CloudUp | G Suite Productivity & Collaboration Series Pt. 2

How do G-Suite’s Enterprise Collaboration & Productivity Apps help your team work faster?

Part two of our G Suite Enterprise collaboration discussion drills in on how apps are helping teams work faster. In this episode we discuss smart replies, smart compose, and creating email templates (formerly known as canned responses) to keep organizations stay productive anytime, anywhere.

Meet the Speakers

Nick Bathke

Change Manager PROSCI Certified

Mark Erlandson

Senior Director of Collaboration Services


– I think what we’re trying to do here is to work faster. Right?

– Right.

– So, if we’re trying to work faster, Google is pretty smart, and so it can fill in the blanks of what we’re trying to say. All right, Nick, today we are gonna see how G Suites collaboration and apps help us do work faster. And by faster we are talking about things like smart replies, smart compose, even creating some email templates, formerly known as canned responses.

– So, when you talked about working faster, you mentioned a couple things, I can’t remember what they were.

– Well, not working slower, we wanna work faster, I think we should not work slower. Things like, smart replies, I think.

– Gotcha, okay. I use those all the time, I kind of actually love those and if you don’t know what those are, let me see if I can just share my screen here. And so when you say smart replies, you’re talking about I get an email, I get quite a few emails throughout the day, I get an email, I don’t wanna write a long email reply, I just wanna get my reply out to that person. So, Nick’s assistant sent me this email, I hop into it. Google is gonna do the work for me. So I see these smart replies down here, I use it all the time. Nick’s asking me “Can we meet to discuss new hire planning?” I don’t think so, and I’ll just send that right off to him, just like that. So it gives me three suggested replies. I can just, two clicks and get a reply out, I love it.

– I know we’ve talked about this before, we’ve never actually done it but, I’ve heard of people having entire conversations with smart replies and not typing anything.

– I feel like you were trying to tell me this a different day and it sounded like a nightmare to me. You get up to 40 replies, and what is it replying to at that point?

– You’re not really giving it a whole lot, you’re just letting the machine talk to the machine.

– Right.

– It would be fun to do.

– Well, I have nothing going on this weekend because I can’t leave my house. You send me the first one and I’ll send you the first smart reply.

– I have to initiate it? Okay, I can do that.

– Okay, cool. You also mentioned smart compose, right? So I got my screen up here, can you walk me through what that looks like?

– Well first you have to compose something. So I would click on compose.

– Perfect. I’ll send an email to you.

– You just start typing, yeah. I think what we’re trying to do here is to work faster. So if we’re trying to work faster, Google is pretty smart so it can fill in the blanks of what we’re trying to say basically. So, it will get the context of what you’re starting to type and it will start to automatically fill in what it thinks you’re gonna type.

– Oh, all right that sounds good to me. I usually send you emails about smoked meats. Or I guess meetings, we send a lot of emails about meetings. Meeting on client. Okay, so if I start typing it should just contextually know what I wanna say next.

– I mean you need to give it a little something.

– That’s pretty cool.

– Okay, so, hi, Mark, are we still meeting tomorrow? Look at that.

– So it would be silly of you to type out what it is trying to suggest to you so what are you doing there to automatically fill in?

– I guess I just inherently knew what to do but, it’s tab, I’m just clicking tab and it’s immediately filling that sentence out. That’s pretty cool.

– Are there any other things that you would do to work faster, Nick?

– Well, I was just gonna delete this ’cause this is something you’ve talked to me about in the past and that’s creating templates for emails. I think, everyone in whatever role they have can probably create some template for an email. Historically, this was called canned responses. When I’m training people now, they’re saying, “What do you mean templates? “I’m familiar with canned responses”. Because they might have used it in their personal Gmails. But templates is what it’s called now and it just allows you to have that templated email ready to go. If I send a lot of net promoter surveys out to our clients. So, I just have one set up, net promoter, and I type this out, I always capitalize the I and then ’cause I do this.

– So we haven’t seen the magic yet is what you’re telling me. You just typed in a regular email and it wasn’t fast?

– No it’s not fast, I’m gonna go here because I wasn’t getting as much smart compose but I can have this ready to go. So I go into my menu andin G Suite menus, most of the time gonna be the three vertical dots. Go into templates, click on save draft as template. So now, it will pull in that subject, net promoter score or survey. That’s pretty cool. I won’t send this out and I’ll just go back to compose and now I’m gonna end that out later on. I go to templates, it should have net promoter survey right there. The one other thing you should always do that I didn’t do, is delete your signature. But now because you have this, I can just go no signature. And there we go. We’re all set. And now I can have these things personalized.

– Now that is working, that was much faster than the first one.

– Yeah, exactly so you can still personalize it and enter that recipient and then send it out. So you’re not rewriting that email every time. So that’s how I work faster because of your suggestion.

– Well, thanks everybody for sticking with us through the banter. I wonder how people are using G Suite themselves?

– Let us know how you’re using G Suite.

CloudUp | G Suite Productivity & Collaboration Series Pt. 1

How to Turbocharge Your Workforce with G-Suite’s Enterprise Collaboration & Productivity Apps

This episode of CloudUp dives into G Suite Enterprise collaboration and productivity apps, specifically how teams can work faster, smarter, and together while using Gmail, Drive, Sheets and more.. Tune in below and see how technology can do more work for us to keep collaboration at its highest levels.

Meet the Speakers

Nick Bathke

Change Manager PROSCI Certified

Mark Erlandson

Senior Director of Collaboration Services


– I think a lot of the things that we do just inherently because we’ve been using it for so long some people might not be aware of. So if things like comments, and then signing things to people in those comments will be very helpful to show. What are we gonna talk about? We’re gonna talk about G Suite Enterprise collaboration and productivity apps, and, I guess, specifically how we can work faster, smarter, and together.

– So, Mark, what do you mean faster, smarter, and together? Do you have an example of that?

– Yeah, I guess, so faster. Just, how can we let our technology do more of our work for us, so we don’t have to work as much, right? I don’t wanna work.

– That’s my number one goal. Especially when the sun’s out.

– Yeah, it’s true. So things like Smart Replies, Smart Compose.

– Oh yeah, okay, all right.

– So, how can we move faster?

– I get that. Okay, and then smarter. When I think smarter, I think of you. Sheets.

– Oh.

– Sheets Erlandson.

– Thank you. Oh, sheets. Spreadsheets, yes. Google Sheets. I love sheets. I’ve said sheets so many times. How many more times can I say sheets? Yeah, so with the sheets. I am a big fan of all the formula’s you can do, and automate things, and you’ve actually showed me some tips to… You could say work smarter, you could say–

– Well, listen.

– Don’t be as smart, let the machines be smarter.

– I would argue the formula’s are hard. And, again, I don’t wanna be working hard, I just wanna get it done. So, I do wanna work fast, and I don’t wanna work hard. So I like Sheets Explore.

– Does working smarter mean working harder? No.

– No, not usually. Maybe in your case it does.

– Not working harder. So, work smarter like Sheets Explorer.

– What do you mean when you say, “Make it together”? I think everything in G Suite kind of is making it together in some ways, right?

– Yeah. It’s very collaborative, so I mean, we focus on a drive a lot. We use drive every single day, so. I think a lot of the things that we do just inherently, because we’ve been using it for so long, some people might not be aware of. So if things like comments, and signing things to people in those comments would be very helpful to show.

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 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
      2. Any envelope recipient is
    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
    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 “” 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

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.

Giving Back: The Sanneh Foundation Learns Google Apps

Agosto had the opportunity recently to give back to the community through The Sanneh Foundation, a nonprofit that helps youth development and gender equity locally in St. Paul, and in Haiti.

The Foundation sends mentors to schools to meet with the students who are least likely to graduate. They tutor and mentor these kids to improve their grades and help them graduate. The program is growing, but they’re adding more schools in their program every year and seeing a huge improvement in their grades.

“There’s no way we could be that productive without a solution like Google Apps.”

And in Haiti, they have an after school program. The Sanneh Foundation helps develop the kids into leaders by teaching the importance of respect and equality. The kids have to meet minimum grade requirements in order to go to the program, which offers incentive for the kids to stay in school and study hard. About 300 kids come every day for soccer coaching. Soccer is used as a “carrot” to get them there, and then the coaches teach them skills that they will then take off the field and have for life.

The Sanneh Foundation was founded by Tony Sanneh from St. Paul. Coming from a single parent home, life was tough growing up. After years of dedicating himself to school and to his passion, soccer, the Minnesota Thunder signed him. Tony moved to Europe and played for club leagues. Going on to a very successful professional soccer career, he retired in 2011. Throughout his career, he had a desire to help kids from the inner city. That’s how the The Sanneh Foundation was born.

We were so excited to be able to help support the incredible mission of The Sanneh Foundation  locally and internationally. They had been on Google Apps for a couple of years, but had never gone through training. Many of their employees are millennials, and Gmail is what they use for their personal accounts. Most of the employees (locally, and in Haiti) knew how to use Google Apps in some capacity, but there had never been any written documentation to get everyone in the organization on the same page. As a result, many of the more complicated features were not used to their full potential.

We sent in our training expert, Mary, and our technical expert, Shane, to train The Sanneh Foundation to help them learn the full breadth of Google Apps so they can collaborate easier and faster.

The Foundation uses Gmail and Drive the most. They use it to collaborate with remote workers, even in Haiti. Google Apps enables them to help the community and continue to develop inner city kids.

“Mary and Shane were great. Mary was very in-depth. She kept it relevant for what we needed, and walked us through practical examples of the basic features with things we’ve never used before like Sites. We used the admin console very minimally, just to add users and make user groups. But Shane dove deeper into features like provisioning apps, which helped us grasp the product more holistically.”

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