if you use G Suite Sync (a plug-in for Outlook 2003, 2007, 2010 and 2013), you can use Outlook to manage your G Suite email, calendar and contacts along with your Outlook notes, tasks and journal entries.

You don’t have to.

But a lot of customers do eventually retire their existing productivity suites entirely. Once you get a taste of real time collaboration on the same files, the ability to work on those files from anywhere and the simplicity of cloud storage, the old way of doing things can start to look a bit, well, old.

That being said, there may still be some specific use cases (like complicated spreadsheets) where you’d want to keep a couple of your existing software licenses running for a little while longer.

You can still read them, edit them and convert them – with or without any Office software on your computer – and they don’t turn into a garbled mess. G Suite is compatible with those files and Google is working hard to maximize conversion fidelity.

In fact, you can use all the goodness of G Suite – the real-time collaboration, the mobile use, the cloud storage – on those files. So most of them actually become a whole lot better.

You can only buy G Suite as a package because it was designed to work as an all-in-one solution.

Messages in Gmail can be turned into Calendar events instantly. Comments in Docs, Slides and Sheets instantly turn into email alerts to all the collaborators working on the project. Hangouts can be launched directly from your inbox or calendar.

It’s all connected and it makes the suite incredibly valuable because it makes your working experience less fragmented.

You could of course buy the whole package and only use the services you want, but you’d be missing out.

From the Admin console (just go to admin.google.com and type in your admin name and password), you can turn off services you don’t want your people using or even customize how the services work. You can give everyone the same permissions or apply unique policies to different users.

That way you can make sure only your support team uses Hangouts or only your marketers use Google Sites.

Google even gives you additional controls through the Admin console over the data and security you give each user.

Yup. And we recommend it. You can manage everyone’s mobile devices from the Google Admin console without the need for an on-premise device management server. You can enforce policies and even remotely wipe phones and tablets.

You can add all your domains to the same account at no extra cost. That way all your users can have identities at one (or more) of your domains while still using the same services as the rest of the organization.

Everyone gets the same new updates automatically so that no one ever has to install any software.

But if you wanted to, you could track upcoming releases through the releases calendar and then set them to become available on a ‘scheduled release track’ from the admin console. Alternatively, you could choose the ‘rapid release track’ so they roll out as soon as they’re available.

Bandwidth utilization tends to be lower in the cloud.

When you’re storing everything in Drive, you don’t have to send as many attachments. And Gmail doesn’t download anything more than the snippet and email header until you’re sure you want to open the full message.

Of course, this all depends on how much bandwidth you’re on. If you’re using very little bandwidth right now, then upgrading your business productivity suite is a great opportunity to upgrade your Internet connection too.

Through the Admin console you can see reports and logs about potential security risks, user collaboration, who’s signing in (and when) as well as a whole host of other important usage data.

The reports give you an interactive view of broad, domain-level data right alongside granular, user-level details.

There are two ways to go about training your users. If you choose to set your organization up with G Suite on your own, then you can use Google’s learning center to train your users.

Not only is the learning center itself clear and simple, the apps themselves are extremely intuitive to use, as evidenced by the fact that so many people use them for personal use too.

On the other hand, if you use Sprint, our Carefree Cloud support team can train your users for you – it usually takes about a day before your users hit the ground running. It includes training webinars for employees, eLearning content with comprehensive on-boarding training and end user call support 7am – 7pm Monday through Friday, as well as 24/7 online ticketing.

This way, the burden of educating users doesn’t fall exclusively on you and your small team of trusted admins.

Get the lowdown on how Carefree Cloud works here.

You most certainly can. And it’s easy too. Just follow the steps on this page or get in touch with us to find out how it works.

But when our customers switch to cloud-based solutions like G Suite, they’re usually doing it to reduce the amount of time IT has to spend on managing the solution.

That’s where our training and support comes in.

To find out about outages (although with 99.9% uptime there’ll hardly be any), visit G Suite Status Dashboard.

To find out about the new product releases coming your way, check out the G Suite Release Calendar.

And for more on product updates, new features and functionalities check out the What’s New in G Suite blog.

We want you to hear it straight from the horse’s mouth:

Find out how Google complies with regulations and data protection laws.

Find out how Google handles your data.

Read the Google Security and Compliance Whitepaper.

For Healthcare:

Sprint understands that many of our healthcare customers are covered under HIPAA as Covered Entities and, thus, are required to obtain Business Associate Agreements from its Business Associates. Your Google Apps service is provided by Google, and the PHI associated with your use of a Google App is maintained by Google. As such, Google would be your Business Associate and they’ve agreed to provide you with a signed BAA. Sprint, on the other hand, would not be your Business Associate. As a telecommunications carrier that merely transmits data, Sprint falls under HIPAA’s conduit exception. Therefore, Sprint is not required to provide you with a BAA.

Google maintains that it will not share your data unless you give it the authorization to do so.

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Google Drive

When you store your files in a centralized repository like Google Drive, a lot of great things become possible.

For one thing, you get rid of the issue of multiple file versions being stored in different desktop silos all over the organization. Instead you get a single store of the latest files, constantly being updated and accessible to everyone.

But more importantly, cloud storage means your people can access their files wherever they have an internet connection, no matter what device they’re using. It suddenly becomes incredibly easy to adopt a reliable, mobile work experience.

For starters, Google Search. When you’ve got the world’s most powerful search engine for all your files, you can be sure nothing’s going to go missing.

But using Google Drive also means making the most of Google Docs, Sheets and Slides’ collaborative capabilities. And since it’s part of the G Suite package, managing all those files becomes incredibly simple too.

Google Drive is a place where you can store and access all your files in the cloud. Google Docs, Sheets and Slides are the web-based documents and suite of web-based editors you use to get stuff done.

Yes. You can use your local Google Drive folder to store files that weren’t created using the Google Docs editors (PDFs, word docs, spreadsheets) and you can enable offline access to the Google Docs editors if you use Chrome.

You can even enable it on your mobile device, which is great, because it means you can remotely edit your files through the Docs, Sheets and Slides apps – a huge advantage for people who like to get work done on the go.

Small note: You can view any spreadsheet offline. But you can only edit the ones that were created in the new version of Sheets.

Every G Suite user gets 30GB of free storage. With the legacy free edition of G Suite, that’s 15GB of storage. You can always buy more storage though.

And remember, Google Docs, Sheets and Slides don’t count toward your storage quotas.

Of course, if you need more, you could always get unlimited storage with G Suite Business.

If you don’t have enough storage on your computer, you can always choose to sync just a subset of folders in your Google Drive.

Yes you can. But they’d need a Google account to use Google Docs editors.

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Gmail

Yes, you can. All you have to do is click on the gear icon in the upper right corner of the mail window, click on settings, open the offline tab and then hit Install Gmail Offline.

It’s only if your Admin has disabled offline access that this won’t work

In paid Gmail, your people can use custom email IDs based on your domain (pippa@yourcompany.com), you get unlimited group email addresses, guaranteed 99.9% uptime, twice the storage of personal Gmail, no ads and G Suite Sync for other mail clients like Outlook.

Well, with at least 30GB of storage, you probably won’t run out of space. Heavy email users who send and receive loads of attachments and archive everything use up about 5% of this space a year. So depending on how much you use email, it would take an incredibly long time to use up all the space.

Additionally, since Gmail restricts the file size of attachments to 25 MB per email, you won’t be running the risk of a few large files using up all your storage.

This can be tricky if you’ve never done it before. Google has a simple step-by-step guide to help you but we’d strongly recommend you get in touch and leave this to the experts in our Carefree Cloud support team.

To find out more about Carefree Cloud download the solution brief here.

No, but Outlook doesn’t have all the functionality that Gmail has either. Your best bet to get the most out of both worlds is likely to be a hybrid where you configure your Outlook to sync to your Gmail.

If you like using Outlook as a desktop client, you should look into Google Apps Sync. It’s a plug-in for Outlook 2003, 2007, 2010 and 2013) that lets you use Outlook to manage your G Suite email, calendar and contacts along with your Outlook notes, tasks and journal entries.

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Google Hangouts

Google Hangouts let you host up to 15 people within or outside your organization. The screen picks up on whoever’s speaking and intelligently mutes background noise.

Even better, when you get G Suite from Sprint, we’ll set you up with an add-on to allow as many as 115 participants in your Hangouts. It’s called UberConference and you can find out all about it here.

Additionally, with Google+ you can start or schedule a Hangout On Air. This lets you broadcast your hangout making it a great option for large presentations, demonstrations or lectures. You can even edit the recording of the meeting and share it on YouTube. A Hangout On Air can have up to 10 participants at once.

 

Yes they are by Google. All audio and video streams are encrypted so that everyone can join in securely even if they’re offsite. To get the full in’s and out’s of Google’s security read the Google Security and Compliance Whitepaper.

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Google Calendar

You can create a calendar that’s accessible to everyone in the company – or a specific team, even.

You can migrate calendars from all sorts of programs like Lotus Notes and Microsoft to sync them to your Google Calendar.

Yes, you can use Calendar to browse and reserve conference rooms, projectors – even foosball tables. All you need to do is set up shared rooms or resources and then add them to events.

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Google Docs, Slides, Sheets

You can still read and edit your old Word, Powerpoint and Excel files in G Suite. Just add those files to drive and convert them.

They won’t turn into a garbled mess and you’ll get the added perks of G Suites’ collaborative capabilities. In some cases (like complex financial spreadsheets that uses a lot of Excel’s lesser known but more specialized features) you might find an occasional lack of fidelity.

Until now, version control has been a complex system of hints in file and folder names. In G Suite, since collaborators can work on the same file, it marks different people’s changes in real time and updates the document instantly.

While this synchronized version of group editing might feel a little strange the first couple of times you try it, we’ve found people get the hang of it in no time.

Instead of storing multiple versions of the file in a bunch of different folders, you get one document with a complete, annotated history of all revisions made.

You can store any file in Google Drive, but you’d need to convert them to the file formats used in Google Docs Editors to actually work on those files.

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