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Bringing Google+ to work

On the Google Apps team, we wake up every day excited to work on products that are powering a fundamental shift in business technologies. Whole companies are moving into the cloud, where they rely on the same web-based applications their employees use at home: +Gmail, Google Calendar, Google Docs and +Google Drive. We call this trend “going Google.” Like Google Apps, we think +Google+ can help colleagues collaborate more easily and get things done—and get to know each other along the way. Here’s how:

Private sharing for your organization
Apps users now have more control over the content they post – now, when you create a post you can mark it as restricted. Restricted posts are private to your organization and can never be re-shared with anyone outside. At the same time, when you create a post, you have the flexibility to share it with specific partners or colleagues outside the organization as well if you choose. 

Learn more: http://goo.gl/Bk3fc

Video meetings integrated with Gmail, Calendar and Docs
When you’re on Google Apps, holding a face-to-face meeting with colleagues or clients around the world doesn’t require coordinated travel schedules or expensive video conferencing technology. All you need is a device with a camera and an internet connection. Hangouts lets up to 10 people join a video meeting from their laptop, phone or tablet. 

Here’s how you can use Hangouts directly with apps you already use – Gmail, Calendar and Docs:
* Our latest upgrade to video chat in Gmail brings Hangouts-powered multi-way video chat to Gmail.
* For scheduled meetings you can add a Hangout to a Calendar event. Attendees can join the hangout directly from the invite or Calendar entry.
* Once you’re in the meeting, add a doc and edit it together using the Docs integration we added earlier this year.

Administrative Controls
To help make sure users are sharing only with the people they intend, administrators can now set company-wide defaults for post restrictions. They can also enable restricted Hangouts to facilitate private meetings within the company.

Learn more: http://goo.gl/MpX2P, http://goo.gl/hLnPp 

Just the Beginning
These latest business features for Google+ are just a start. We have a lot more planned for the coming months, including a mobile version of Google+ for enterprise users and more administrative controls.

Get started
These new Google+ features are available in full preview mode for Google Apps customers. During this preview period, organizations that have gone Google will be able to use the business features of Google+ for free through the end of 2013 while we continue to add more features and administrative controls designed for organizations. 

Bring Google+ to work: http://goo.gl/fR6hY.
Stay up-to-date on Google+ features for your organization: google.com/+GoogleEnterprise. 
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35 comments
 
I'm trying to convince my wife's job to ditch their crappy online email client for Gmail instead, so I can stop saying "I'm sorry, I don't know why your email doesn't work and can't do anything about it." once a week.
 
Preview period ??? organizations that have gone Google will be able to use the business features of Google+ for free through the end of 2013 ?? What is it? how much is it after ??
 
There's really not much reason for us to turn on Google+ today.    Moreover, the idea that I might have to pay for it later pretty much guarantees that I won't turn it on.  We already have other tools that we can use & are using.  These are social enough for the purpose of business.

Hangouts for distributed teams is the only key value prop I see in Google+ for business today.  But everyone is already using Skype.  

Maybe Google should be doing a better job of explaining why businesses should turn this on, what value it creates compared to other options, and how it won't end up a nightmare for administrators.
 
Not at all, in my opinion.  There's hardly any case being made for why we should use this.
 
If my work used this it would be a monumental change for the company. It would harmonise a fragmented system of communication and collaboration.

I for one could see many positive for this but do not see my employer ever embracing this.

Maybe I should look for an employer that does?
 
Very nice :) But it seems there are paid plans on the way? for Google+ Enterprise?
 
+Iain Green  It's not about employers "embracing" or "not embracing" ... either it adds value or it doesn't.  By now there are a lot of tools out there that Google+ is a bit late to the party.  Hangouts is the only big compelling thing I see that applies to us potentially.  But having said that, just turning Google+ on doesn't mean everyone will use it like we intend.  A few people will be messing around on it too much, and a lot of people won't use it at all.  

So while people can make silly arguments, adding tools like this to an organization is not as simple -- you just don't see it that way because you're not the one who has to make sure it gets adopted and managed well.    Maybe companies should get rid of their diva personalities... :)
 
I really love this feature and have been hoping that Google would deploy it this year.
While I understand it is still evolving, I hope that we will soon have the ability to either pre-define/create default circles (with the organization) or inherit/create user circles from distribution groups within google groups (all my Exchange distribution lists and members were migrated to Google groups).
I also hope to have the ability to delete/modify "what's hot" and games so that staff members do not see those.
 
+Stuart Cummings - Good question!
 
The main problem I see is that in some critical environment, where confidentiality and/or legal requirements are pretty tight (just think about the financial sector), it is impossible to use Google accounts within the company, since all information are stored somewhere in the cloud. It would be however brilliant if Google release a complete stack to "bring the cloud at home (or better at work)" (with the benefit of all Google features).
 
I want to take this opportunity to congratulate the team for their outstanding work. I use GAPPS for more than a year in my own company to 100% and in fact I got so excited that I decided to become a GAPPS reseller! Please continue with all that good work!
 
We love using Google apps as well. Massive gains on collaboration and communication across the company. Also control of company docs through gdocs is fantastic.
 
Would be great if Google+ could now be enabled for K-12 Schools given these new security controls. 
 
I'm excited about the future of Google+/mobile-business!! 
 
Would love to see more on the security and audit trail for private hangouts with respect to regulated industries, HIPAA compliance, ect.  This could become a good tool for remote diagnosis.
 
I have turned on Google+ for business. I would like the ability to remove WHAT'S HOT ON GOOGLE+. I would like the ability to only see people from my company's directory when adding to circles. I would like to see an automatically maintained "All employees" circle. 
 
Seconding what +Aram Armstrong and +Patrick Archibald said above.  The "internal" posting is great, but without managed circles, and by inlining "What's Hot", this does not seem like a version of Google Plus for corporations.  It's more like just using Google plus with your work email address.
 
For enterprise use you may want to consider that not yet EVERYONE got a G+ account (some will never want to have one... :-) I want to have hangouts with.
 
Forgive the indulgence but I'd like to reprise in full a comment I made late in the day on the following post:

https://plus.google.com/+RonaldHo/posts/ACmkUxMmGmA

"Like others here I'm also interested in having the option of restricting our G+ apps domain to allow internal sharing only. It's hard to visualise quite whether internal use only would be self sustaining, but in a recently "fully Googled" university with 3,000 staff and 9,000 students and many thousands of alumni it could be. Our institution desparately needs a good internal people-centred network within which people could share and connect every day thoughts, experiences, questions etc in real time, or "just hangout" using familiar clients available everywhere. Google Plus fits the bill perfectly except that so many of the early adopters are struggling with dual accounts and failing to use the platform accordingly. I am now advising that people ditch their apps accounts and use consumer G+ accounts just so they can use G+ be themselves publicly, including talking about work responsibly to internal or external audiences, publicly or privately. This is partly because of the confusion of two accounts showing up for the same person, partly the uncertainty over whether this is a work-related tool or not, but also to avoid locking in academics who move institutions a lot into the accounts that we own and will deprovision from them when they leave.

"If we could have G+ apps accounts reserved for a parallel internal discussion, it would make sense that entry into this world of posts and connections would only be permitted if you joined the university or were a friend or alumnus etc. That way when you login with your apps account, you only connect to people inside and you know at all times that it's a walled garden. (If you need to talk externally, use a consumer account or brand page.) With the existing read-only APIs I could envisage a new arrival registering for the first time at the University, and being admitted to a rich stream of internal discussions delivered right through our own web pages. What could be more enlightening and motivating for a new student or staff member arriving at our institution!

"I hugely applaud the Google's attempt to make G+ mirror your whole life with your different circles and contexts, and normally I am very against walled gardens. (I followed Diaspora and OStatus with interest.) Clearly in a university context cross institution working is hugely valuable, and eventually there may be some clever ways of getting groups of apps accounts to be "allowed out". Nevertheless we keep being told in user surveys that, in relation to social networks, real people do still like a clean seperation of work and play. I think the addition of this option would unlock internal strengths and introduce the platform to non-enthusiasts in a way that would help the wider global G+ community flourish also.

"Please do consider the addition of this feature. I heard second hand that Google were considering this already and the more I think about it, it seems to me that it could be the answer we're looking for."
 
That comment was made in July. You've now answered 80% of what I asked for. I'd just like to say thank you :)
 
Now for the last 20%. In priority order:

* Better management of multiple accounts. Switching is unusable on mobile clients especially. Our users are voting with feet and using their personal accounts in droves.

* A way of getting all the posts shared within your domain from the API (firehose). Also searching it via the API. Including an internal G+ stream in our internal web pages would increase uptake immensely. And searches using hashtags would also be very powerful as a way of sharing quick ideas about concepts (where Google Groups falls down) as is a common requirement for a university.

* Better disambiguation of multiple accounts. It's hard to know if you're sharing with this work account or the other +Anthony Leonard which is my personal G+ account. (It may be that the landgrab of + handle namespace used in profile URLs will make this easier.)

* Clear annotation of posts that are restricted within a domain on all clients. (This may already be here.) The context of a pots is crucial. You talk to someone in your work environment completely differently to how you talk to them in an external social space even when using your work persona e.g. at a conference, where your responsibilities haven't really changed.

Here's what I don't need that many might ask for - central read-access or full management of circles, posts and profiles. In some cases it would be nice, but I'm happy for G+ to be people centred. Give them the power to be and share what they want.

Looks like the last two bullet points above are being addressed. Just fix the first two points above please - account switching, and organisation-wide stream and search APIs - and we'll have a revolution in intra-organisational and cross-institutional sharing on our hands :) Thanks again.
 
Let's start with the basics - How can we manage an existing Google+ account with a new Google Apps for business one.  
It seems very clear we should only have one Google+ profile.
Yet it sounds like from many eg +Anthony Leonard that if you want to use it internally you need to create a separate account.

This needs immediate clarfication and a workable solution for how we can manage multiple accounts / different facets of our lives.
 
I'd agree with +Dallas McMillan and +Anthony Leonard. I have an established personal Google+ account but I'm struggling to see whether or not to create a new Google Apps for Business one.

I really like the look of the functionality available with the new Google Apps for Business Google+ accounts (good work there guys) and I'm considering recommending this for my startup organisation, but I don't want to have to manage two accounts. Managing two accounts would seem a little perverse when Google+ was built around the concept of posting to different circles to help you manage sharing in different aspects of your life: personal, work, family, shared interests etc.

Hopefully I'll work out a suitable way to manage this but at the moment it's not intuitive and could do with cleaning up or clarifying.
 
Is there a way that my collegues receive a notification in their Gmail when I select Sharing To "Organisation"? Do I have to select each of their profiles to have such a notification?
 
I find it amazing that Google is silent on this issue of how to manage multiple accounts.
I've got a dozen clients I'd put onto Google + tomorrow (Mostly already using Google apps) but its really unclear which account they should choose to use.
In my opinion any employee would be mad to use their company account as their primary G+ account as they could lose all their data if they leave their company.

As soon as you have two accounts enable it just creates a big mess - people don't know which one to follow, its hard to use hangouts because they follow the wrong account. If you use G Drive for business then the files aren't accessable via your other account - you can't even tell which window a hangout is ringing in.

I thought the whole point of G+ and authorship specifically was to create a single identity.
Instead we are going to have our personalities scattered across different email addresses, with loss of usefulness as a result.

the problem: you can't allocate more than 1 Google mail to a Google plus account.

The practical solution.
Use only ONE Google account, use other email providers for your other emails.
So choose - Use your personal Gmail for G+ and don't turn on G+ in Google apps for business
OR Use a G+ in Google apps for business (but only do this if you are committed to using this email address long term and you control it. If you are an employee, you don't have control = bad idea.

Of course, if you just want G+ apps for business as a company intranet it might work fine there, but for any "whole life" solution its a fail.

To me this totally defies the premise Google puts forward "Whole companies are moving into the cloud, where they rely on the same web-based applications their employees use at home: +Gmail, Google Calendar, Google Docs and +Google Drive. We call this trend “going Google.” Like Google Apps, we think +Google+ can help colleagues collaborate more easily and get things done—and get to know each other along the way"

Sure, it can help them collaborate more within the company but don't think you can get a smooth management of work and private.

I see the implications for Gogole authorship to be the most serious and basically undermine the whole concept of authorship.
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