Posts

Cumulus Global Offers Easier Public Sector Cloud Purchasing

Managed Cloud Services by Cumulus Global

Cumulus Global Offers Easier Public Sector Cloud Purchasing

Participation in multiple, national, cooperative purchase programs to save schools and local governments time and money.

 

Cumulus Global proudly announces that schools and local governments can now purchase Google Workspace, other cloud services, and related professional services via one of four national cooperative purchasing programs. By participating in these programs, Cumulus Global services and solutions are now available with simplified bidding and quoting processes. Local governments and school systems will save time and money.

“This is a big step forward for Cumulus Global and our public sector customers,” stated Cumulus Global CEO Allen Falcon. “If we can quote cloud and professional services without extensive bidding and RFP processes, we save time and money.”

By participating in multiple procurement associations, Cumulus Global is more likely to find a match with schools and governments for managed cloud solutions. They can use any of the four procurement vehicles to which they belong: Equalis Group, National Cooperative Purchasing Alliance (NCPA), OMNIA Partners, or PEPPM Cooperative Purchasing.

“We are meeting governments and school districts where they are,” noted Falcon. “Chances are, we are in a program that your school or local government can use.”

As part of the company’s commitment to added value, the company is transparent with respect to program participation fees. The company will share and pass through these fees as-is, without markups. Local governments and schools interested in learning more can schedule an introductory call with a Cumulus Global Cloud Advisor.

About Cumulus Global

Managed Cloud Services for Small and Midsize Businesses, Governments, and Schools

Cumulus Global (www.cumulusglobal.com) is an industry-leading managed cloud service provider with a mission to deliver solutions with tangible value.

  • What We Do: We translate your business goals and objectives into solutions and services.
  • How We Do It: We start with your business needs and priorities. Planning and migration includes guidance to help your team adopt and utilize new services. Your team benefits from co-managed services, ongoing support, and client success services that help you adapt as your business changes and grows.
  • What We Offer: Managed cloud solutions featuring Google, Microsoft, and more than three dozen providers.

For more information, schedule a no-obligation introductory meeting with a Cloud Advisor.

Cumulus Global Awarded 2024 Google Premier Partner Status

Google Premier Partner

Cumulus Global Awarded 2024 Premier Partner Status for Google Workspace

Google recognizes Cumulus Global for expert service delivery and growth.

 

Cumulus Global is proud to share that Google has recognized the company as a Google Premier Partner for Google Workspace.  The award reflects Cumulus Global’s ability to consistently provide high-quality service to its customers and the company’s ongoing commitment to service quality and growth.

 “We are honored to receive Premier Partner status for 2024,” stated Cumulus Global CEO Allen Falcon. “Our team works hard to ensure our customers move smoothly into cloud services and get the best possible value from their Google Workspace and related services.”

Google awards Premier Status to partners that meet and maintain a rigorous set of standards. These standards include maintaining advanced levels of training and certification, reaching business development milestones, and receiving customer recommendations and testimonials.

Serving small and midsize businesses, governments, and schools, Cumulus Global supports hundreds of organizations and over 30,000 end users throughout North America.

“From sole practitioners to organizations with hundreds of people, we do more than provide subscription licensing and migrate data,” noted Falcon. “Our focus is on helping individuals and teams best use the capabilities of Google Workspace and on helping organizations make sure their data is secure and protected.”

Beyond licensing and ‘support,’ Cumulus Global specializes in delivering Managed Cloud Services. With options that scale to meet your organization’s needs and budget, Cumulus Global’s Managed Cloud Services deliver security, data protection, monitoring, management, support, and professional services in service packages that cost less than traditional MSP services.

About Cumulus Global

Managed Cloud Services for Small and Midsize Businesses, Governments, and Schools

Cumulus Global (www.cumulusglobal.com) is an industry-leading managed cloud service provider with a mission to deliver solutions with tangible value.

  • What We Do: We translate your business goals and objectives into solutions and services.
  • How We Do It: We start with your business needs and priorities. Planning and migration includes guidance to help your team adopt and utilize new services. Your team benefits from co-managed services, ongoing support, and client success services that help you adapt as your business changes and grows.
  • What We Offer: Managed cloud solutions featuring Google, Microsoft, and more than three dozen providers.

For more information, schedule a no-obligation introductory meeting with a Cloud Advisor.

3 Google Changes Happening Now

Google Premier Partner

As we enter 2024, Google is making changes to further improve the email and Google Workspace user experience.  Google has three initiatives to further prevent spam, reduce cyber attacks, and expand the capabilities of Google Workspace users. Each of these three efforts can impact your subscriptions and, in many cases, the fees you pay.

  1. Google will Enforce Email Best Practices
  2. G Suite to Google Workspace Conversions Continue and Can be Costly
  3. Google is Enforcing Pooled Storage Limits

Please review each of the 3 changes and let us know if you need assistance.

1 Google will Enforce Email Best Practices

Google is leading email providers in a new effort to protect individuals from cyber attacks. While initially targeting bulk email senders, we, along with Google, encourage all email senders to adopt best practices for email validation and security.

Email remains the primary method of cyberattacks.  While phishing and ransomware remain the most common forms of attack,  business email compromise (BEC) cyber attacks are the most costly and damaging. As we noted in this blog post, DKIM and DMARC are the best methods for preventing BEC and email/domain impersonation attacks.  The post includes a link to this eBook with more detailed information. 

The relatively low cost to set up these protections and optionally monitor DMARC reports has saved small businesses like yours tens of thousands of dollars in losses.

2 G Suite to Google Workspace: Conversions Continue and Can Be Costly

As announced in October 2022, the migration from G Suite to Google Workspace will wrap up in 2024.  If you are still on a G Suite subscription, Google will automatically move you to a Google Workspace subscription on your renewal date.

What to Expect:

This migration results in significant fee increases for many organizations, as noted in prior blog posts and direct communications.

  • Accounts with more than 300 users will be moved to a Google Workspace Enterprise version.
    • G Suite Basic and Business customers will see their fees jump from $6 or $12 per user per month to $23 or $30 per user per month.
  • Google Workspace feature alignment differs from G Suite. Google will move your subscription based on the features you use:
    • As appropriate, Google will move you from G Suite Basic or Business, at $6 or $12 per user per month, to Google Workspace Business Standard or Plus, at $12 or $18 per user per month.
    • Google will move some G Suite Basic and Business customers to Google Workspace Enterprise Standard at $23 per user per month.
    • Depending on the features you use in G Suite Enterprise, at $20 per user per month, Google will move you to Google Workspace Enterprise Standard or Plus at $23 or $30 per user per month.

In addition to the initial transition from G Suite to Google Workspace:

  1. Google increased the pricing for Google Workspace Enterprise Standard from $20 to $23 per user per month
  2. Customers without an annual commitment — month to month service — 20% more for each license
  3. With pooled storage for all subscriptions, Google no longer allows you to add additional storage subscriptions

These 3 changes create additional reasons for subscription upgrades and fee increases.

What to Do:

Although Google halted its generous migration incentives and discounts early last year, we can help you avoid or mitigate fee increasesContact us or schedule time with one of our Cloud Advisors Advisors for assistance.

3 Google Will Enforce Pooled Storage Limits

As we blogged in November, Google is now enforcing pooled storage limits across all Google Workspace subscriptions.

While Google Workspace Enterprise subscriptions have unlimited storage, pooled storage limits for Google Workspace Business subscriptions as follows:

  • Starter = 30 GB per user
  • Standard = 2 TB per user
  • Plus = 5 TB per user

If you exceed your pooled storage limit, Google will place your service in “read-only” mode, which impacts your ability to create/add content.

What to Expect:

  • As you approach your pooled storage limit, Google will send you warnings.
  • If you exceed your pooled storage limit and have additional storage licenses, Google will give you up to 60 days before limiting your account. If not, you will only receive up to 14 days notice.

What to Do:

As soon as you receive either of the warnings from Google, you need to plan to either free up storage or add more storageOur blog post discusses your options in more detail. For more information or assistance, please contact us or schedule time with one of our Cloud Advisors.

About the Author

Allen Falcon is the co-founder and CEO of Cumulus Global.  Allen co-founded Cumulus Global in 2006 to offer small businesses enterprise-grade email security and compliance using emerging cloud solutions. He has led the company’s growth into a managed cloud service provider with over 1,000 customers throughout North America. Starting his first business at age 12, Allen is a serial entrepreneur. He has launched strategic IT consulting, software, and service companies. An advocate for small and midsize businesses, Allen served on the board of the former Smaller Business Association of New England, local economic development committees, and industry advisory boards.

Manage Storage in Google Workspace and Understand Limits

Google Workspace

Updated January 3, 2003: Clarification on length of grace periods.

With the move to pooled storage across all subscriptions, Google no longer supports legacy options for additional storage for Google Workspace. As such, many individuals and businesses find themselves approaching or exceeding the pooled Google Workspace storage limit for their accounts.

What Happens Next After Reaching The Google Workspace Storage Limit

If you reach or exceed your pooled storage limit, Google gives you a grace period to either reduce the amount of storage used, or to add more pooled storage by changing your subscription.  After the grace period, your account becomes “read-only.” This change impacts your services including being unable to upload files or create new Google Docs, Sheets, Slides, or Forms.

Your grace period is:

  • 14 days if you do not have legacy Additional Storage license(s).
  • 60 days if you have legacy Additional Storage license(s).

You Have Options

You need to either add more Google Workspace storage, or you and your team need to free up storage.

Add More Storage

You have three options for adding more storage.

1 Upgrade.  The easiest way to add storage capacity, and Google’s recommended solution, is to upgrade to the next subscription tier, from Business Starter to Standard; from Business Standard to Plus; from Business Plus to Enterprise Standard.

2 Add Licenses. As an alternative, you can opt to add one or more additional licenses to increase the storage pool.  Both of these solutions will incrementally increase your cost.

3 Add 10 TB of Storage. You can add Additional Storage to Google Workspace subscriptions with pooled storage. The added storage comes in blocks for 10 TB at a cost of $300 per month.  This option is generally too expensive for most small and midsize businesses.

Which option is more cost-effective depends on your current subscription, your number of users, and the amount of storage you want to add.

Free Up Storage

We can recommend several techniques for freeing up storage, each with advantages and disadvantages.

1 Review and remove large or unnecessary files.  Ask each user to go through their “My Drive”. Your Administrator should review your Shared Drives. Be careful not to remove files that may be needed.

2 Review and remove duplicate files. Encourage each user to delete files that have been copied to a Shared Drive, or for which they have multiple copies that are no longer needed.

3 Remove and reduce large emails. Instruct and help users work to through their historical email and delete emails with larger attachments. Verify that the files were saved to My Drive or a Shared Drive. Be careful that the content of the email is no longer needed as well to avoid losing information you might need later on.

4 Move files to other storage. Using Google Cloud you have other storage options. These storage options work well for static needs, such as archiving projects and media (image, audio, video) libraries. Accessing Google Cloud storage requires

5 Move files to local storage. While counter to a Cloud Forward approach, you can move files to local storage. If you  do download the files to local storage before deleting, remember to make sure you protect those files with a backup/recovery solution.

We Can Help with Google Workspace Storage

Our team of small and midsize business cloud experts can and will help you chart your best path forward.  Let us help you assess the effort and cost for your options, and choose the best solution for you and your business. Schedule a call with a Cloud Advisor or send us an email.

About the Author

Chris CaldwellChristopher Caldwell is the COO and a co-founder of Cumulus Global.  Chris is a successful Information Services executive with 40 years experience in information services operations, application development, management, and leadership. His expertise includes corporate information technology and service management; program and project management; strategic and project-specific business requirements analysis; system requirements analysis and specification; system, application, and database design; software engineering and development, data center management, network and systems administration, network and system security, and end-user technical support.

Upgrade Coming to Spaces in Google Chat: From Conversation Topics to in-line Threading

upgrade from conversation topics to in-line threading in spaces

A Google Chat upgrade is rolling out as of September 30, 2023. Google will be upgrading the format of all spaces organized by conversation topic to in-line threaded spaces in batches. The changes take place over the course of several months. Upgrades for each space may take a few minutes to complete. In some cases, it may take up to 12 hours to complete. The space will be unavailable to users during the upgrade.

Most users’ spaces will be upgraded during non-peak hours on weekends to try and ensure minimal disruption. Upgrades for all customers are expected to be finished by March 31, 2024. If you have a preferred month during which you would like the upgrade to happen, fill out this form by September 28, 2023.

Spaces organized by conversation topic have messages and replies grouped together in the main chat window. In-line threaded spaces, on the other hand, allow direct replies to any message, and allow creating a separate in-line thread, which is a sub-conversation that appears in a separate pane in the UX to a sub-conversation where smaller groups of people can continue a conversation on a specific topic. 

Before the Spaces Google Chat Upgrade

  • A few weeks before the Google Chat upgrade begins, users will see a banner in spaces that are organized by conversation topic. The banner will notify users of the upcoming upgrade. It will also have a link to a Google Help Center article which will have more details about the upgrade.

Who’s Impacted

This update to spaces in Google chat will impact admins and end users.

During the Transition From Spaces Organized by Topic to in-line Threading in Google Chat

  • When users attempt to open a space while it is being upgraded, they will see and error message.  The message will state the ‘Space is temporarily not available. We are updating this space to an inline threaded space.’
  • If users are viewing a space when the upgrade starts, most features will become unavailable until the upgrade completes, including sending and receiving messages in that space.
  • Search in Google Vault for Chat messages will still function, but results may contain duplicated messages from spaces that are being upgraded.
  • Chat APIs/Chat Apps that are trying to access a space during the upgrade will not work and will receive errors when trying to update space content.

After the Google Chat Upgrade To in-line Threading

  • Messages sent before the Google Chat upgrade will be retained. They will be arranged chronologically, instead of by topic. There will also be a separator titled “Begin New Topic” to indicate every time a new topic was started.
  • In some cases, when people have responded on older topics, the new chronological order takes precedence. Messages may not appear next to the original topic, but rather by the time they were sent. When this occurs, the new response will quote the last corresponding message.
  • Users will see a separator between the last message sent before the upgrade. They will also see  a notification in the space indicating that the space has been upgraded to use in-line replies.
  • The upgraded spaces will have their conversation history turned on by default. This will match the existing history behavior of spaces organized by conversation topic, which always have history on. Depending on organization-level history controls, space history settings may be changed by space managers. New messages sent after the upgrade will respect applicable organization-level history controls configured by administrators.
  • Users might need to close and reopen Chat in order to get access to the upgraded spaces.
  • Messages sent after the upgrade will have the same experience as the existing in-line threaded spaces.

No Action Required During the Spaces Upgrade in Google Chat

You can learn more about in-line threaded spaces, and you can always contact us with your questions at info@cumulusglobal.com.

About the Author

Chris CaldwellChristopher Caldwell is the COO and a co-founder of Cumulus Global.  Chris is a successful Information Services executive with 40 years experience in information services operations, application development, management, and leadership. His expertise includes corporate information technology and service management; program and project management; strategic and project-specific business requirements analysis; system requirements analysis and specification; system, application, and database design; software engineering and development, data center management, network and systems administration, network and system security, and end-user technical support.

Small Business Summer Savings

Small businesses and solopreneurs depend on their technology in ways that differ from larger organizations. Our laptops and desktops are critical to daily operations and access to cloud services, including Microsoft 365 or Google Workspace, is our lifeline. Without IT staff and spare equipment, we rely on our own abilities and outside help to keep things running and to respond to problems. Too often, we face disruptions and unexpected costs. Our Small Business Summer Savings options give you protection and security without busting your budget.

The Need

To ensure the availability and reliability of our IT services, small businesses need to protect their systems and be able to quickly recover should something bad happen. Essential services should:

  • Prevent malware, phishing, ransomware, and other cyber attacks
  • Protect files and data on computers and in the cloud
  • Secure access to systems and services
  • Help you and your team with issues, problems, and questions

As important, when something does go wrong, we need to be able to return to work quickly and efficiently.  We cannot sit idle for the 3 to 7 days it can take to repair or replace and restore a laptop.

The Services

Cumulus Global’s Managed Cloud Services provide the security, protection, and support services you and your business need.  Our Essential and Basic packages tailor to the specific needs of small businesses.

Our PC Continuity solution goes beyond backup/recovery for laptops and PCs.  In addition to backing up your files, we capture images of your entire system. In an emergency, we can spin up the image of your computer in a cloud data center.  Within a few hours, you are up and running from any device with a browser and Internet access.  You business keeps running while your computer is fixed or replaced.

The Offer

Through August 31, 2023, bundle our Essential or Basic Managed Cloud Services with our PC Continuity solution and save:

  • No setup fees
  • Up to 30% on monthly recurring fees for the first year

The Action

To learn more and get a quote, click here to schedule a call with a Cloud Advisor or send us an email.

About the Author

Allen Falcon is the co-founder and CEO of Cumulus Global.  Allen co-founded Cumulus Global in 2006 to offer small businesses enterprise-grade email security and compliance using emerging cloud solutions. He has led the company’s growth into a managed cloud service provider with over 1,000 customers throughout North America. Starting his first business at age 12, Allen is a serial entrepreneur. He has launched strategic IT consulting, software, and service companies. An advocate for small and midsize businesses, Allen served on the board of the former Smaller Business Association of New England, local economic development committees, and industry advisory boards.

Backup Your Google Workspace or Microsoft 365 Cloud: Use Cases Beyond Restore

google workspace and office 365 backup

As we discussed in recent blog posts, Google and Microsoft clouds operate under a shared responsibility model for data protection. Google and Microsoft run internal backup systems to protect you should they have hardware or software issues. You, however, are responsible to backup your cloud, including Google Workspace or Microsoft 365. You need to protect your data from user deletions, user overwrites, malware, hackers, and other risks. This all starts with the proper backup solutions for Google Workspace or Microsoft 365.

A good backup solution for Google Workspace or Microsoft 365 does more than restore.

Microsoft 365 and Google Workspace Backup Solutions

These four use cases provide added value when you backup your Google Workspace or Microsoft 365 cloud.

1 Preserve Data From Past Employees

If you want to preserve data from past employees you have a few options:

  • In both clouds, you can continue paying for licensing for past/suspended users
  • In Google Workspace, you can also pay for Archive User Licenses
  • Subscribe to a third party archiving solution
  • Preserve backups for past employees after you remove their Google or Microsoft accounts.

With the ability to restore data to other accounts, you can use the backup as a long-term archive.  Doing so is less costly than maintaining licenses or moving to archive user licensing, and is comparable in cost to third party account archive solutions.

2 Transfer Data to New Owners

Both Microsoft 365 and Google Workspace provide administrative tools to transfer data and ownership between users.  These transfers, however, lack granularity and are generally available at the service level.  For example, you can transfer all documents to one user and emails to another user.

With a good backup solution, you can selectively restore data to any users.  As such, you can transfer specific files, folders, sites data, emails, etc. to different people as needed. An added benefit, you can also transfer data between employees as they change positions and responsibilities.

3 Archive Documents (and other data)

A third party backup solution can preserve and archive documents, as well as email, calendars, contacts, and sites data in support of your document retention policies or regulations.  Granted, both Google Workspace and Microsoft 365 offer several licensing options that include the compliant archive/e-discovery services for your data.

You may not need the rigor and cost of an upgrade or add-on service. With one or more backups per day, your preserve data as it exists at specific points int time.  Options for unlimited retention allow you to recover information, even after malicious deletions.

4 Escape Hatch

As a “best-practice”, backups should not be stored in immutable systems without altering the format.  Doing so protects your backups from cyber attacks by segregating your backup systems from your operating environment while preserving content.  With data preserved and the ability to export, the right backup solution provides an easier and efficient means of exporting data from Google Workspace and Microsoft Office.

Cumulus Global Can Help You With Google Workspace or Microsoft 365 Backup Services

We offer a range of backup/recovery, and business continuity services that we match to your needs and budget.

Schedule time with one of our Cloud Advisors or contact us to discuss which backup solutions for Google Workspace or Microsoft 365 backup solutions are right for you. The conversation is free, without obligation, and at your convenience.

About the Author

Bill Seybolt bio pictureBill is a Senior Cloud Advisor responsible for helping small and midsize organizations with cloud forward solutions that meet their business needs, priorities, and budgets. Bill works with executives, leaders, and team members to understand workflows, identify strategic goals and tactical requirements, and design solutions and implementation phases. Having helped over 200 organizations successfully adopt cloud solutions, his expertise and working style ensure a comfortable experience effective change management. 

 

Google Workspace Fee Increase Effective April 11, 2023

Google WorkspaceOn February 11, 2023, Google provided sixty (60) days notice of a Google Workspace fee increase across most licenses.  For many customers, this increase is coming immediately after increased fees related to the transition from G Suite to Google Workspace.

The Google Workspace Fee Increase in Summary

The Google Workspace fee increase primarily impacts subscriptions on the “Flex Plan”, or month to month service.  Flex Plan fees will increase by 20%. This includes all Google Workspace Business, Enterprise, Front Line Worker, Archived User, and Appsheet licenses. The 20% increase also impacts Google Cloud Identity Premium licenses.

Additionally, the underlying annual commitment plan fees for Google Workspace Enterprise Standard is increasing by 15%.  Enterprise Standard Flex Plan licenses will be charged the 20% increase on top of the 15% increase.

Google Workspace Fee Increase Details

For all Google Workspace Business plans, the per-user fees for Flex Plan subscriptions are increasing by 20%. The per user monthly fees will change as follows:

  • Business Starter: from $6 to $7.20 per user per month
  • Business Standard: from $12 to $14.40 per user per month
  • Business Plus: from $18 to $21.60 per user per month

For all Google Workspace Enterprise plans, the per-user fees for Flex Plan subscriptions are increasing by 20%. There is also an increase in the underlying Annual Commit pricing for Google Workspace Enterprise Standard. The per user monthly fees will change as follows:

  • Enterprise Essentials – Flex Plan: from $10 to $12 per user per month
  • Enterprise Starter – Flex Plan: from $10 to $12 per user per month
  • Enterprise Standard – Annual Commit Plan: from $20 to $23 per user per month
  • Enterprise Standard – Flex Plan: from $20 to $27.60 per user per month
  • Enterprise Plus – Flex Plan: from $30 to $36 per user per month

Similar 20% increases will impact Flex Plan pricing across the following licenses:

  • Google Vault
  • Google Workspace Front Line Worker
  • Google Workspace Archived User (all Business and Enterprise licenses)
  • Cloud Identity Premium
  • Google Workspace Appsheet (all Business and Premium licenses)

Impact on G Suite to Google Workspace Transition

If you are still using G Suite licensing, these changes will be in effect as of April 11, 2023 or as of your transition date if your transition occurs after this date. If you are using G Suite on an Annual Commitment Plan, Google will automatically move you to Google Workspace on your annual (or contract) renewal date.  If you are using G suite on a Flex Plan, Google should provide your with 60 days notice of your automatic transition. Google began automatic (forced) transitions earlier this month and will continue until all customers are moved to Google Workspace.

As a reminder: When Google automatically transitions your service from G Suite to Google Workspace, Google will select the licensing that maintains your current feature set even if the transition will double or triple your monthly per user fees. Cumulus Global can manage your transition can discuss options to avoid or mitigate these increases. 

Avoid the Fee Increase

You can avoid this fee increase by converting your service from the Flex Plan to an Annual Commitment Plan.

Flex Plan subscriptions are month-to-month. As such, you can adjust the number of licenses up or down, as needed, each month. Your invoices are in arrears and reflect any changes.

Annual Commitment Plan subscriptions, as the name implies, commit you to one year (or multiple years) of service.  During your Commitment Plan term, you may added licenses at a prorated fee through the end of your term.  Any added licenses increase your commitment. You cannot reduce the number licenses (you can reuse them as employees leave and new employees join your business) and you cannot cancel service until your contract renewal date.

Given the fee increase on Flex Plan subscriptions, most small businesses will NOT save money by remaining on the Flex Plan, even if your license count fluctuates over the year.

  • For the Flex Plan to be less expensive, you would need to reduce your license count by more than the equivalent of 20% of your users for a full 12 months.
  • Example 1:
    • A seasonal business that reduces its staff for 6 months each year would need to reduce their license count by more than 40% to save money on the Flex Plan.
  • Example 2:
    • A business that reduces staffing for the 3 primary winter months would need to reduce their number of licenses by more than 70% to save money on the Flex Plan.

Most small businesses do not have staffing changes this large. Please evaluate your projected costs and consider switching to an Annual Commitment Plan.

Call To Action

Contact us or schedule time with one of our Cloud Advisors to discuss your options. We are here to assist you and to ensure you are getting the best value from your Google Workspace services.

About the Author

Allen Falcon is the co-founder and CEO of Cumulus Global.  Founded in 2006 to offer small businesses enterprise-grade email security and compliance using emerging cloud solutions, Allen has led the company’s growth into a managed cloud service provider with over 1,000 customers throughout North America.  Having started his first business at age 12, Allen is a serial entrepreneur having started strategic IT consulting, software, and service companies. An advocate for small and midsize businesses, Allen served on the board of the former Smaller Business Association of New England, local economic development committees, and industry advisory boards.

 

Service Update: Archived User License Fees Begin in January

Cumulus Global 15 Years of ServiceService Update: Archived User License Fees Begin on January 23, 2023.

As previously announced by Google and covered in our blog, Google has discontinued the Vault Former Employee (VFE) service.  All Google Workspace customers had there VFE licenses converted to a trial of the Archived User License (AUL) service.

The free trial of the AUL service ends on January 15, 2023.  Archived User License fees begin on January 16, 2023.

Archived User License (AUL) Fees

All customers with active AUL accounts will be invoiced in accordance with their Google Workspace License:

  • $4/user/month – Google Workspace Business AUL
  • $5/user/month – Google Workspace Enterprise Standard AUL
  • $7/user/month – Google Workspace Enterprise Standard AUL

Available Options

In addition to keeping your AUL subscription and paying the above fees, you have the option to:

  • Discontinue the AUL subcription
    • Removing the service will permanently remove all archived data.
    • Deleted archived data cannot be restored or recovered.
  • Export the Data prior to discontinuing the AUL service
    • This provides you with a static copy of existing data in your AUL accounts.
    • Data in your AUL accounts are permanently deleted when you discontinue the subscription.
  • Migrate to a third party archive solution prior to discontinuing the AUL service
    • Your archive of past Google Workspace user accounts is preserved using a third party archive solutions, prior to ending your AUL subscription.
    • The annual fees to retain the archived accounts is significantly lower than AUL licensing.
    • You will incur migration fees to move your data.
    • Data in your AUL accounts are permanently deleted when you discontinue the subscription.

Next Steps

Organizations with Archived User Licenses should contact us as soon as possible by email, via our website, or by scheduling time directly with one of our Cloud Advisors to discuss your options and path forward.

Google Workspace Transition Update – 12/01/22

Google WorkspaceMore than two years after announcing the change, the Google Workspace transition from G Suite continues.

  • For organizations running G Suite with an annual or term commitment, your transition is scheduled to occur on your next renewal date.
  • For organization on the Flex Plan (month to month), Google will automatically transition your account with 60 days advanced notice.
  • Organizations willing to transition with an annual commitment before Google transitions you automatically may be eligible for incentive discounts.

For many, if not most, organizations, this transition will result in higher subscription fees and/or loss of features.

This post identifies the restrictions and potential features impact for organizations currently running G Suite Basic and G Suite Business editions.

Current G Suite Basic Subscribers

  • Additional Storage
    • If you currently do not have additional storage assigned to at least one user:
      • You can no longer add this service.
      • You will not have the ability to add storage to your Google Workspace subscription.
      • As users reach the 30GB limit, you will need to upgrade to Google Workspace Business Standard or Business Plus editions at an additional cost.
    • If you currently have additional additional storage assigned to at least one user:
      • You may grandfather this service and you may be able to add more storage.
      • The duration for how long you can maintain your existing additional storage or add new additional storage has not be clearly defined by Google. At the end of the grandfather period, you will need to upgrade to a version of Google Workspace that meets your storage needs.
  • Vault
    • If you currently have Vault:
      • You may be able to grandfather this service.
      • The duration for how long you can maintain Vault as an add-on has not been defined by Google. At the end of the grace period, you will need to upgrade to Google Workspace Business Plus to maintain this service and data.
    • If you currently do not have Vault:
      • You should select and upgrade to Google Workspace Business Plus to add this service.
  • Advanced Endpoint Management
    • This feature is not available in Google Workspace Business Starter or Business Standard subscriptions. You will not be able to set up company-managed mobile devices or selectively distribute apps to mobile devices.
    • If you use this feature, you should select and upgrade to Google Workspace Business Plus.
  • Organizational Branding / Templates
    • This feature is not available in Google Workspace Business Starter. You will no longer be able to create or use custom templates for Google Docs, Sheets, Slides, Forms and Sites. Documents created from the templates remain.
    • If you use this feature, you should select and upgrade to Google Workspace Business Standard or Business Plus.
  • Advanced Chat Space Features / Spaces
    • This feature is not available in Google Workspace Business Starter. You will no longer be able create spaces that allow external users. Existing spaces remain and users can make changes to existing spaces, such as adding or removing members.
    • If you use this feature, you should select and upgrade to Google Workspace Business Standard or Business Plus.

Current G Suite Business Subscribers

  • Storage Capacity
    • Your storage capacity will be limited based on the Google Workspace Business tier subscription you select for you transition:
      • Business Starter: 30GB per user, fixed
      • Business Standard: 2TB per user, aggregated across all users
      • Business Plus: 5 TB per user, aggregated across all users
    • To maintain unlimited storage capacity, you should select and upgrade to Google Workspace Enterprise Standard or Enterprise Plus.
  • Google Vault
    • This service will not be available if you transition to Google Workspace Business Starter or Business Standard.  Additionally, holds and retention rules will stop protecting your organization’s messages and files. Google will immediately remove all data that users deleted more than 30 days ago from all Google systems. You cannot recover this data.
    • To keep the Vault service, you should select and upgrade to Google Workspace Business Plus or an Enterprise tier subscription.
  • Advanced Endpoint Management
    • This feature is not available in Google Workspace Business Starter or Business Standard subscriptions. You will not be able to set up company-managed mobile devices or selectively distribute apps to mobile devices.
    • If you use this feature, you should select and upgrade to Google Workspace Business Plus.
  • Organizational Branding / Templates
    • This feature is not available in Google Workspace Business Starter. You will no longer be able to create or use custom templates for Google Docs, Sheets, Slides, Forms and Sites. Documents created from the templates remain.
    • If you use this feature, you should select and upgrade to Google Workspace Business Standard or Business Plus.
  • Advanced Chat Space Features / Spaces
    • This feature is not available in Google Workspace Business Starter. You will no longer be able create spaces that allow external users. Existing spaces remain and users can make changes to existing spaces, such as adding or removing members.
    • If you use this feature, you should select and upgrade to Google Workspace Business Standard or Business Plus.
  • Shared drives
    • This feature is not available in Google Workspace Business Starter. You will no longer be able manage existing shared drives. In addition, users and owners will not be able access shared drive content or add or delete content to or from shared drives. Before switching editions, ask shared drive owners to review their content and move it to their My Drive to maintain access.
    • If you use this feature, you will should select Google Workspace Business Standard or Business Starter.
  • Organization-Specific Drive Settings
    • This feature is not available in Google Workspace Business Starter. All users in your organization will inherit the settings of your top-level organizational unit, but the organizational structure itself will not change.
    • To maintain this feature, you should select Google Workspace Business Standard or Business Plus.
  • Meets
    • If you transition to Google Workspace Business Starter, your Meets will be limited to 100 participants.
    • Select G Suite Business Standard or Business Plus to maintain you Meets capacity.
  • Calendar Advanced Controls
    • These controls will not be available if you transition to Google Workspace Business Starter or Business Standard.  Rooms aren’t automatically released when all attendees decline. Rooms that decline invitations aren’t replaced. You can’t set a default duration for events.
    • To maintain access to these controls you will should select Google Workspace Business Plus.
  • Data Regions
    • These controls will not be available if you transition to Google Workspace Business Starter or Business Standard.  You can no longer choose a geographic location for your data.
    • To maintain access to these controls you should select Google Workspace Business Plus.
  • Session Length for Google services
    • These controls will not be available if you transition to Google Workspace Business Starter or Business Standard.  You can no longer control how long users can access Google services without having to sign in again.
    • To maintain access to these controls you should select transition to Google Workspace Business Plus.
  • Predefined Content Detectors
    • This feature is not available in Google Workspace Business Starter. If you use any predefined content detectors data-loss prevention, Google will remove them from any settings that use them.
    • To maintain this feature, you should select Google Workspace Business Standard or Business Plus.
  • Automated User Provisioning Applications
    • Google limits the scope of this feature in Google Workspace Business Starter. If you have more than 3 automated user provisioning applications, you must first remove automated user provisioning from all but 3 applications before downgrading.
    • To maintain this feature, you should select Google Workspace Business Standard or Business Plus.
  • Target Audiences
    • This feature is not available in Google Workspace Business Starter. You can’t recommend specific groups of people, like departments or teams, for your users to share their items with. Important: Any target audiences currently in use aren’t automatically deleted when you switch to this edition. You might want to delete them before switching.
    • To maintain this feature, you should select Google Workspace Business Standard or Business Plus.

Call To Action

Contact us or schedule time with one of our Cloud Advisors to discuss your options to best manage your transition. By default, Google will transition your G Suite account to the version of Google Workspace based on your user account and your use of the services and features listed, above. Your subscription fees may double or triple.

Webcasts

Rethinking Google and Microsoft

(04/30/24) – As both suites evolve, and your business changes, is your choice still the best match for your business? Assessing whether Microsoft 365 or Google Workspace is the best fit for your business needs should either trigger a change or improve how you use your current services.

Choose the Right Managed Cloud Services

(10/17/2023) – Business leaders like you understand the need for effective, secure, and affordable IT services. Hiring or contracting for services has likely been unaffordable. Managed Cloud Services, when properly matched to your business, provide the capabilities, security, and services you need at affordable rates. Hear from experts about defining needs and selecting the right services, technologies, and partners.

Deep Dive: Lift-and-Shift and DaaS

(07/18/2023) – As SMBs, we still have on-premise file and application servers that require upgrades, security, backup, monitoring, management, and support. Evaluating your on-premise IT, and moving what you can to the cloud, increases the business value of your IT spending and investments.

Five Things Your IT Provider Should be Telling You

(06/20/2023) – We tend to wait for our IT service providers to raise warning flags, and the periodic review with our IT provider can feel like a subtle sales call. Reacting to IT problems is not enough, and adding more IT services may not be the answer.

The High Cost of Low Adoption

(05/23/2023) – Beyond core features in Google Workspace and Microsoft 365, cloud adoption tends to be fairly low. Better cloud adoption improves productivity, communication, and security. And, it can save you money.

Your Transition to Google Workspace

Map your transition to Google Workspace: Understand the changes in features/functions and the cost impact for your business.

Small Business Guide to Cyber Threats, Security, and Response

(6/15/2021) – A practical guide to cyber threats and security. We will share data that quantifies the most prevalent types of risks and will outline practical, reasonable, and affordable steps you can take to both protect your business and, should an attack succeed, respond and recover.

Productivity Suites: Google and Microsoft Revisited

(5/18/2021) – Take a fresh look at Google Workspace and Microsoft 365 and how each might best serve your business. Rather than a feature-by-feature comparison, we take a strategic look at positioning, architecture, services, subscription options, and integrations.

library

Gemini for Google Workspace: Prompting Guide 101

eBook | Source: Google — This eBook provides you with the foundational skills to write effective, instructional prompts when using Gemini for Google Workspace so that you can be more productive and efficient in your day-to-day tasks.

Resilient and Responsive Government (Gov Tech)

Whitepaper | Source: Government Technology — A case study of how Maryland and Wyoming used Google Workspace in response to pandemic-driven demand for more resilient and responsive government services.

The Total Economic Impact of Google Workspace (Forrester)

Whitepaper | Source: Forrester Consulting — A Forrester Total Economic Impact™ study, commissioned by Google, estimates that Google Workspace’s secure and collaborative environment can result in a 336% return on investment over three years.

Email Security: Good, Better, Best

eBook | Source: Cumulus Global —
Cyber attacks by email have skyrocketed over the last decade. Email and domain impersonation attacks, fueled by successful phishing attacks, bypass account-centric security. This eBook discusses how to protect your business and domain from Business Email Compromises and impersonation attacks.

IT Services for Solopreneurs and VSBs

eBook | Source: Cumulus Global —
IT Services pose unique challenges for Solo entrepreneurs, aka “solopreneurs”, and very small businesses (VSBs). More than having IT services that are “good enough”, solopreneurs and VSBs need technology to save them time, effort, and money.

The Transition to Google Workspace

Slide Deck | Source: Cumulus Global —
For many businesses, the transition comes with a significant increase in subscription fees. This deck, with notes, from our Coffee & Clouds Series webcast covers …

Google Workspace Security

eBook | Source: Google —
Google started in the cloud and runs on the cloud, so it’s no surprise that we fully understand the security implications of powering your business in the cloud.

Make it Work: The Future of Collaboration and Productivity

eBook | Source: Google —
The future of work is here – it’s just not evenly distributed. This report identifies three changes businesses  can make to work in the future

Google Workspace Migration Guide

eBook | Source: Google — What are your goals, and what makes one technology solution the best fit? Here are some insights that can help facilitate a smooth transition to new workplace productivity tools at all stages — with specifics on Google Workspace — from decision to preparation to deployment to upkeep.

Google Workspace Encryption

Whitepaper | Source: Google —
Security is a key consideration for organizations that choose Google Workspace. This paper describes Google’s approach to encryption and how it keeps your sensitive information safe.