Today, we have a video for you that covers a smattering of different topics, from Google Apps vs Office 365 to the kinder gentler Microsoft that plays well with third-party software programs, to the habits of Millennials in the workplace.
Leveraging the Tools You’re Already Paying For
At the start of the video, Javier Pereira talks about the confusion that people have when they ask him what he does. As Javier notes, it is often hard to explain: “I say I work with 365 and almost 90% of the time, their response to me is: 'oh, you do DevOps.’ I don’t do DevOps, I do the other part. They’ve never heard of Intune, they never see it as anything other than email and the Office suite—it’s such an untapped market.”
Because a lot of users don’t know about everything that their Microsoft Office 365 subscription comes with, they miss out on a lot of opportunities. They aren’t leveraging the full potential of Office—so they end up paying extra for third party solutions that they don’t need or end up missing out on efficiencies.
Javier brings up an example of a new client he had recently met with, called H&A Farms:
“What their needs were was 'hey, we need to use Google Sheets’... and, 'I need to use Google Sheets at the same time as Mary.’ Which translates to co-authoring, right?… So, I said: 'Do you have a Google Apps account?’ ‘Oh, no, no, everyone just uses their personal [account]…'"
Their reasoning? The personal account is free. But, that doesn’t necessarily make it the best choice. Javier continues his story:
“So, we’re all watching the puzzle unfold. The puzzle is: 'I need co-authoring—because, I did it at one time and it was cool and it worked. And, I need it all in the same place. And, I need easy access for everybody—I need to access it in a web browser.’ And I’m saying ‘All of the things that make Teams difficult to adopt, you’ve already killed—Getting them into the web browser, getting them to understand co-authoring, getting them to understand that the document lives in the cloud, getting everybody to work on the same document—you’ve slain all the dragons. You just need to get out of free Google Apps and into Teams.’ And he’s like: ‘That sounds great! How much does it cost?’ ‘You’re already paying for it.’”
The company was already paying for Microsoft Teams as a part of their Office 365 subscription—meaning they had access to that nifty co-authoring capability on a platform that made it easy to share and collaborate while keeping files secure (certainly more secure than giving everyone’s personal Google accounts access to potentially sensitive files). They just didn’t realize they already had it.
The Millennial Workplace Software and Hardware Formula
There are many stereotypes about Millennials in the workplace. Javier mentions partway through the video that there seems to be a standard formula for Millennials who are in a tech industry: “If you are 25 to 35, and you’re doing any tech startup, you must use Google Apps on a Mac, with Slack… and Zoom Meetings!”
This combination of tools is pretty common in a lot of tech-oriented companies—though it isn’t really limited to just people of the Millennial generation. Gen Xers and Gen Z people often use these same tools.
The funny thing is that the rationale behind using these tools is somewhat odd when you think about it. People use Slack, Zoom, and Google Apps because they’re really affordable, then spend $3,000+ on a Mac “because that’s the cool thing to do.” The problem with this is that, instead of dealing with a single platform that’s easy to manage, you now have to contend with four (or more) different platforms. This ramps up complexity.
Google Apps vs Office 365 on Security
Javier hammers home a major point about the “free” Google Apps software from the perspective of a former tester who has lifetime access to everything: “So, I was a tester for Google Apps. I have a perpetual, lifelong, free Google Apps account with all the features turned on. You know what? It’s as complicated as the devil.”
There are a ton of different applications to deal with in Google Apps—and it blurs the line between personal and professional accounts because both are synched and may be switched between during regular browsing sessions. As Javier puts it: “there’s so much consumer stuff blended into it [that] it’s a nightmare… it looks like a security mess.”
Blending personal and professional accounts and tools creates added risks of data breaches and accidental compromise—for example, say Steve accidentally sends a financial document pdf to his buddy Bob Burr instead of the financial lead Bob Barton because he’s in his personal Gmail account and didn’t look closely at the autocomplete field before sending. That could lead to a data breach.
Having a solidly-defined separate account for personal and professional work that doesn’t blur the lines is crucial for avoiding this kind of problem.
Additionally, when letting people use their personal Google Apps accounts for work, admins don’t get as much control over those accounts as they need to have to protect their company. Safe web browsing policies may need to blacklist certain websites or otherwise restrict user account permissions—something that can’t be done to a personal account (though professional accounts managed by the organization do allow stronger security controls).
Have a question about today’s video? Or, is there another topic you’d like to know about? Reach out to the Protected Trust team and let us know!