Software-as-a-service (SaaS) is growing everywhere, and Google’s G Suite is quickly becoming the service of choice for SMB’s and enterprises.
Our G Suite Setup Guide is designed to get your G Suite console set up and running fast to ensure that your data and users are secure and productive.
1. Set Admin Roles
The first step in G Suite Setup is deciding who should be an administrator (admin) as well as what type of administrative privileges to assign to each person.
2. Set up G Suite Directory
The G Suite Directory includes each user’s name and email address (you can also add additional information.) For a quick setup, you only need your users, since it will be essential to manage on and offboarding employees when they start and leave the organization. Later, you can build out the rest of your directory.
As much as possible, we recommend automating and streamlining on and offboarding processes when it comes to IT, to ensure security and compliance at your organization. This can be a tedious process, so we built an easy and automated way to onboard new employees through Blissfully, giving them access to all the SaaS tools and apps they need (including G Suite).
3. Select Your G Suite Apps
G Suite features a range of built-in apps that are included in the platform that offer useful core services for an organizations IT. You can pick and choose which you need.
Most people are familiar with the core, “killer apps” of G Suite, including:
Gmail: If you personally use Gmail, there’s a lot of continuity with the G Suite version. Admins can keep and search logs of emails as an added benefit for security and compliance.
Calendar: During G Suite Setup, admins can specify how users can share their primary calendar inside and outside the company’s domain. For example, you can specify whether to show event details or keep them private, whether people outside your domain can change calendars, and more.
Google Drive / Team Drives (for G Suite Business and Enterprise): As mentioned above, Team Drives provide a simple way to store and organize files. The benefit is granting ownership of files to teams, rather than individuals. It’s easy to add and remove team members, or decide how you want to grant and restrict access.
Docs, Sheets and Slides: These core productivity apps in G Suite allow you to create documents, spreadsheets, and slide presentations, and easily share or revoke access for collaboration purposes.
Less Critical Apps
Certain Google apps can be useful for many applications, but aren’t necessarily best-in-class solutions for every use case. Here are a few examples:
Google Forms: This application can be good for organizations that need to manage a lot of events or conduct polls.
Google Meet: This recently updated video conferencing app (formerly known as Hangouts) can also be used as a conference calling line. A wealth of other free conferencing apps challenge Google Meet in terms of reliability and audio quality.
Google Hangouts Chat: A quick and easy default chat app is ok for one-to-one interactions, but other applications like Slack may be better for group chat or collaboration.
G Suite Marketplace and Third Party Apps
In addition to built-in apps, admins can extend the functionality of G Suite with deep integrations to other third-party SaaS applications via the G Suite Marketplace. This marketplace includes both free and paid business applications, ranging from simple Gmail extensions to robust business productivity applications.
Many SaaS apps outside of the G Suite Marketplace also offer Single Sign On (SSO) with Google functionality. This feature is useful for admins who want to know which permissions people are giving to which apps. Admins can pull custom reports (which is relatively complicated), or automatically get this data from Blissfully.
4. Set Up Security
With G Suite, there are quite a few security tools and configuration options at your disposal. Here are the areas you should be looking at securing when you set up your G Suite applications:
1. Multi-Factor Authentication
The single best thing you can do to improve your organization’s cloud security is to turn on and enforce multi-factor authentication (MFA) for G Suite. This greatly reduces the harm that an attacker can do with stolen credentials.
2. Team Drives
As we’ve discussed, G Suite Team Drives are shared spaces for teams to store and access their files. Make sure to set your permissions properly (generally, give employees the minimum permissions necessary).
3. App & File Sharing Activity Reports
Another important function of the G Suite Admin Console is reporting. Two especially useful reports are “Apps Usage Activity” and “File Sharing Activity,” which can help you identify any suspicious usage or file movement.
4. Device Management
G Suite has two ways for admins to manage devices, with its mobile device management and endpoint verification tools.
Mobile Device Management: Admins can distribute apps to employees and keep data secure on employee’s iOS and Android devices using mobile management. Using these tools, you can check usage, manage security settings, and lock or wipe devices remotely.
Endpoint Verification: Google recently rolled out Endpoint Verification, a way for G Suite admins to get an inventory of which desktop and laptop computers are being used to access their corporate data and apps.
5. SaaS App Auditing
As we mentioned above, If your team use Google SSO, you can pull reports in your admin console to find out if your users have authorized any unknown or unapproved apps through their Google accounts. A SaaS management app like Blissfully can also provide a much simpler way to review app permissions with a click of a button.
We hope this quick guide to G Suite Setup basics was useful to you, as you look to set up G Suite for your organization. Setting the right administrative privileges and following these best-practices can help keep your organization secure, compliant, and productive. It’s all a matter of having the right visibility into user activity, while setting and automating as many processes as possible to avoid unnecessary human error. As you work with more and more distributed software and apps, you may want to consider a SaaS management app like Blissfully to streamline the process. Try Blissfully free today.
Or, for more information about G Suite, download our full G Suite Admins guide.