Enterprises Can Now Create Google+ Accounts
Google+ is now available to businesses wanting to expand collaboration and data sharing between their users. Hangouts with Extras bring secured audio/video sessions integrated with document and screen sharing.
Google has announced the availability of Google+ for all Google Apps customers. Users can be grouped in subdivisions while the administrator has the option to turn the service on or off for the entire organization or for a subdivision. Users can use their personal Google+ account within the organization or get a new one. They can also share data across the entire organization or beyond it’s borders, the organizations subdivisions appearing as just another set of circles, only colored differently.
Following are some of the most interesting Google+ features in no particular order:
- The organization needs to be using the new Google account infrastructure and Picasa and Talk need to be enabled for Google+ to work.
- The administrator can turn on/off the service but he can’t control what data users share or with whom across the organization or outside.
- Google Apps customers will benefit from having Hangouts with Extras, a Google+ feature that combines the usual hangouts with GDocs and screen sharing for better collaboration among team members. 10 is the maximum number of users in a particular hangout.
- Hangout video and audio is encrypted so VPN is not required in order to protect the information. Documents and screens are shared over HTTPS connections, also for protection, the users not having to physically be inside the organization in order to participate in a hangout.
- The organization may decide who owns the data, the organization or the user depending on internal policies.
- Deleting an user will delete the entire data of that respective user, but the user may be allowed to export his data before being deleted.
- If an user’s account is suspended he won’t be able to access Google+ but his data will continue to be available to other users with proper access rights. To make data unavailable the administrator needs to turn off the service for that user.
- For those who already have a personal Google+ account and want to use it inside an organization Google will make available a tool for migrating their data in the coming weeks.
- Google+ is currently not supported and has no SLA. The only support is provided via the Google+ Help Center and Help forum.
Google+ for business was one of the features requested by Google Apps customers, taking collaboration and data sharing to a higher level. Another important component is the API. Currently, the Google+ API is limited to browsing for people, their activities and related comments, and perhaps Google will gradually release more features as they are ready.
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