Guest Post: Why Half of Our Company is Using Chromebooks Full-Time

Originally posted by David Politis, CEO of BetterCloud.  BetterCloud offers FlashPanel, an integrated management and administrative tools for organizations using Google Apps. Cumulus Global recommends and includes Flash Panel with most Google Apps implementations.

Being a Gmail and Google Apps fanatic, I’ve always been intrigued by the concept of Chromebooks and Chrome OS in general. And with every 3 minute reboot of my aging Windows laptop this past spring, I became more tempted to take the plunge and go 100% web with a Chromebook, at least for the large portion of my day when I’m working in Google Apps and not installable software programs. So when the new Samsung 550 Chromebooks came out this past June, I made my case to the bossman that we should order a few of these devices. They’re cheap, and if we’re true Google Apps experts developing for the Google Apps ecosystem, we need at least a basic understanding of how Chromebooks function and are managed in a business environment.

What I didn’t expect, however, is that I’d be using a Chromebook nearly 100% of the time in the months to follow – we’ve even converted the office’s Controller, an Excel power user, to a Chromebook and Google Spreadsheets. So with about 4 months of Chromebook experience under my belt, I thought it would be a good time to share some of the top reasons why a few of my coworkers and I find Chromebooks indispensable.


You’ve heard the stats, “8 second boot, instant wake from sleep” etc. etc. I can tell you this: you won’t fully appreciate this kind of speed until you use it. I used to come into the office, turn my laptop on, go get a cup of coffee and chat with a couple coworkers, then come back to a laptop that was still rolling out of bed. The Chromebook is ready to go when you are, and over the course of days, weeks and months, saving a few minutes here and there really adds up. You can get similar speeds with any computer using a solid-state drive, but if you don’t have $1,000 to spend on a new MacBook Air, you can get the same speed with the new $249 Chromebook.


While the simplicity of Chrome OS is certainly a big reason for its speed, the simplicity in and of itself actually makes working in Chrome OS a very nice experience. The tools you need to access consistently throughout the day, like Gmail and Google Drive, are always at your fingertips in the launch bar. Obviously you can do this on a “real” laptop with hot keys, browser shortcuts, etc. but with a Chromebook it’s just so easy. And I find that the stripped-down nature of Chrome OS creates far less distractions.

Security and Standardization

There’s definitely a security benefit for personal Chromebook users, as the device doesn’t truly store local files (more security by limitation) and the OS only boots from a read-only version, but the security benefits are even greater for an organization deploying Chromebooks. As an IT administrator, not only can you implement security settings like restricting sign-in to accounts on your domain only or wiping local files after every log out, but you can also standardize certain aspects of the Chromebook experience by proactively pushing out useful Chrome extensions, or even pre-configuring WiFi network logins for every Chromebook on your domain, or particular Org. Units (useful if you use geography to group your OUs).

Using Chromebooks has been a great experience for our team. Not only do we get lightning-fast, affordable laptops, we also have seen Chrome OS evolve significantly over the past 4 months alone. The user experience has improved pretty significantly every few weeks, while the Chrome OS team continues to add more “traditional” PC features like extended desktop and better multimedia support. It’s certainly a Google-centric solution so we wouldn’t recommend it for everyone, but if you’re a Google Apps customer and are already spending the majority of your day in a web browser, it’s worth checking out a Chromebook.

Editor’s note:  Click Here if you are interested in learning more about Chromebooks, or taking one for a test drive.

Cumulus Global CEO: “Nexus 7 Fits with Google Apps Ecosystem”

In an interview with CRN, Cumulus Global CEO Allen Falcon agrees that the Nexus 7 tablet fits with the Google Apps Ecosystem and may lead to increased sales of Google Apps and Chromebooks for Business.

Tuesday Take-Away: Chromebook Updates = More Value

Over the past four months, we have helped more than 50 schools and school districts introduce Chromebooks or expand their use of Chromebooks.  While some schools are creating carts that can move between classrooms, others are using Chromebooks as tools for specific learning modules and curricula and as their preferred device for 1:1 student computing programs.

Recent Chromebook Updates — hardware, software, and program — further enhance the value of Chromebooks for schools, libraries, and businesses.

New Chromebook Model

The new Samsung Chromebook Series-5 550 performs 3 times faster than the original Series-5 system, and includes may other improvements:

  • Double the RAM (4GB)
  • Intel Celeron Processor, an upgrade from the Atom processor in prior units
  • HD Webcam
  • Intel 3000 Graphics accelerator
  • Expanded external display options with a DisplayPort++ supporting VGA, DVI, and HDMI monitors
  • ChromeOS Management Service

New Chromebox

The new Chromebox is a notepad-sized computer designed to replace desktop systems where cloud-based apps are the norm and/or where VDI services are available for legacy applications. They also work well for kiosks and as public access computers in libraries.

The Chromebox features:

  • 4GB RAM
  • Intel Celeron Processor
  • Intel 3000 Graphics accelerator
  • External display options with a DisplayPort++ supporting VGA, DVI, and HDMI monitors
  • 6 USB 2.0 ports
  • ChromeOS Management Service

ChromeOS Updates

Google is currently releasing a new version of ChromeOS.  The new version includes features that look and feel more familiar to most users.  These include:

  • Multiple browser windows
  • The ability to move and re-size windows
  • A “desktop” space for listing and launching applications and web site

Initial feedback from our customers is very positive.

ChromeOS Management Service

One of the benefits of Chromebooks for Business and Chromebooks for Education is the integrated ChromeOS Management Service.  In changing the licensing structure of the service, the ChromeOS Management Service is now a “lifetime” license.  Google guarantees the ChromeOS Management Service will be supported for each Chromebook/Chromebox model for at least 3 years from the date the model is no longer available for sale.

Additionally, we can now offer the ChromeOS Management Service for Chromebooks that were purchased from retail outlets.

For more information about Chromebooks for Education and Chromebooks for Business, or to discuss if Chromebooks fit your “use cases”, please contact us for a free consultation.