Google apps-services


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Google apps-services

  1. 1. Google Apps, Services and API for SMEs dott. Paolo Casoto University of Udine TRI-ICT project dott. Paolo Casoto - TRI-ICT Project - 2010
  2. 2. Summary <ul><li>New ICT requirements in SME </li></ul><ul><li>Issues and costs of new ICT infrastructures in SME </li></ul><ul><li>Cloud computing: benefits and impact on SME </li></ul><ul><li>Google Enterprise Apps </li></ul><ul><li>Google Data Protocol API </li></ul><ul><li>Conclusions </li></ul>dott. Paolo Casoto - TRI-ICT Project - 2010
  3. 3. New ICT requirements in SME <ul><li>ICT solutions are part of infrastructure in SME since three decades. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>ICT solutions has been widely exploited in order to satisfy legal and administrative issues, such as financial management and documentation, taxes and payments calculation. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>During the last few years other business processes have been widely based on ICT solutions, such as business intelligence in management and control, mobile and embedded technologies in logistic and transportation. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Described aspects of ICT requirements are strongly focused on Information Systems and the way such systems could be used in order to support efficiently company ’ s business processes. </li></ul></ul>dott. Paolo Casoto - TRI-ICT Project - 2010
  4. 4. New ICT requirements in SME / 2 <ul><li>Communicate easily and fast: SME should adopt tools for fast and cheap communication worldwide. Email, VoIP and instant messaging allow SME to be connected with all the actors involved into their own business processes, even if located far away from company ’ s headquarters. </li></ul><ul><li>Share knowledge and artefacts: SME need more flexibility in cooperative production of knowledge and artefacts. Cooperative work on shared documents (e.g. offers, technical documents) should be performed efficiently, even when many people located worldwide are involved. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Documents should be easily accessed by everywhere, even outside the company IT infrastructure only by allowed people. Changes should be tracked by means of configuration management activities. </li></ul></ul>dott. Paolo Casoto - TRI-ICT Project - 2010
  5. 5. New ICT requirements in SME / 3 <ul><li>Company know-how should be identified, formally stated and shared between people involved in the company. Collaborative tools like Wikipedia could proficiently be exploited. Such approach could be effectively adopted in particular fields such as brain storming, quality management, staff training, emergency management, marketing et al. </li></ul><ul><li>Plan and organize activities and events dynamically, according to a set of heterogeneous information shared (even worldwide) by several actors (e.g.: employees, customers, providers). </li></ul><ul><ul><li>E.g.: plan a business meeting by matching the availability of involved staff by looking at their shared calendars. </li></ul></ul>dott. Paolo Casoto - TRI-ICT Project - 2010
  6. 6. New ICT requirements in SME / 4 <ul><li>Optimize activities, resources and efforts </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Share the list of planned activities with all the members of a project by automatically providing them with synchronized to-do list; </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Keep track of the status of a resource and its availability, by looking at its shared to-do list, the already allocated time and its knowledge or capacities. Plan dynamically updates to cope with unpredictable events; </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Reduce costs and time spent in project management, project travelling and meeting, by exploiting on-line collaborative infrastructures. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Optimize dynamically company flows (e.g.: trucks and shipments, cash and financial flows) by integrating real-time information. </li></ul></ul>dott. Paolo Casoto - TRI-ICT Project - 2010
  7. 7. Issues and costs of new ICT infrastructures in SME <ul><li>Described emerging requirements lead to several technological and economical issues: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Is it possible to cope with the described requirements from a technical point of view? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Yes, several solutions have been proposed since the last decade in order to provide the new features required by SME. </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Distributed Personal Information Manager (PIM) platforms (e.g.: Microsoft Outlook, IBM Lotus); </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>VoIP and messaging systems (e.g.: Skype, MSN); </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Cooperative working platforms (e.g.: IBM Lotus, Microsoft Sharepoint, Wikipedia-like platforms); </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Map and routing services (e.g.: Google Maps). </li></ul></ul></ul></ul>dott. Paolo Casoto - TRI-ICT Project - 2010
  8. 8. Issues and costs of new ICT infrastructures in SME / 2 <ul><ul><li>What is the cost of such solutions? Is it possible to reduce such amount by choosing open source products? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>The cost of such infrastructures may vary significantly (e.g.: Skype is not open source but can be freely used) and there exists many open source counterparts which could be adopted in order to reduce fees. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Open source solutions do not necessary lead to lower costs, just lower fees . </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>E.g.: time spent by IT staff to set up a not well documented open source infrastructure may increase significantly costs when compared to commercial products with an help desk service already included in the fee cost. </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Some solutions are strongly coupled (and consequently their costs) with the underlying ICT infrastructure </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>E.g. Skype requires broadband internet connection to operate properly . </li></ul></ul></ul></ul>dott. Paolo Casoto - TRI-ICT Project - 2010
  9. 9. Issues and costs of new ICT infrastructures in SME / 3 <ul><ul><li>Which hardware and network infrastructure should be set up? Will it provide more costs to the investment? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Hardware and network requirements may vary significantly according to specific solution company is interested in. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>E.g.: A video-sharing infrastructure may require a state-of-the art storage infrastructure and a broadband connectivity in order to perform effectively. </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Moreover hardware infrastructure usually introduces new costs: </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Servicing and repair parts; </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Power consumption (infrastructure, conditioning, black-out prevention, redundancy required to grant a proper availability); </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Personnel; </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Hardware infrastructures are not a good investment: very short life range. </li></ul></ul>dott. Paolo Casoto - TRI-ICT Project - 2010
  10. 10. Issues and costs of new ICT infrastructures in SME / 4 <ul><ul><ul><li>Does my company requires to invest resources in training in order to properly support the introduction of such technologies? </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Both open source and commercial solutions, in order to be properly adopted, require training: </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Technical knowledge ( IT-Department ); </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Functional knowledge ( Users ). </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Heterogeneous applications and infrastructures require an ad hoc training. Training should cover the both technical and functional aspects of the new ICT infrastructures: users should be aware of the way such technologies should be integrated with the company business processes. </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>E.g.: Explain users how cooperative authoring, change tracking and versioning could improve their productivity. </li></ul></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>E.g.: Describe the advantages arising from shared company and project calendars. </li></ul></ul></ul></ul></ul>dott. Paolo Casoto - TRI-ICT Project - 2010
  11. 11. Cloud computing: benefits and impact on SME <ul><li>“ Cloud computing describes a new supplement, consumption, and delivery model for IT services based on the Internet, and it typically involves over-the-Internet provision of dynamically scalable and often virtualized resources. ” </li></ul><ul><ul><li> </li></ul></ul><ul><li>New approach to management of IT infrastructures. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>IT services required by the company could be satisfied by external service providers on-line. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Hardware and software infrastructures devoted to provide IT services (e.g.: email server, data server, backup facilities) are not required anymore and could be externalize “ into the cloud ” . </li></ul></ul>dott. Paolo Casoto - TRI-ICT Project - 2010
  12. 12. Cloud computing: benefits and impact on SME / 2 <ul><ul><ul><li>Service providers should cope with IT services maintenance, the investments required to set up and constantly update the hardware, software and network infrastructure. </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>According with a specific Service Level Agreement , service provider should grant the availability of the provided virtual infrastructure. With an average QoS of 99,9% on monthly base large scale service providers (e.g.:Google, Amazon) are able to provide services with an higher availability with respect to average IT departments of SME. </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Users may access services anytime and from everywhere by means of their desktop or laptop pc, a browser and a broadband Internet connection. Modern mobile devices could also interact with such services. </li></ul></ul></ul>dott. Paolo Casoto - TRI-ICT Project - 2010
  13. 13. Cloud computing: benefits and impact on SME / 3 <ul><ul><li>SME do not require to set up scaled IT Departments or to employ (or to train) IT specialists. No capital expenditure is required and, in fact, running costs could be significantly reduced by adopting a pay per service costing model. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>IT infrastructure could be easily scaled up and down according with the company requirements. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>E.g.: if new a new department should be set up, company should only request more services, like company e-mail addresses, to the service provider. </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>The “ Old Idle Server ” will be reduced ( computing power and not hardware is provided) and so energy maintenance costs. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>IT costs could be seen, from a financial point of view, as costs and not as investments for the company. In fact the company pays for services provided by third parts. </li></ul></ul>dott. Paolo Casoto - TRI-ICT Project - 2010
  14. 14. Cloud computing: graphical representation dott. Paolo Casoto - TRI-ICT Project - 2010
  15. 15. Google Enterprise Apps <ul><li>Set of cloud-based web applications, which can be accessed by anywhere with an Internet connection. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>No particular hardware infrastructure is required. Users need only a pc and a browser in order to use such services. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>IT costs could be effectively be reduced. In fact Google offers the cheapest IT cloud services on the market. Companies, and in particular SME, may spare more than 60% of their annual IT costs. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Google Enterprise Apps look similar to their free counterpart, but providing, at the same time, a larger set of functionalities and facilities (e.g.: virtual storage space). </li></ul><ul><li>Apps are fully integrated each other in order to provide users application interoperability (e.g.: shared documents could be easily sent via mail, shared contacts could be used while typing a new mail) . </li></ul>dott. Paolo Casoto - TRI-ICT Project - 2010
  16. 16. Gmail <ul><li>State of the art in webmail applications; </li></ul><ul><ul><li>POP3, IMAP, Web and mobile access; </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Antispam filter integrating several AI-based heuristic, with high precision; </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Advanced textual indexing of inbox messages, in order to be easily and quickly retrieved when required; </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>25 GB of archive space for each user (Against 7 GB granted by the free Gmail service); </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Service could be integrated with other PIM solutions (e.g. Outlook) and with push-mail notification services, such as BlackBerry. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Gmail could be assigned to email addresses with a company domain (e.g. </li></ul><ul><li>Company contacts may be shared across users, according with their role in the company, and retrieved directly in their Gmail client while composing a new message. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Commercial contacts could be shared between sales managers, while customer technical staff email could be accessed only by company ’ s technical department. </li></ul></ul>dott. Paolo Casoto - TRI-ICT Project - 2010
  17. 17. Google Groups <ul><li>Users may be grouped, under the moderation of a group leader, in order to easily share mails, documents, videos and sites. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>E.g.: For each project a specific group, including stakeholders involved in the project, could be created. Such users could cooperate in editing documents, planning events and calendars, sharing knowledge. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Different group policies could be used to implement different kind of cooperative processes. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>E.g.: “ Announcement Only ” mode could be used to provide company official communications and news to employees </li></ul></ul><ul><li>A mailing-list could be assigned to each group, in order to automatically notify each user about relevant updates. </li></ul><ul><li>Actions performed by members of a group on shared resources could be tracked. </li></ul>dott. Paolo Casoto - TRI-ICT Project - 2010
  18. 18. Google Docs <ul><li>Constituted by 3 different components devoted to cooperative composition of documents, spreadsheets and presentations. </li></ul><ul><li>No “ Office-like ” software is required. Composition is completely achieved by means of a cloud based web application, allowing users to access and to edit their own documents worldwide, even from mobile. </li></ul><ul><li>Features offered by the set of applications fulfil the requirements of 80% of users, without introducing the complexity which is required to implement the features usually devoted to the remaining 20% of the users (e.g. to execute VB Macros, to solve linear programming problems, et al.) </li></ul>dott. Paolo Casoto - TRI-ICT Project - 2010
  19. 19. Google Docs / 2 <ul><li>Because of its web nature, Google Docs could be used by most of the operating systems in the business world (MS Windows, Mac OS, Linux, et al.). </li></ul><ul><li>Real time cooperative editing is allowed, in order to grant users the ability to work on the same part of a given document at the same time. </li></ul><ul><li>Changes are tracked by mean of a revision control system which allows users to rollback to each previously saved version, without losing data. </li></ul><ul><li>Each user can share its documents with other users. </li></ul><ul><li>Documents could be converted from and to several different standard file formats. </li></ul>dott. Paolo Casoto - TRI-ICT Project - 2010
  20. 20. Google Calendar <ul><li>Allows user to create and share company, personal and project agendas. </li></ul><ul><li>Multiple calendars may be visualized in overlay in order to see when different users are available. </li></ul><ul><li>Calendars are completely integrated with the webmail client and could be easily integrated with several different calendar platform, in order, for example, to allow synchronization with mobile devices. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Users can be notified when abroad if a new company meeting is added to their calendars </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Project calendars could be embedded into Intranet and Internet sites. E.g.: project calendar describing deadlines for each project partner could be published into the project website. </li></ul></ul>dott. Paolo Casoto - TRI-ICT Project - 2010
  21. 21. Google Sites <ul><li>Set of tools aimed at developing, with a coding free approach, project, team or company non-institutional sites. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>e.g.: document repositories, company private pin board, employees forum and blogs, calendars and to-do lists . </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Security control is integrated: site and contents access could be managed properly in order to allow only certain user to access data. </li></ul><ul><li>Allows user to integrate and centralize the whole set of contents managed the other tools constituting Google Apps (documents, calendars, video, blogs, et al.). </li></ul><ul><li>Create and manage a new site could be achieved easily by non IT staff without requiring particular IT knowledge. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>E.g.: team members could collect knowledge and share with others by means of a centralized infrastructure. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>E.g.: security control could be set up in order to allow collaborative page could creation and editing in a wiki-like style. </li></ul></ul>dott. Paolo Casoto - TRI-ICT Project - 2010
  22. 22. Google Video <ul><li>Allows company to share and publish company videos by replicating a company YouTube instance on the Google cloud computing infrastructure. </li></ul><ul><li>Security control allows user to limit the access to uploaded videos to a specific group of users or to publish the videos publicly on Internet, without exposing confidential information. </li></ul><ul><li>Web 2.0 tools, such as collaborative tagging, rating and comment submission could be activated for each content. </li></ul><ul><li>It reduces the costs required to adopt a video infrastructure into small companies: no particular bandwidth or hardware computing infrastructure is required. </li></ul><ul><li>Company video could be used proficiently in several different processes, such as company training, marketing and product placement, management-employees intercommunication, safety and quality management. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>E.g.: company safety guidelines could be represented by means of training videos, always available on the company video infrastructure. </li></ul></ul>dott. Paolo Casoto - TRI-ICT Project - 2010
  23. 23. Instant messagging and VoIP <ul><li>Google Apps integrates into the Gmail client both instant messaging and VoIP capabilities. </li></ul><ul><li>Instant messaging and VoIP could be proficiently adopted in order to reduce costs related communicating within the company or with external stakeholders, especially when located worldwide. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>E.g.: VoIP meetings could reduce travel costs, phone call costs and time spent to move people. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Real-time messaging could also be effectively be exploited in order to improve the cooperative authoring process, by allowing users to share comments and suggestions while co-working at the same document. </li></ul>dott. Paolo Casoto - TRI-ICT Project - 2010
  24. 24. Google Apps Marketplace <ul><li>Google Apps cover most of the requirements SME may cope with when implementing collaborative activities. </li></ul><ul><li>However some companies may require ad-hoc solutions, in order to satisfy particular needs generated by their own business processes. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>E.g.: task and project management tools, geographical information systems and route optimization, data access and aggregation (weather, traffic, financial trends, news), collaborative CAD and CAE web applications. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Google Apps Marketplace allow third party service providers to implement and sell additional services which could be automatically integrated with Google Apps and access the whole set of their contents and capabilities. </li></ul><ul><li>Google Apps API allows users to integrate their own legacy web applications and web information systems within the Google Apps infrastructure. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>E.g.: Users could access company CRM from mail web application or calendar application. </li></ul></ul>dott. Paolo Casoto - TRI-ICT Project - 2010
  25. 25. Google Data Protocol API <ul><li>REST-like technology which allows access and integration of a wide set of services offered by Google, both included or not included into Google Apps (E.g.: Google Books, Google Calendar, Blogspot, YouTube, Picasa) . </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Mixed approach, not completely REST compliant. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Several data representations could be supported: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>AtomPub, based on Atom feed; </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>JSON </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Google Data Protocol API manages service authentication, request formatting and transmission, response retrieval and parsing. </li></ul><ul><li>Authentication service could be achieved by AuthStub, OAuth and ClientLogin </li></ul>dott. Paolo Casoto - TRI-ICT Project - 2010
  26. 26. Google Data Protocol API / 2 <ul><li>Google Data Protocol API has been designed in order to be easily integrated with legacy desktop and web applications. </li></ul><ul><li>API wrappers compatible with the most used development platforms are available (e.g.: Java, .NET, Objective C, Python) </li></ul><ul><li>Services could be accessed anonymously or by authentication, depending on service ’ s nature (e.g.: Google Calendar requires client to be properly authenticated with user ’ s credentials in order to retrieve user ’ s calendars and events). </li></ul><ul><li>GDP API allows to easily expand the set of functionalities offered by legacy systems. Legacy systems could take advantage of company centralized information (e.g. contacts, calendars) without requiring data duplication and redundancy. </li></ul>dott. Paolo Casoto - TRI-ICT Project - 2010
  27. 27. Google Data Protocol API / Use Cases in SME <ul><li>Integrate Google Calendar into the company site to allow customers to retrieve in real time information about already allocated resources or to allow them to autonomously allocate a resource. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>E.g: car rental agency, hotel and restaurants allowing users to allocate rooms and tables. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Develop a vacation management system, allowing users to define their own vacation time and management to check for potential overlappings. </li></ul><ul><li>Share the contacts stored into the company CRM with the company Gmail accounts, by allowing two-ways synchronization with web contacts and calendars. </li></ul><ul><li>Allow users to easily store attachments received via mail by customers (e.g. the project of a new tool or part) in a shared location, editable by the technical department and granting them change tracking and versioning facilities. </li></ul>dott. Paolo Casoto - TRI-ICT Project - 2010
  28. 28. Cloud – based solutions for SME <ul><li>Business cloud-based solutions introduced by Google have been extended or reinvented by several service providers, such as Microsoft, IBM and Zoho. </li></ul><ul><li>Each of cited solutions focuses on collaborative work and authoring, instant communication, data sharing between actors involved in the company. </li></ul><ul><li>Zoho offers a portfolio of integrated applications which move forward the features offered by Google Apps, providing users domain specific applications: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Web based CRM, project management web suite, web solutions for invoicing, database creation and management, business intelligence, recruitment and test/assessments authoring. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Zoho solutions are all cloud-based. The IT infrastructure users need to access Zoho is limited to a network connection and a web browser. </li></ul></ul>dott. Paolo Casoto - TRI-ICT Project - 2010
  29. 29. Conclusions <ul><li>Cloud-based applications, such as Google Apps or Zoho, could be effectively be exploited in order to improve productivity, even in SME, and, at the same time, reduce IT costs. </li></ul><ul><li>No large investments in hardware and infrastructure are required. Storage, computation and functionalities are provided by service providers and implemented by their own IT large-scale infrastructure. </li></ul><ul><li>Service Level Agreement granted by service provider define the Quality of Service and the availability of acquired services. </li></ul><ul><li>Privacy, safety and security of data is granted by several third party international certification, like the SAS70 Type II, which some service providers grant to their customers (e.g. Google). </li></ul>dott. Paolo Casoto - TRI-ICT Project - 2010
  30. 30. Conclusions / 2 <ul><li>Technological training could be significantly reduced for both IT staff and end users. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>IT staff should not cope with many hardware or software issues, which are hidden by the cloud abstraction. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>End users do not need to start learning new instruments from scratch: most of described applications present a set of functionalities and graphical interfaces which are already known to users familiar to Gmail, YouTube, Google Calendar or Google Contacts. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Management could focus on how integrate such functionalities into the business processes instead of focusing on IT costs and management issues. </li></ul><ul><li>Third party services could scale easily with the growth of the company. No need to plan in advance a larger infrastructure; new computation or storage capabilities could be acquired when needed or paid only if required. </li></ul>dott. Paolo Casoto - TRI-ICT Project - 2010