2014 Trends in Cloud Application Adoption

Cloud applications have truly revolutionized the way we work, with cloud office systems like Google Apps and role-specific platforms such as Salesforce unlocking new levels of productivity from anywhere, on any device, at any time.

To gain insight into the trends of cloud application adoption, The Gooru recently surveyed an audience of over 25,000 IT professionals, through Gooru’s Daily Newsletter and various online communities (such as the awesome Google Apps Administrators Community).

The results, detailed in the infographic below, show that while different industries are at different adoption stages, IT professionals across the board anticipate high levels of growth in the coming year.

Thank you so much to everyone who participated in the survey, and we hope you find the data interesting and insightful!


Docs, Sheets and Slides coming to the Apps Launcher

In true Google style, an update to the Apps Launcher for Google products will roll out to consumers before it makes its way to Google Apps customers. Starting in January, Google Apps customers will be able to access the Docs, Sheets and Slides editors directly from the Apps Launcher.

Docs Sheets and Slides in the Apps Launcher

For some of you, this may be your first experience with the Docs, Sheets and Slides editors. These dedicated landing pages contain the recent edited files of the respective app. In addition to making it easy to access a specific file type, these landing pages also bring Google’s Material Design to Google Drive. The Apps Launcher will push Groups and Contacts to the More screen to make room for Docs, Sheets and Slides.


Share Google Drive Files As Attachments In Gmail

Currently in Gmail, you can add files to your messages from Google Drive as a link, or by attaching them from your desktop. If you’re storing all of your files in Google Drive, this doesn’t really apply to you and you haven’t had a way to simply add a file as an attachment directly from Drive. A recent update finally gives you the option to add a file from Google Drive as a true attachment.

Google Drive files as Gmail attachments

To access the feature, simply click on the Google Drive icon at the bottom of your newly composed Gmail message. That will open a familiar window to select a file from your Google Drive. From there, you will see a new option in the bottom-right corner to add the file as a Drive link (like you’ve always been able to) as well as a true attachment.

Google Drive file as a Gmail attachment 2

Keep in mind, this new feature only applies to non-Google file types. So you could add your Microsoft files, images, open source files, etc. as attachments, but not Docs, Sheets or Slides. This feature is available for Google Apps domains on the Rapid release track and will be made available to Scheduled release domains in early January 2015.


How to Create a Company Email Signature in Gmail / Google Apps

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An email signature is one of the first things people notice about your outbound emails. They can help provide useful information to your contacts, company branding and much more. You can create your own email signature inside your Gmail inbox, as well as a company wide email signature with a third-party tool.

The HTML signature editor in Gmail allows you to create great looking signatures, but sometimes users can create signatures that don’t align with company branding. In this case, you might want to explore using a third-party tool to push out a standardized signature to your entire organization.

P.S. If you liked this post you might enjoy the The Gooru Newsletter. Sign up today to receive each new post, right in your inbox! Sign up here.


Sparklines in Google Sheets

Charts in Google Sheets are really useful when you want to visualize data sets with context and descriptions along with them. But if you just want a quick look at trends of data, you might want to take a look at the Sparkline function.

The Sparkline function creates a miniature chart inside a single Google Sheet cell. You’ve been able to use the Sparkline function for a long time now, but Google recently added two new types of sparklines – columns and winloss.

This video takes a quick look at how to set up the Sparkline function and some customization options available to you.


Monitor Google Apps Device and Account Security

Google Apps Administrators have plenty of tools available to them to make sure user’s accounts, and their domain in general, are secure. Some of the responsibility needs to be placed in the user’s hands, and that process is even easier with a couple of recent updates.

Google introduced a new Devices & activity section where you can check the recent activity on your various devices and make sure everything looks normal. There’s also a brand-new security wizard that takes you through several important steps you should take to make sure a Google Apps account is properly secured.


Edit Microsoft Office files in Gmail

Even if you’re 100% Google, chances are you’re still going to interact with people who are working with Microsoft Office files rather than Google. Over the past year, Google has made a concerted effort to improve the interaction between Office files and Google Drive. That continues this week with three awesome updates to the relationship between Gmail, Google Drive and Microsoft Office.

Edit Microsoft Office files in Gmail

1. Convert Office files to Google in one click

In the GIF above, you’ll notice that you can now convert Microsoft files to Google in one click, streamlining the editing process. Here’s what Google had to say on Google+:

With just one click on the new edit icon in Gmail attachments, you can automatically convert Office documents — giving you the additional benefits of a single document to keep track of, access from anywhere (even offline!), and revision history.

2. 15 new supported Office formats

Adding a bunch of new Office formats means you don’t need to worry about content transferring correctly to Google:

And while we’re on the topic of conversion, you can now import 15 new Office formats — including presentation show files (pps, ppsx), macro-enabled files, and template files — all with improved charts, images, and tables support!

3. Edit Office files with Google Office Editor

If you would rather edit Microsoft files in their existing format, you have that choice if you’ve installed the Office Editor from the Chrome Web Store

Pro tip: we realize that sometimes you need to open and edit an Office file without converting it to Google formats, so to have that choice, just install the Chrome extension: http://goo.gl/FgMfk9. Once it’s in place, you’ll have the option to convert the file by clicking on the pencil icon, or edit the file as is by clicking on the attachment card and selecting open from the top of the file preview.


Merge Cells in Google Docs Tables

Working with tables in Google Docs has always been a little frustrating, with not much flexibility in the settings. I normally prefer to copy and paste cells from a Google Sheet, but a recent update will cut that step out completely. It was a highly requested feature and now you can finally merge table cells in Google Docs.

Merge Table Cells Google Docs

The GIF above shows a pretty impressive way of taking advantage of merging cells in Google Docs, but it’s actually really easy to do. All you need to do is highlight the cells you’d like to merge, right click inside the selected cells and select Merge cells. You can also select Merge cells from the Table drop-down in the menu at the top of your screen.


Adding Subtitles to Videos in Google Drive

Are you using Google Drive to store video files or share them inside your organization? If so, we have a really cool tip that lets you add subtitles to your videos for free!

Subtitles can sometimes be expensive, or take some technical expertise, to add to your videos. There’s actually a really easy way to add subtitles to videos directly inside of Google Drive…anyone can do it!


Provision Google+ Profiles from the Admin Console

Encouraging adoption of Google+ (whether for internal or external use) has been tricky because it was the responsibility of the user to create their own profile. With a recent update to the Google Apps Admin Console, Administrators have the ability to create Google+ profiles for their users.

As of right now, this is only available on an individual basis, with hopes of bulk actions being added in the near future. Either way, this can make the process of rolling out Google+ even easier if the Admin has the power to create profiles.

This update is also only available for Premier, Gov and higher-education EDU domains only, so K-12 EDUs will not have access to this in the Admin Console.