New Two-Step Google Apps Authentication In Place

With a lot of new businesses turning up to Google Apps to serve their email and document management needs, it is becoming increasingly important for Google to enhance the security level of their applications. In a step towards this, the big G has now announced a new two-level authentication system for Google Apps login. The feature needs to be enabled by the administrator and will come with a PIN authentication mechanism in addition to the password. The PIN shall be sent to the user either as an SMS or shall be generated over an Android or iOS app that may be used to authenticate the user.

Google Apps Two-Level Authentication

The new enhanced security feature is already rolled out to users of Google Apps Premier, Education and Government Editions while users of the Standard Edition may have to wait a little longer.

How To Create New Google Docs Page From Gmail

If you are using Gmail or Google mail app for businesses as your primary work email, you may have at many times received official documents as text via email that you will require to copy-and-paste onto a new document to process the data further. Gmail has an easy solution for this.

A feature available on Gmail Labs allows you to directly create new files on Google Docs from your Gmail account. To get started, follow these steps

  • If you are on Gmail, click here to visit Gmail Labs. Alternately, click on the “green beaker” icon on the top of your Gmail page to launch Gmail Labs
  • See the ‘Create A Document‘ option? Click on ‘Enable‘ and scroll down to the bottom and save these changes.

Google Docs on Gmail

  • You will now see a new icon for ‘Create Document‘ on top of every email you have received. Clicking on this icon will automatically export the email you have received to a Google Document.

Google Docs on Gmail

Was that easy?

Cloud-Based Microsoft Office 2010 Launching Next Month

For more than a decade, Microsoft’s Office suite has been the software of choice for businesses. However thanks to always-online nature of today’s users, cloud based alternatives like Google Apps and Zoho have been making space for themselves.

Microsoft has since realized that it is time to adapt. Starting next month; May 12 to be precise, the company shall be launching a cloud based version of their popular MS Office Suite. This will mark a new phase of growth for Office as it tries to adapt in an environment already dominated by Google. However, Microsoft disagrees. Citing over 15 years of experience in the cloud-space starting with the acquisition of Hotmail in the mid-90s, Tim O’Brien, senior director of the platform strategy group says,

“We know a lot more than potentially any vendor in the industry about the types of questions [business customers] have because we have been through the enterprise software discussion before.”

It will be interesting to see how the companies fight it out in this new medium.

[via ComputerWorld]

Google Business App Store Launching This Week

Early last month, there were reports that Google was working on an app store a-la Apple App Store in order to cater to the business customers. We are now hearing that this App Store is up and ready to launch this week.

Sources close to Mashable have revealed that Google’s Business App Store will be focused around Google Apps and is likely to launch tomorrow (Tuesday March 9).

As we had opined last time, a business app store has terrific opportunities for developers to create true value adding applications for businesses. Also considering the margins on offer, if this takes off, it could be a major coup for the Mountain View based company. What do you think?

[via Mashable]

Google Launching Business App Store

More than two million businesses today use either the free or paid version of Google Apps. This is in stark contrast to the over 500 million users of Microsoft Office. While one of the important reasons why Google Apps is yet to pose a significant challenge to Microsoft is undoubtedly the apprehensions about storing data in the cloud, there are also complaints about the lack of sufficient features on Google Apps.

In order to solve this, Google has apparently taken a leaf out of Apple’s book in order to launch a business app store primarily for businesses using of Google Apps. According to reports on the Wall Street Journal, this app store will function very similar to the Apple App Store. Developers can create applications that will offer an enhanced experience to Google Apps users – for instance, advance security features or the ability to import contacts. These applications can be sold on the business app store where Google will take a cut out of the sales and the remaining shall go to the developers.

An app store for businesses can be extremely rewarding simply because of the margins that it can offer. Unlike the Apple App Store which plays on volumes and where the prices of applications are most often under $10, those applications on Google’s business app store can sell at several hundred, if not thousands of dollars, considering that these are built for established businesses though the volume of sale is likely to be much lower.

However, questions about customer support and reliability on third party developers for applications remain. Considering businesses study a lot of parameters before spending their money, it is to be seen whether Google can actually pull this one off successfully.

What do you think? Can an app store for businesses be successful? Tell us what you think.

[via NY Times, WSJ]