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New and Upcoming Features for G Suite
G Suite continues to push office productivity as it’s number one direction. Being implemented at the time of this writing, G Suite is bringing new scheduling assistant features for booking rooms, as well as analytics for streamlining the process at the business level.

To begin facilitating your business, the Admin console now consolidates all resource management into the “Buildings and resources” menu option. Within this interface, your administartors will find options to create and manage these resources. Once logged in to the new tool, administrators will be able to add buildings and resources along with associated metadata to make them available for use. These resources can be anything tangible or even booking for meeting rooms and spaces. The resources are tied to buildings to give them an assigned physical location, which can be defined by latitude and longitude as well.

Newly available, automated resource release allows rooms to be released based on event declines. When all attendess have cancelled their invitation, the resource will automatically be released for use as well as informing the organizer via email. Room release specifically is available for G Suite Business, Enterprise, Enterprise for Education, and Education users.

Not only does this allow users and admins to coordinate resources, it also provides insight into the usage of said resources directly in the dashboard. These analytics are gathered as users book and release resources. Admins can then see which resources are most popular, used the most, what times of day the resources are book, or if resources are underutilized.

These new features come together to provide a powerful tool, useful for a business of any size. Not only consolidating management, but providing business intelligence allows a business to save both time and money. Google continues to address problems plaguing the office space and preventing easy collaboration. If you have questions about these features or would like to implement solutions based on G Suite, contact PQC Tech here.


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New and Upcoming Features for G Suite

This summer, Google is bringing new features and updates to G Suite to further refine the experience for all customers. These updates are being phased in weekly to G Suite and Google users over time for a seamless changeover. Let’s take a look at some recent announcements…

  • All G Suite users will now have access to Quick Access in Docs. This feature was previously only available to select editions of G Suite, but soonall users will see the new Explore panel appear in Docs. Not only will this be available, but the Explore panel will also be more intuitive by enabling natural language searching.Read about it here.
  • Forms are taking on a whole new look soon: yours! Customization, themes, and image support arrive to Google Forms soon. This will allow users to create more personalized forms to fit their brand. Read about it here.
  • G Suite is a world wise, highly available service. To ensure that customers have full visibility into the availability of that service, a new dashboard will soon be available showing the status of all services in real time.Read about it here.
  • Google Calendar is being improved as well, introducing functionality for both managing time out of office as well as indicating available working hours. These new productivity features are extremely helpful for managing a complex schedule, even coordinating conflicting events across your schedule. Read about it here.

Be sure to check out Google’s G Suite release calendar here.

If you would like to learn more about G-Suite and how to implement its wide breadth of features, contact us here!


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New and Upcoming Features for G Suite

Google continues to update it’s existing products with improvements and new features. Today we are taking a brief look of recent and upcoming changes to G Suite’s tools.

  • Gmail is relaunching with its new interface in July. The new interface is currently in early adoption for users, but will be released for general use in July, with an eight week grace period to opt-in before being forced to switch. G Suite admins will have the controls available to transition their users to the new interface, via opt-in or mandatorily. Read about it here.
  • Google Docs is getting a number of new features to improve accessibility and usefullness. First, users can now send actionable emails to users with links to the document. The email contents can be personalized with information. Additionally, Docs now provide more insight by providing analytics on who and when users are interacting with a Doc. Read about it here.
  • G Suite continues to add features to include collaborators and third party tools in the mix.. SAP will be releasing a future version of its flagship product with direct exports to Google Sheets. Hangoust Meet has launched for G Suite users, providing a full featured office conferencing tool. Also, users outside of your domain can now be messaged within Hangouts Chat, allowing for different teams and businesses to connect more easily.Read about it here.

Be sure to check out Google’s G Suite release calendar here.

If you would like to learn more about G-Suite and how to implement its wide breadth of features, contact us here!


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Office Files and Google
Many of us today work with or have worked with Microsoft Office products in a professional setting as well as in our homes. It has been been a major part of the market since Office’s beginnings and remains a staple in many offices today. More competitors in the office software market have been emerging in the meantime, including Google and its G Suite of tools. Educational facilities have been adopting and teaching these tools to students as an affordable and accessible option. With this sort of transition occurring many find themselves wondering if they can move their old Microsoft formatted documents into Google Drive.

The short answer is that yes, one can move Microsoft Office formatted files into Google Drive for storage and management. There are, however, limitations depending on the type of file in question. In general, all files, regardless of format, can be uploaded and stored in Google Drive and downloaded to be modified and uploaded again later. This process is manual and can be tedious. Drive does offer synchronization clients to help synchronize files from a PC to Drive to help mitigate this.

Some file types can be directly edited in Drive by using Office Compatibility Mode or OCM. This mode can be enabled in the Chrome web browser by downloading the Office Editing for Docs, Sheets & Slides extension here. Once installed, Documents, Spreadsheets and Presentations can now be edited directly by opening the file, clicking the File menu, and then clicking on Office Compatibility Mode. Changes made in this mode are saved to Drive directly.

Alternatively, some file types can be converted directly Google Docs, Sheets, and Slides formats. Files such as Documents, Spreadsheets, Presentations, and certain drawing and image formats. Once a file has been uploaded to drive, simply right-click on the file, select Open with and then the desired format. Not all files can be converted in this fashion, including password protected files, files containing macros, or files with embedded videos.

Users can additionally export Google Docs, Sheets and Slides to Office formats directly from Drive. Open the file in drive and click File and then Download as. Choose your desired format to save the file locally, converted to Office.

Transitions can be difficult, but change doesn’t need to be scary. Knowing your options before deciding on the appropriate path for your business’s office tools can save you both money and time in the long run. If you have any questions or concerns about using Google’s G Suite, please reach out to us here.


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Introducing Google Meet

Google has continued to push into the office market by putting forward Google Hangouts Meet, a multimedia business conferencing application. This tool builds upon the successful features of Google Hangouts and presents them in a professional format for business use. What features does Meet provide? How do I use it? Why should I use it and how much does it cost? Let’s take a quick look.

Google Hangouts Meet provides a meeting software, allow video and audio conferencing via desktop and laptop computers, mobile devices, and by phone. The application itself provides video and audio teleconferencing using available cameras and microphones, live text chat amongst those in the meeting, and screen sharing capabilities. Users will note that this feature set competes with a number of other software tools on the market, such as those provided by Cisco. To provide added value, Meet also natively integrates with G Suite tools. As the name suggests, the primary features build upon the Hangouts archietcture available to all Google users. Encryption is provided via Google’s own services, and user access is managed by the organization’s administrator accounts. Apps are available in both Android and iOS so a desktop is not required. Dial in phone numbers are provided at the Enterprise level of G Suite service. Google Calendar directly integrates with Meet, allowing you to instantly create a meeting when creating a Calendar event.

This sounds great, but how do I use all of this? Meet is a tool provided with a paid subscription to G Suite, regardless of service tier. As stated previously, when subscribed at the Enterprise level, dial in phone lines are provided, however even external users can be invited to join your meetings through any of these means. Many users may not have the ability nor wish to install software to join a meeting with another business.

We touched on Meet being a part of a G Suite subscription, meaning that this tool is provided at a premium. However, Meet is included with all tiers of G Suite, even those signing up as individual users. While Hangouts is for meant for everyone, Meet is targeted for an office setting. If you are looking at a cheaper solution than many competitors for your business’s conferencing needs, this may be a fit. The flexibility of use over different platforms, a rich feature set, and ease of use for external users are major factors for choosing Meet.

If you think this would be a fit, take a look at G Suite’s pricing here as well as a list of other tools provided by G Suite. If you already have a G Suite account, you can start using Meet today by clicking here.

If you have any questions about using Google’s tools or services, reach out to PQC Tech here with any and all inquiries.


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Are You Prepared for the Worst?
Any business, large or small, has data which must be protected to ensure a successful operation. This could be anything: invoices, receipts, tax documents, licenses, customer data, etc. The importance of data is determined by the business itself. In that vein, businesses run the risk of losing that data for a multitude of reasons. How leadership has planned for such an occasion and how well the plan is executed can make or break a business. There are a number of considerations to take into account when planning for a disaster.

What is a disaster? Generally, when speaking in the technical world, disaster recovery is synonymous with data loss and restoration thereof. This is true and is one of the many kinds of disasters you should be prepared for. Other such scenarios include security breaches, cyber attacks, physical theft, natural disasters and utility outages. Discussing and arranging contingencies for a variety of likely scenarios is key.

Considering the types of risks your business runs, proper planning can mitigate these to an extent. For example, many small businesses use shared hosting and storage for their websites and data. This means that a third party is now supervising these duties: providing proper utilities such as electricity and cooling, physical security from theft and damage, and integrity of the data being stored. Property theft and security are a concern for some businesses, especially those which rely on portable devices such as laptops and phones. Making sure that data is safely encrypted on these devices can mitigate risk in the case of physical theft of a device. Planning for something as unthinkable as a fire or flooding can save a business during this worst case scenario. Make sure that all important data, whether it’s digital or on paper, is safely stored in more than one physical location. The idiom about placing all of one’s eggs in one basket applies here.

It can be an issue for a business with a large volume of accumulated data to determine what is important for daily operations, compared to data which is simple archived for potential future use or for legal obligations. While all data may be important, prioritizing what is necessary for business continuity is key for making a quick turnaround. Being able to continue business as usual while further work is being done behind the scenes means that revenue and workflow continue with minimal interruption until all data is fully restored. It may take some time to fully restore data, and knowing what to target first before a crisis arrives will speed up the remediation process.

Physical security should be a major concern of any business, regardless of size or composition. Keeping track of business critical physical assets and who has access to them can mitigate the risk of a security breach, whether malicious or not. Many times, protecting sensitive data about clients and customers from unauthorized users is not just a priority, but a legal requirement. Certain industries have very strict guidelines they must follow. Additionally, even malicious access of data is usually done through fairly mundane means (an unlocked laptop, a misplaced thumb drive, etc). Being able to identify potential issues through loss can prevent future troubles.

Review and learn from disasters. Every business will face a disaster, data related or not. Being prepared to respond to these situations will provide a framework for your business to recover upon. Afterwards, review your processes and practices for key aspects of what went right and what went wrong. If the process needs to be adjusted, don’t be afraid to adapt your practices to changing needs.

Being prepared for the worst is difficult and tedious, but may be the most critical task your business undertakes. If you have questions about what you and your business can do to prepare for a disaster, feel free to contact us here.


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New and Upcoming Features for G Suite

Google’s continuous product development rolls on with a slew of new features and updates to G-Suite, with more improvements on the way. Some new features are already in the midst of being rolled out as of the time of this article. Let’s take a look at a few recent highlights …

  • G Suite’s Hangouts Meet application, one of their new teleconferencing tools, now gives all customers the ability to assign a dial-in number to the meeting. This allows non-G Suite users to join your meeting with just their phone. Read about it here.
  • Google Sheets now supports macros, allowing users to easily repeat mundane work instantly. In addition, other improvements have been made to Sheets such as new chart types, printing page breaks, and pivot tables.Read about it here.
  • G Suite apps now provide additional insight into collaborators by providing profile information cards. These can be seen by hovering over the profile picture of another user with your mouse. Their name and contact information will be displayed. Read about it here.

Be sure to check out Google’s G Suite release calendar here.

If you would like to learn more about G-Suite and how to implement its wide breadth of features, contact us here!


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Upcoming Gmail Updates
As always, people are looking for usability, security and stability when looking for an email solution. Service providers like Google are looking at ways to help provide just that, not just for business users but individuals using their services for free. Gmail, one of Google’s flagship products, is going through a major overhaul at the time of this writing. So what is changing?

First and foremost, increased scrutiny on phishing scams and fraud has led to the implementation of stronger phishing protections, including what’s known as Confidential mode. In confidential mode users can set expiration dates on emails with sensitive data, after which the data will no longer be accessible. This mode can also require a recipient to enter a password to open an email, the password being sent to their mobile phone. You can even prevent a recipient from copying, downloading or printing a message. Even security warnings have been revised to be more clear.

Artificial intelligence has been brought to bear on Gmail’s inbox management. Based on your mail, it will limit notifications to those which it deems most relevant, It can recommend email lists to unsubscribe from which you may not be reading, and can even remind you to respond to unread emails. Untangling the mess of email spam and clutter should be easier. The mobile feature, Smart-Reply, will now be available in the browser client, allowing for quick one line responses to emails.

These features are rolling out over the next few weeks. If you’re eager to try them now, you can make the switch ahead of time by going to Gmail in your web browser, clicking on the gear icon in the top right, and click on “Try the new Gmail” to switch your interface immediately.

If you have any questions or would like to know more about Gmail or how PQC Tech can help you with G-Suite related services, you can reach out to us here.


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Introducing Google Slides
G-Suite offers an extensive assortment of office productivity tools. Many people are already familiar with Documents, Sheets, and Mail. Another great addition to this set is Slides. Google Slides offers users a way to build custom slideshow style presentations quickly and easily. If you are already using applications such as Powerpoint or Prezi, you may find Slides to be a powerful alternative.

Starting a new Slides presentation is as easy as creating a new Document or Sheet, by clicking the New button while in Google Drive. As with other office applications provided by Google, your presentation data is saved in your Google Drive. This means that your presentation is available wherever you can access your Google Drive.

Once created, you will be presented with a blank title slide. From here, follow the prompts to add text to the slide by clicking the various text areas. When entering text, you may format your text in the same manner as you may format text in other Google applications such as Documents allowing for font style, size, alignment and color alterations.

If you wish to add more text boxes to your slide, click the Text Box icon on the menu bar. Your mouse cursor will now change to a cross. Draw a new text box by clicking the slide and holding the mouse button, dragging the cursor over the area, releasing the button at the opposite corner. You may now type within.

Adding graphics is easy as well. The Image button on the menu bar will allow you to add an image from your local computer, your Google Drive, or even the web. Click the icon and follow the dialogues. Once inserted, you may now click and drag on the image to move it, or adjust its dimensions by clicking and dragging the handles at the corners of the image.

If you would like to speed up the process of creating a presentation, Slides offers a number of prebuilt slide themes to select from. Using these themes will add basic layout and graphics to your slides. Clicking “Theme…” on the menu bar will bring up the theme menu from which to select from. Select a theme for your presentation and it will be immediately applied to all of your slides.

For more information, please check out Google’s Learning Center guides here. If you have any questions or would like assistance with any of Google’s features, please contact us here.


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New and Upcoming Features for G-Suite
As technology develops, new standards emerge for web design. This is primarily driven by how we, as human beings, receive and digest data. One of the most important web design features to emerge in recent years has been responsive design. This simple consideration when designing your business’s website can make or break your visitors’ experience.

What is responsive design? In short, a responsive site will render itself depending on the size and type of device browsing it in order to provide a readable and navigable experience to the user. You have likely seen this in many sites, including our own. Visiting our site on a mobile browser compared to a desktop will give you a similar, yet different experience. The mobile experience is designed to allow for easier readability and navigation on a smaller, touch based interface.

Why is this important? Many outlets report mobile web browsing now takes up a significant share of all internet browsing. This means that making a useable, friendly, and readable website for your business is important. Many users use mobile devices to share information about services and interesting information while away from a desktop browser. Facilitating exchanges like this can be critical to your success.

Whenever planning for your site, responsiveness should always be a consideration. Ensuring that your visitors can access relevant information easily and you are able to provide it in a readable format will reinforce a positive image that goes above and beyond simply providing content. A website is usually a visitor’s initial impression of a business.

If you have any questions or concerns about web design, whether you are looking at an existing site or building a new site, please contact us here!


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