Elastifile: Taming Cloud FOMO and Paving the Way to True Hybrid IT

Don’t have a clear cloud strategy, but recognize that you need one?  Do you have the fear of missing out and being left behind? If yes, you’re going to want to watch the recap of our latest webinar.

If you’re anything like most modern IT departments, the value of public cloud integration is no longer up for debate. It’s not a matter of “if”, but “when”.

Unfortunately, the “when” is often gated by logistical realities and not necessarily aligned with business need.  In particular, when trying to “lift and shift” their existing applications to cloud, enterprises typically face 3 major challenges:

  • Large data sets require POSIX-compliant file systems
  • Hybrid workflows need data mobility between on-premises environments and cloud
  • Traditionally, running file systems in the cloud has been expensive

Elastifile, in partnership with Agosto, is eliminating these roadblocks to true hybrid IT by helping enterprises seamlessly shift and burst existing enterprise applications to Google Cloud Platform…plus it’s cost-effective, delivers the performance and scalability that enterprise workloads require, and eliminates the need for application refactoring.

Getting to the cloud has never been this easy.  Check out the replay of our recent webinar featuring how Agosto and Elastifile work together below to learn more!


3 Steps to Prep Your Users for the Google Calendar Update

Exciting updates are coming to Google Calendar (and we’re not just saying that because we’re Google nerds)! Between now and February 28th, Google is rolling out changes to the Google Calendar layout that include some cool features that will make managing your time easier:

  • New and modern UI
  • See event details at a glance
  • See conference room details when booking a room
  • Add rich formatting and hyperlinks to invites
  • See multiple calendars side-by-side in “Day” view
  • Labs incorporated into the default Settings/View
  • Updated RSVP status indicators
  • Manage settings in one place

While all of the standard expected functionality and more are included in the update, getting used to the new layout will be an adjustment that may take time for some of your users. Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered.

Our change management team has been rolling this Google Calendar update internally at Agosto as well as working with our clients to smoothly transition ahead of the full release. Below we’ve outlined three simple steps to ensure a successful Google Calendar rollout for your teams.

Decide on timing for your Google Calendar rollout.

Google is offering the option for you to roll out the updates either automatically or manually prior to the forced switch on February 28, 2018.

For the Automatic rollout, which is the default option unless turned off, starting Nov. 14, 2017 Rapid Release domains will gradually transition users to the new UI. On Nov. 28, 2017 Scheduled Release domains will transition gradually to the new UI. The transition time in total takes about 8 weeks and users have the option to opt-in or opt-out to transitioning right away.

For the Manual rollout, you can choose to manually control when to move your users to the new UI in the Google Admin console. Although Google worked with the developers of the most popular Calendar Chrome extensions to prepare for the new UI, you might choose this option if you have users who depend on an extension that hasn’t been updated yet. Or you might choose this rollout if you want to check out the new UI in your test domain or organizational unit (OU).

To learn more about choosing your calendar upgrade timing check out this Help article.

Get early access to the right people.

As you prepare to update the calendar for your users, think through who in your organization should get “early access” to get comfortable and help champion the updates to the rest of your users. Make sure you’re including two groups here:

Your IT Team: Reach out to your IT teams and provide them with some advanced time to get familiar with the new design prior to general release to the rest of the organization.

Your “Google Guides”: Consider giving your change champions early access to assist you in supporting end users, so you have users beyond IT who can intermingle some positive reinforcement around the updates when the rest of your organization makes the switch.

Communicate the change to users.

Make sure you set up the rest of your users for success by communicating early, clear instructions that ease any concerns they may have about learning a new interface.

For our Agosto customers, you can contact your account manager to request email communication templates to help get you started!

Still feeling wary about the new Google Calendar update?

We’ve been training on it for a few weeks now here at Agosto and we’d love to help! Contact us to setup some time for training with our team to walk you through the highlights and make sure you’re getting the most out of the new Google Calendar.

Google Docs Phishing: How To Quarantine And Recover


On 5/3/2017 a sophisticated, widespread, self-propagating attack was targeted at Gmail and G Suite users. This attack encourages users to click on an “Open In Docs” button, which then uses your existing login session to authenticate the attacker (without requiring the user to enter their credentials).  By clicking the “Open in Docs” button the user is allowing a script to connect to that user’s mailbox.

Example of malicious message:

This is what the whole attack looks like (courtesy of @zachlatta)


The below workaround is intended as a temporary solution and does not guarantee that future attacks will be prevented.  Please follow ALL of the steps below. These steps are provided by Agosto on an experimental basis. Agosto assumes no responsibility for any actions performed on your G Suite account.

Prevent Messages from Entering Domain

  1. Login to admin.google.com and create an Admin Quarantine following these steps
  2. Navigate to the Advanced Gmail Settings
  3. Scroll down to Content Compliance and create a new rule matching the screenshot shown in the appendix of this document
    1. Match Type (if any match)
      1. The body contains text https://accounts.google.com/o/oauth2/auth?client_id=
      2. Any envelope recipient is hhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh@mailinator.com
    2. Action
      1. Quarantine – Using the Admin Quarantine created in step 1

Revoke Access for anyone who has already authorized this token

  1. Download and Install Google Apps Manager (GAM)
  2. Issue the following command to revoke all existing authorizations
    1. gam all users delete token clientid 366668462857-3qkidqn8oseh9v3fhm3085kpb747bgm7.apps.googleusercontent.com
    2. Optionally append the command with >> log.txt to keep a record of all affected users
  3. Information on this command is found here

Recall any trace of the infected message from all users accounts

  1. Download and Install Google Apps Manager (GAM)
  2. Issue the following command to purge all copies of the message
    1. gam all users delete messages query “to:hhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh@mailinator.com” maxtomodify 100 doit
    2. Optionally append the command with >> log.txt to keep a record of all affected users
  3. Information on this command is found here

When We Met With Sundar Pichai

It was May, 2015 at Google I/O in San Fransisco.

We flew in from Minneapolis to see the live keynote from Sundar Pichai, who was then the Chief Product Officer (However, Larry Page appointed Pichai as CEO in October of 2015 when Alphabet was officially implemented as the parent company of the Google family).

At the time, Pichai talked a lot about introducing Machine Learning (ML) into Google’s product set. No one knew exactly what that could look like or how it would evolve.

With the recent Google for Work rebrand into Google Cloud, and the heavy focus on ML and Google Cloud Platform across the board, we’re now seeing what Pichai envisioned last year during I/O. One of the larger releases is Quick Access, which shaves 50 percent off the average time it takes to get to the right file by eliminating the need to search for it. It uses machine learning to intelligently predict the files you need before you’ve even typed anything.

From left to right: Paul Lundberg (Agosto CTO), Aric Bandy (Agosto President), Sundar Pichai (now Google CEO), Irfan Khan (Agosto CEO).

We had the privilege of briefly meeting with Pichai during I/O and discussing the product roadmap with him and his vision for ML. With their recent enterprise rebrand, it got us thinking about that conversation with him last year.

Excited to see what’s to come.

Google Cloud and G Suite: Keeping Track of the Rebrand

Google announced big news today: Google for Work is now called Google Cloud, and Google Apps for Work is now called G Suite.

But wait! It’s more than a name change…

G Suite not only speaks to the ecosystem of apps they’ve built and are continuing to improve upon, but they’ve announced the deeper integration with machine learning and artificial intelligence to improve your team’s efficiency and decrease the amount of time you jump between emails, meetings, and video calls so that you can focus on the important things at work.

The branding can be a little confusing and is always difficult to adapt to, but this guide should clear it up for you.

Updates Google Announced:

Quick Access: This removes your need to search for documents. Through machine learning, Google tracks ongoing meetings, emails, and chats to determine what documents you need to access next, drastically reducing the amount of time you spend searching for that one thing Pam shared with you three months ago.

Find a Time: Google Calendar saves you time when you need to coordinate schedules for multiple attendees. This functionality has been in Google Calendar for some time now, but the recent updates allow for smarter room booking. It rolled out to iOS today and by the end of the year it will be on Chrome as well.

Explore: This function was released last year in Sheets, incorporating machine learning to help you create complex graphs and functions easily. Today, Explore was released in Docs, Sheets, and Slides. It’s like having a researcher, analyst and designer by your side.

Team Drive: This is what we’re most excited about. In order to keep pace, a new capability called Team Drives redefines the model, shifting from a focus on the individual user to a focus on the team. Content ownership and sharing are managed at the team level, and new roles give more granular control over team content. Team Drives help streamline teamwork from end-to-end, from onboarding a new team member (add her to the team and she instantly has access to all of the work in one place) to offboarding a departing team member (remove him from the team and all of his work stays right in place), and everything in-between. We’ve been previewing Team Drives with a small set of customers, and we’re excited to begin to extend this capability to more customers through an Early Adopter Program.

Still Has the Same Apps

G Suite is still a collection of applications for enterprises to collaborate and communicate. Here are the staple applications in the suite:

Gmail: Gmail works on any computer or mobile device with a data connection and offline support lets you keep working even when you’re disconnected. Wherever you work, your email is there.

Hangouts: Hangouts enable online video meetings right from your laptop, mobile phone or tablet. With Google Apps, this included video conferencing connects you with up to 15 colleagues or clients anywhere in the world with just a click.

Calendar: Organize your day with Calendar and get event reminders on your phone or in your inbox. Attach files or docs to your event so you have the right materials when your meeting starts.

Google+: Google+ is a social media platform for your business. A place for sharing ideas, news, and stories. A place to connect with coworkers, family, and friends. Choose who can see your posts by sharing with a group of people, or your entire organization.

Drive: Keep all your files in one place and always have the most up-to-date version wherever you are. Automatically sync files from your desktop and have access across your devices.

Docs: Create and edit text documents from any smart device. Multiple people can work in the same document at the same time, and changes are saved automatically.

Sheets: Create and edit spreadsheets from any smart device. Handle everything from simple task lists to data analysis with charts, filters and pivot tables.

Forms: Create custom forms for online surveys and questionnaires. Gather responses in a spreadsheet and analyze the data right in Google Sheets.

Slides: Create, edit and present polished presentations from any smart device. Multiple people can work on the deck at the same time and everyone always has the latest version.

Sites: Launch a mobile-friendly destination site for your team or project, or a portal for your customers using simple drag-and-drop tools.

Admin: Administration shouldn’t need a manual. Easily add users, manage devices, and configure security and settings so your data stays safe.

Vault: Manage, retain, search and export your organization’s email and on-the-record chats. Vault is included exclusively with our $10/user/month plan.

Google Enterprise 2.0

An opinion piece by Aric Bandy. 

Google is the world’s biggest cloud provider.

They have 7 products with 1 billion+ users (YouTube, Android, Gmail, Google Play, Search, Maps, and Chrome). Google spends $10B every year on infrastructure alone. Yet with all this capability, why do Fortune 500 customers continue to run their own data centers or go to online retailers (Amazon) infrastructure?  

Google has done a terrible job of explaining their capabilities to the market.

In November 2015, Google hired Diane Greene, formerly the CEO of VMware, as Senior Vice President of Google’s Enterprise Business shortly after the acquisition of her previous startup, Bebop. Instead of being “Googly,” she’s picked a fight with Microsoft and Amazon.

A fight I believe she can win.

Since Greene was acqui-hired, there’s been a timeline of events that serves as an indication of Google’s intent. But what is Greene doing that wasn’t done before?

What Greene Has Done

The most refreshing thing about Diane Greene is that she’s a woman of action. When I met with her a short time ago, she outlined a plan to evolve Google for Work and win in the enterprise space.

Diane Greene is keeping her word so far:

November 2015 – Google buys Bebop, Greene’s start-up company, dishing out $380 million to close the deal. Word on the street is that following the acquisition, Bebop will continue to work on developing and maintaining enterprise applications.

February 2016 – Google announces it will be building its first engineering team devoted to Southeast Asia. To kick-start the venture, Google buys Pie, a communications service based in Singapore.

March 2016 – Google acquires Synergyse, an interactive training service for Google Apps for Work. The Toronto based company, launched by a former group of Google employees, has trained over 4 million people in 3,000 different organizations.

August 2016 – Google acquires Orbitera, a startup that developed a platform for buying and selling cloud-based software. The $100M sale is agreed upon to help Google improve how it competes with Amazon AWS and Microsoft Azure in the cloud.

August 2016 – Google announces partnership with Okta, an identity management vendor, to provide a more unified IdM solution for Google Collaboration tools.

September 2016 – Apigee is purchased by Google for roughly $625M. The API software acts as a channel between companies and their customers and partners.

September 2016 – Box partners with Google to integrate Google’s suite of productivity tools, Google Docs with Box.

In total, this equates to about $1.1B in acquisitions just to evolve the Google enterprise offering.

Why She Did It

Prior to Greene stepping in, Google hasn’t had what I would call “enterprise acumen.” This isn’t to say that Google hasn’t won big customers, Agosto alongside of Google has won some of Google’s biggest Fortune 500 customers.

However, the Google for Work team wasn’t aligned to fully capitalize on the opportunity. Google owns the SMB and online market, but to win Fortune 500 in a big way, Greene had to align product teams, service teams and sales teams. Before Greene, Google for Work sales and marketing teams were not able to steer the product roadmap. Greene now has engineering and product teams aligned with the sales teams.

The Power of Partnering

Google doesn’t have the luxury of time.

According to BetterCloud, 62% of all organizations will run 100% of their IT in the cloud by 2022. The customer landgrab is happening now and Microsoft and Amazon are both aggressive in their pursuit. Greene’s only option is to acquire and partner to compete. Google has the cash, $72B to be exact, and Greene appears to have ability to leverage it.

Apigee and Orbitera acquisitions addresses gaps in Google’s offering while bringing Google upwards of 60,000 enterprise stacks to the platform.

The partnerships with Okta and Box extend Google’s products with proven enterprise products, which are widely adopted by Fortune 500 customers.


Greene is showing her willingness and ability to evolve Google for Work into a serious enterprise competitor.

While some might suggest that Greene’s moves are not always the most “Googly,” they are the most prudent. Google can be THE dominant player in the enterprise public cloud.

They have the technology. They have the cash. The market is there.

All they needed was a leader to make it happen. With Greene, I believe they have that leader. Google is well on its way to beat Amazon AWS and Microsoft Azure. Google Enterprise 2.0 is going to be big.

What Are the Differences Between IBM Notes and Gmail?

Are you or your business considering a switch from IBM Notes to Gmail? Wondering what the differences between IBM Notes and Gmail are?

These two workplace managers have similarities as well as some key differences, both in terms of layout and overall user experience. Understanding these features and their many applications will help your business make an informed decision.

See how a switch to Gmail will affect—and improve—your daily business tasks.

Immediate Impressions: Layout and Formatting

You’ll notice differences in formatting and overall user design from the moment you first open a Gmail. Intuitive navigation systems and information hierarchies make Gmail an incredibly popular email system. Here are some formatting differences you may notice between Gmail and IBM Notes:

  • Messages. In IBM Notes, each message is independent and appears individually in your inbox. On the other hand, Gmail offers grouped conversations, so you can follow messages as a single thread. If you prefer to keep your messages separated, you can change this option in the settings tab.
  • Organization. IBM Notes allows you to store messages in separate subfolders: personal, important, social, and so on. Gmail does the same, but you can add multiple labels to emails and search for them based on any of their tags. So in Gmail an email could be categorized in four tags for example, but in IBM Notes, an email conversation could only be stored in one folder.
  • Keep your inbox clean. IBM Notes offers an option to delete emails. If you’re the type of person who hates the finality of deleting, Gmail offers another option. Archive your emails when you want them out of your inbox but will need to refer to them again later — still able to search for them within the built-in search functionality.
  • Labeling emails. If you want to mark an email as important, there’s a flag for that. When you’re using Gmail, you have two options: either mark as important as a tab, or put a star next to it. You can easily filter all your starred items by clicking that icon under your inbox menu.
  • To-do lists and other tasks. IBM Notes features an option to create independent tasks that sync to your Calendar. Gmail has the same service, linking your to-do items to your Google Calendar, but with an extra option: you can add email messages to your to-do list to avoid retyping your assignments.

Because of its attractive layout and intuitive navigation, Gmail is an efficient way of doing business.

Comparing Email Composition and Accessibility

Compatibility is an important question you should consider when choosing an email service. Gmail and IBM Notes differ in this aspect.

While IBM Notes requires that you use its service on a device on which it’s installed, Gmail allows you to access mail over any device. Even if you want to access your IBM Notes online, you must do it from a device where software is installed.

This is a vital point.

With Gmail, there’s no installation required—access your mail from anywhere with an internet connection (and there’s offline capabilities).

When you log into your Gmail account for the first time, you’ll find that composing and sending email is a piece of cake. Gmail has all the options you love about IBM Notes, with added features. Draft your correspondence with the fonts, headings, and alignment features you want, and sign in your own personal style.

With Gmail, you can add attachments, links, and images for seamless collaboration. For larger files and more effective ways to communicate, take advantage of Google Drive. Drive links allow you to share work tasks with coworkers, managers, and employees. Just insert the link, and everyone can work from the same document.

Thanks to Gmail, effective communication has never been easier.

Do More Business With Gmail

We live in a mobile world that requires constant communication to keep up with the competitive marketplace. Gmail lets you keep with that pace. For mobile networking on the go, download and install the Gmail app.

You’ll never miss another email.

Sometimes, our lives take us off the grid. When you’re offline, you can still keep working. Compose emails, and Gmail will automatically send them when you’re back at an internet connection.

If you’re in the business of sending large files, Gmail has a solution for that too. With Google Drive, you can send files as large as 30 GB—or 30 TB if you have a storage plan.

Today’s business watchword is efficiency. Maximize yours by taking advantage of Gmail’s convenient features:

  • Canned responses. Do you tire of sending the same emails over and over again? Use Gmail’s “canned response” option: simply type a response once, and save the text as a canned response in settings. The next time you need to send the same email, it’s there waiting for you.
  • Auto filters. If you love nothing more than an organized inbox, auto filters are for you. Set recipients as important, or file them by position: employee, vendor, boss, etc.
  • Undo send. We’ve all sent emails we wish we wouldn’t have. The next time you make a typo, forget a recipient, or accidentally reply all, you can undo it using the “undo send” option. Just make sure it’s enabled in your settings.

Tips and Tricks for New Gmail Users

For the novice Gmail user, there are plug-ins and extra add-ons that make your email service experience even better. Try using one of these options to make the most of Gmail:

Boomerang for Gmail is a plug-in that allows you to write emails when you have the time and schedule them to be sent later. For example, you may write an email late at night, but schedule it to send when you know a co-worker is going to be sitting down at a desk for the morning. Your email is the first thing he or she will see.

Gmail Snooze is another handy plug-in that allows you to hit the snooze button on your email, much like your morning alarm clock. If you open an email and don’t tend to it right away, Gmail Snooze will remind you whenever you choose—within minutes, hours, or days. You’ll never miss a follow up again.


Gmail has all the features of IBM Notes with added convenience and efficiency. Nothing beats its user experience and intuitive design.

Skype vs Google Meet: The Ultimate Comparison For Business

Plenty of people have experienced the consumer version of Skype in their personal lives. Video chatting is fun, effective, and more intimate than emails or phone calls.

Many businesses use these factors to their advantage as well, but they may not have access to the full potential of these applications. A switch to Google Meet unlocks new features while retaining a comfortable familiarity.

Here are a few differences between Skype and Google Meet for business.

Skype vs Google Meet: A Modern and Sophisticated Layout

  • Conversations. Across both applications, it’s fairly easy to navigate between conversations. A list of chats is located on the left side of the screen, and active discussions show on the right side. While Skype only allows for one active window, Google Meet gives you the option to pull up several conversations at once. Skype also operates with fixed window widths, and Google Meet provides the ability to rearrange and scale the windows as needed.
  • Minimized menus. The tabs inside Google Meet are sleek and non-intrusive. By moving them to the sidebar versus the general menu in Skype, you have more room to access contacts, phone calls, and conversations.
  • Smooth navigation. The user-friendly toolbar in Google Meet is collapsible. You can easily examine or change profile settings in seconds. The menu options are repeated as well, so every selection is always close by.

Moreover, if you’ve used Gmail, Drive’s layout will be immediately familiar. You’ll intuitively know your way around its interface because you check your email every day. Customizing your tools, layout, and user experience are also easy. If you need to make any tweaks to complement your business or highlight personal preferences, it can be done in a flash.

The interface is familiar enough to use immediately and features a unique and modernized quality.

g suite google hangout

Skype vs Google Meet: Accessibility and Composition

The original Skype application can be opened two ways: via desktop and mobile device. These options work well but are limited.

Conversely, Google Meet adds several new means to open the software, allowing for more freedom and productivity. Along with the regular functionality of your desktop and mobile, you can also enter the application from:

  • Gmail
  • Google Calendar
  • Chrome browser extensions

Most calls to the United States and Canada are free with Google Meet, whereas Skype charges for this function.

Many businesses benefit greatly from the savings and effectively use Google Meet for meetings without worry of additional costs.

If you are looking for additional pros and cons of both Google Meet & Skype check out this article.

Google Meet Brings Flexibility & Increased Connection

Google Meet also allows you to schedule and control such conferences with flexibility and ease. Both Microsoft Outlook and Google Calendars integrate with the software, so you can add appointments easily. You can also choose between guest permissions, such as common use across your domain.

Switching to Google Meet also enables you to engage more people. Skype allows simultaneous connection for up to 10 different devices. Google Meet more than doubles that number, with enough power to link 25 participants at once. This greatly increases the number of people you can reach with each meeting, which is often a requirement for large companies.

Put Simply Google Meet Lets You Do More Than Skype

p>Since the software integrates flawlessly with other Google Apps for Work, you experience maximum benefits with a few taps or clicks. Sharing Google Docs with your team (without even leaving the video call) allows all participants to collaborate on notes.

It’s especially useful for following along with a meeting agenda.

You can also provide your remote audience with presentations at the push of a button. Simply load the Google Slides project and turn on screen sharing so everyone can follow along. Participants can easily ask questions and more thoroughly absorb information.

The Google Meet History keeps tabs on previous conversations and allows you to search for keywords and important information. This feature also proves useful for exchanging statistics and other data during virtual meetings, since the information can be retrieved at any time.

Tips and Tricks for Google Meet

google meet example

There’s an abundance of useful features in Google Meet, but it also has several options to personalize and improve your experience.

  • Easily mute notifications during important meetings. Under the Settings menu, you can choose a specific time period to disable notifications, such as 1 or 8 hours. You can also pick the notifications you want to receive. Google Meet gives you the option to turn off call ringing and message sounds independently.
  • Adjust call bandwidth. This feature is excellent if you have issues with the quality of your audio or video. Move the slider to the right or left to control the level for that call. It can be readjusted for each conference for total customization.
  • Choose how others see you. Along with statuses that provide a custom message, you can let others know when you were last online, what device you’re using to access Google Meet, and if you’re currently engaged in a video or phone call from the application. Checking these boxes automatically provides feedback and information for those looking to contact you.
  • Take control of your invitations. You can turn notifications on and off by simply checking a box. Plus, you can add personal details so users with your phone number or email can send you a direct invitation. No more searching for usernames and wondering if you contacted the right person.
  • Quickly access the Help menu. Click or tap on the Help and Feedback button at the bottom of the More menu, and type in your questions to easily find solutions or clarification.

For more good info on google meet, check out this Google Meet cheat sheet!

Conclusion on the comparison between Skype vs Google Meet for business

Video conferencing has come a long way, but Google Meet makes it even better.

An elegant design and easy-to-use interface offers a revamped experience that’s still comfortable. This sophistication and power is impressive in itself, but the built-in ability to work through other apps makes it truly incredible.

Switching from Skype for Business means access to all these features and benefits as well as the reliability that you expect from Google. When capability and efficiency matter, trust your business to Google Meet. Do you have other thoughts in mind? We’d love to hear the other different ways you use Skype vs Google Meet in the comments section.

If Google Meet is starting to pique your interest, we have a unique opportunity for you! Now through September 30th, Google is offing premium features for businesses. Check it out here.

Agosto HQ, the Historic Ford Center, Wins TOBY Award

The Ford Center won the 2016 TOBY International award.

Established by the Building Owners and Managers Association (BOMA) International, The Outstanding Building of the Year (TOBY) Awards, is truly a distinguished award. It was developed in 1985 to honor and recognize the quality in office building operations and award excellence in office building management.

The TOBY Award is the most prestigious and comprehensive of its kind in the commercial real estate industry, recognizing quality in office buildings and awarding excellence in office building management.

All facets of a building’s operations are thoroughly evaluated during the judging process, including tenant relations programs, community involvement, emergency preparedness, security standards, and continuing education for building personnel.

Agosto is proud to be in an historic landmark like The Ford Center, and at an office with such high values and standards to serve the tenants. It’s a pleasure to office here in Minneapolis.

How to Migrate to Gmail from Microsoft Exchange

Many businesses are migrating from Microsoft to Google, saying the reason they migrated was largely financial or logistical. Though potentially intimidating to consider a major company-wide migration, many are finding the migration easier than expected. Better, easier and faster data migration service with GSMME.

Why Make the Move?

There are several advantages to migrating to Gmail over Microsoft Exchange—beginning with price. Hosted Exchange averages $141 per user per year, while Gmail costs about $50 per user per year.

Larger companies in particular see a clear financial advantage migrating to Google over time.

Businesses are ensured consistent upgrades and innovations from the creative team at Google. With the all-encompassing Google for Work platform integrating all of your vital apps, workspaces, and communications in one place, lower cost is just an added bonus.

Over five million companies in the United States have migrated to Gmail, and over half of all Fortune 500 companies are on this list.

If your enterprise is considering the migration from Microsoft 365 and Exchange to Google for Work and Gmail, read on for a basic guide to this transition.

Due to the level of complexity with migrations, most companies use a Google Partner to handle the migration process seamlessly.

Many times it can even be done when it’s not business hours so there’s no interruption to daily work.

However, if you’re a small company and have a deep knowledge of technical migrations and the Microsoft and Google ecosystems, then the Migration Assistant might be right for you.

Google’s migration services support Microsoft Exchange servers so companies can avoid installing extra migration tools and complex programming. Google’s migration tool enables a smooth and simple transition.

Email, contacts, and calendars can all be migrated from Exchange to Google. You can migrate hundreds of employees’ data at once or migrate one individual at a time.

This process doesn’t disrupt workflow—employees may continue to use their mail, contacts, and calendars throughout the migration process.

To begin your migration, follow these steps:

1. User accounts. Register for Google for Work, and open the Admin console. Depending on how many accounts need to be created, you can add them individually or en mass. To create accounts one at a time, go to the “Users” tab in the admin console. Select the plus sign, and click “Add User.” Fill in the employee’s organizational unit, name, email address, and domain.

You can input a temporary password and additional contact information as well. Hit “Create,” and email user instructions to the new account holder. If you have a large number of accounts to create, consider using the Google Apps Directory Sync tool. You can easily transfer information such as profiles, contacts, and groups—but passwords aren’t included in this process, since they’re encrypted in the LDAP directory.

2. Configure Gmail. Once user accounts are created, configure your domain to deliver email. Setting up direct delivery to the mail servers is the easiest and most direct method. However, many opt to employ a dual delivery system for the short-term during transitions, allowing mail to be delivered to Microsoft and Gmail accounts for each user. Establish a secondary Google email address for each account holder that needs Microsoft mail forwarded. Configuring dual delivery can be helpful during transitions, but it isn’t a long-term solution.

3. Migration. You have a few options for migrating contacts and calendars, depending on data location. The Google Apps Migration tool for Microsoft Exchange is ideal for transferring information contained within the Exchange server. A similar tool is available for Microsoft Outlook, which enables each user to transfer his or her own data from mail and calendars. If information is stored on local machines, however, use the Google Apps Sync tool.

4. Training. Provide your team with needed information to delegate account access, create shared contacts, manage shared calendars, and move from public folders to Google Drive. Familiarizing employees with these features prior to the launch of Google for Work in your company will ease the transition and increase engagement.

You can use the Google Apps Sync for Microsoft Outlook plug-in to give users access to their Google data through an Outlook client. Users who would like to retain a familiar look to their apps may choose this option. All data is synchronized, providing continuity while emulating your legacy system.

For The Times You Shouldn’t Do It Yourself

The migration from Exchange to Google for Work is made easy with Google’s Sync and Migration tools. If you tackle your move with a Google for Work Reseller and Partner, the transition is made even simpler and more comprehensive, whether you’re starting with on-premises or hosted Exchange systems.

Partner teams manage the transition from beginning to end. Coexistence between Exchange and Google mail and calendars during the transition is simplified, as they ensure all parties can communicate clearly and without glitches.

Your Partner team verifies that calendars can be overlaid and seen by users on both systems and that directories are properly synced.

While setting up mail accounts is relatively straightforward, incorporating mobile devices creates an extra level of complexity. Google Apps and Google Drive for Work provide real-time collaboration capabilities that should be leveraged right away.

A Google for Work Partner will provision each account, giving employees access to a full multi-device experience.

In addition to providing technical support, your Partner team takes the lead on training. By assessing your employees’ needs, the team can tailor webinars and on-site training sessions to fill knowledge gaps and boost interest in new systems. From start to finish, Google for Work Partners deliver a fast, efficient, and comprehensive implementation of Google for Work and its products.


Google for Work is extremely popular due to its ease of use, lower cost, and all-encompassing tools.

The transition is complex. Some companies prefer to do it themselves and like to be very hands-on.

Using a Google for Work Partner ensures a smooth process every step of the way.

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