Whether you are in G Suite and planning a move to its replacement, the new Google Workspace platform, or if you are considering joining, what are the benefits of having a partner? There is no need to go through a partner as many Google clients deal directly with Google. While you can certainly do fine without a partner, there are several things to consider if you want to optimize your usage of the platform. Let’s start with the basics:

What is a Google Workspace Partner?

In effect, it is your IT service provider, whether it’s an IT consulting service, a Managed Services Provider (MSP), or any form of IT support company, it will be the entity that looks after your network infrastructure. They can guide you through all aspects of adopting the platform, from migration to full security. Also, with a higher-level IT support service, such as the highest level, a Managed Services Provider, they will manage the relationship with Google, not you.

These are the key components you need in a Google Workspace Partner:

1) A local IT support services company that you trust for a fast response
Much of ongoing IT support is done remotely by the IT help desk, but having the availability of quick onsite IT service is invaluable, not only for those issues which require in-person trouble shooting and repair, but face to face encounters build better relationships. Any client should visit the offices of their IT Support company at least once.

2) An IT help desk team that is Google Workspace Certified
Simply put, you don’t want an IT provider that is learning at the same time you are. They should have a thorough knowledge of the Google Workspace Platform but should have productive relationships with their counterparts at Google.

3) An IT support team that is dedicated for your office, that knows your business and your practices
You want the same technicians (or their dedicated alternates), whether at IT help desk or onsite, to be the faces or voices you encounter. Every time. There is nothing more frustrating than a tech who has to ‘get up to speed’ on your infrastructure and procedures. You need to know them, and they need to know you.

4 Your IT support specialists need to be capable of training your staff to use the Google Workspace Platform
Nobody loves a new learning curve. A top-notch Managed Services Provider knows that it saves you both time and money if they train your people well. You should never have a new platform like this just thrown at you with a feeble “Good luck!”

5) They will keep you updated on new features and changes to apps
Many of these updates come in the form of email notifications, but also by phone or even in person. Your quality IT provider doesn’t want anything to come as a surprise to you. Plus, since they know all about how you do things, they know what new apps and features are going to best help you.

6) Your IT services team MUST specialize in data-loss prevention and cloud security (an MSP does this)
This is a MUST, whether you use any platforms provided by Google or not. Your data is the life’s blood of your business and must be protected with both reliable local and cloud backups. Since Google Workspace is a cloud-based platform, it is imperative.

It is highly recommended that you do employ your IT support and services provider as your partner. If you find that they know little or nothing about this exciting new Google platform, you may want to consider what else they don’t know. If they are of no help yet you choose to keep them as your IT outsourcing service, then you are on your own dealing with Google. It’s certainly not a terrible place to be.

Google Workspace Q & A

Q: What is Google Workspace?

A: While it is not just a rebranding of G Suite, the Google Workspace Platform takes all of the familiar tools you’re used to, improves on them and adds better integration between those tools. One significant aspect is that aspects such as G suite email, Meet, Chat and others are available to use in any one app, which saves a lot of time each app individually. Somewhat like that old car commercial, this is not your father’s G Suite.

Q: How do I use Google Workspace?

A: You use it almost exactly the way you’ve used its components in the past – now they are just gathered in one place for you, and as previously mentioned, they are now and fully integrated through a unified user interface – no more opening separate apps all day long – the apps are at your fingertips. All of the apps look almost exactly like they did before, with slight intuitive changes and seamless transition from app to app. The new version of G Suite email looks pretty much like standard, free Gmail. Calendar, Drive, Docs, Sheets, Slides, Meet, chat and the others look very close to what they were before.

Q: How do I find my Google Workspace Location?

A: You or your administrator can choose to move your files to a convenient location. It’s all in your Google Drive. Open it, click Priority. Below the Workspace you want to access, click ‘View Workspace.’

Q: How do I sign up for Google Workspace?

A: It’s easy, and it also gives you a chance to ‘kick the tires’ before you buy. You can learn more about it and sign up for a free trial to see how it will work for you by going here:
https://support.google.com/a/answer/53926?hl=en

Q: How do I create a Google Workspace?

A: There are several options, depending on the size of your company, from 1 user to 300+ users. Google offers ‘quick start guides here:
https://support.google.com/a/answer/6365252?hl=en

Q: Can I share my Google Workspace?

A: You can certainly share – give anyone access to your Google Drive. Simple follow these steps:
1) On your computer, go to https://drive.google.com
2) Under ‘People’, type in the email address or Google Group you wish to share with.
3) Here, you can choose the level of access and how the recipient can use the folder by using the down arrows. Click ‘send’.

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