Google Docs and OffiSync Back on Track

Many of our OffiSync customers experienced authentication issues over the past several days when connecting to Google Docs.

These errors were due to changes made by Google in the Google Docs API.  OffiSync has released a new version that fixes the issue.

The new version should install automatically the next time users open an MS Office application.  If users do not see the prompt, they should click on Settings -> Check for Updates on the OffiSync menu/toolbar/ribbon.



Is Cloud Connect Enough?

Let’s face it.  While Google Docs offers decent web-based office productivity tools, you and some of your users need or want to keep the interface and features of MS Office.  The good news is that you can integrate MS Office and Google Docs to create a collaborative file service.  Google Cloud Connect, a free utility with Google Apps, is one such integration tool.  But, is it enough?

In our assessment, Cloud Connect provides basic integration, but lacks features that will give your users the full power of Google Docs as a collaboration platform.  Here is what we find lacking:

  • Automation Overdrive:  On installation, all MS Office documents will be added to Google Docs with automatic synchronization.  It is too easy to end up synchronizing files that you do not want or need to be in the cloud.
  • No Format Options:  Cloud Connect always uploads files in native MS Office formats, utilizing valuable space.  Users do not have the option to convert to Google Docs’ formats to take advantage of the unlimited storage.
  • No Collections:  All files are synchronized to your Home folder; you don’t have the option of selecting other locations.
  • Limited Permissions:   Documents inherit the rights of the Home collection, and you can add/change collaborators individually to files.  Since you cannot save files to other collections, you cannot take advantage of the permissions capabilities of Google Docs.
  • Site-Less:  You cannot synchronize files to Google Sites, so you do not have the ability to use all available storage and you cannot take advantage of the version control features in Sites.

Fortunately, you have some options.   Our favorite is OffiSync Premium.  In addition to providing all of the features lacking on Cloud Connect, OffiSync Premium lets you add/remove Google Docs collections and Google Site pages, email collaborators, and embed image and web search results … all from within a toolbar/ribbon in MS Word, Excel, or Powerpoint.  Also, OffiSync Premium gives you co-authoring collaboration across versions of MS Office, including 2003, 2007, and 2010.

OffiSync 2.0 Preview

OffiSync 2.0 offers greatly expanded collaboration features for MS Office users connected to Google Apps.

Join us for a discussion of the OffiSync Reseller Program and a demonstration of many of the new features.

Support for native MS Office files in Google Docs:

  • Open native MS Office files in Google Docs
  • Save MS Office files in native formats to Google Docs (Google Apps Premier and Education Edition Only)

Expanded Collaboration Features:

  • Auto-discovery of Google Sites in use
  • Create new Google Sites and folders from within MS Office applications
  • Dashboard showing other documents related to the context of your work

Co-Authoring Beta For Word and Excel files stored in Google Docs and Sites:

  • Multiple users can edit files simultaneously
  • Updated view of each others’ work with each save or auto save

MS Office Compatibility

  • Full Compatibility with Office 2003 and 2007 Editions
  • Beta support for MS Office 2010 Beta
  • Full support for Office 2010 will be available after Microsoft officially releases Office 2010

Space is Limited; Click here for webinar times and registration!

File Server or File Service?

Most organizations store and share files by setting up one or more file servers.  They used to be referred to as “File and Print Servers”, but as most printers include direct network connectivity, spooling, and job management features, the need to have print spooling and drivers running on a server has nearly disappeared.

File servers seem to be heading in the same direction.

Disk space no longer needs a physical connection to a server with a full operating system. Disk drive control, security, access rights, and I/O management can be delivered directly by storage area networks (SANs), network attached storage (NAS), and cloud storage solutions.

What happens when storage is further abstracted?

Gladinet ( has a series of tools that lets you attaché multiple, independent cloud storage systems and accounts and presents them as top level folders on a mapped drive. OffiSync gives you access to Google Docs and Google Sites storage from toolbars/ribbons in the MS Office applications (avoiding mapped drives and windows explorer altogether). While Gladinet extends the model of OS-based storage management, OffiSync moves storage management directly into the application.

In its infancy, cloud storage services are giving us the opportunity to rethink the positioning and role of storage within operational architectures – in the cloud and in our data centers. File servers feel nearly obsolete as storage becomes a commodity and access control migrates from the operating system to the applications themselves.

Another OffiSync Webinar and Demo

In response to several requests, we have added another webinar to demonstrate  OffiSync  Premium on Friday 18-Dec-09 at 1:30 pm EST.

Click here to register.

Improved Sharing in Google Docs

An enhancement that makes it easier to share groups of documents with co-workers and others, you can now share entire folders in Google Docs (learn more).

This update also allows you to upload multiple files into Google Docs with one command.  Note that when you upload MS Office documents into Google Docs, the document format changes and some features and layouts may be modified for compatibility.

Add OffiSync and you can more easily work in the MS Office apps you like while using Google Apps for collaboration.   With OffiSync Premium preserves the original MS format of your documents.

OffiSync Intro and Training

See the features of OffiSync Premium first-hand.  Learn how to use OffiSync to save, share, and collaborate using Google Docs and Google Site from a toolbar within Word, Excel, and Powerpoint.

When:  Friday 11/13/2009 — 1:00 PM ET

Click Here to Register

Click Here to Learn More

OffiSync works with

  • MS Office 2003, 2007, and 201o
  • Google Apps Premier, Education, and Standard Editions
  • Google Site and Google Docs

Horizon Info Services Named Exclusive North American Distributor for OffiSync

WESTBOROUGH, MA – November 12, 2009 – Building on its growth as a Google Apps Authorized Reseller, Horizon Info Services ( announced its selection as the exclusive North American distributor for OffiSync (  OffiSync is an add-on for Microsoft Office lets users save, share, and collaborate using Google Apps from menus and toolbars within Microsoft Word, Excel, and PowerPoint.  OffiSync also includes content and image search features.

“The launch of OffiSync is another turning point in the evolution of Google Apps as a business computing platform,” notes Allen Falcon, CEO of Horizon.  “OffiSync lets businesses and individuals continue to use their current desktop productivity tools and Google’s innovative cloud-based applications — either as a migration path or as part of a long-term strategy.”

Users are more comfortable changing email software since many already use more than one email program – at work and personally.  Many users are not as comfortable changing word processing and spreadsheet applications.  OffiSync solves this problem.

In a recent interview with eWeek, Matt Glotzbach, Google Enterprise Product Management Director noted that “…it’s a great set of functionality and helps a business or enterprise bridge that experience gap between users that want to work in native Office apps and those users who want to work in the cloud.”

Horizon is actively signing up resellers throughout North America.  In addition to the community of Google Apps Authorized Resellers, Horizon sees strong interest from consulting companies and IT firms that help companies deploy and use Google Apps.  It is a win-win solution.  Customers benefit from easier migrations and better integration; resellers gain from accelerated sales and an incremental recurring revenue stream.

OffiSync is designed to work seamlessly with all versions of Google Apps used by companies, educational institutions, non-profits, and individuals.  Oudi Antebi, Founder and CEO of OffiSync adds that “We created a solution that works with all current versions of Microsoft Office and every version of Google Apps – Premium, Standard, and Education, as well as individual Google Doc and Google Site accounts.”

OffiSync is available as an annual subscription starting at $12 per year per user or under a traditional perpetual license starting at $30 per user.  Both licenses include support; the subscription includes enhancements, upgrades, and future releases.

About Horizon Info Services

Horizon Info Services is offers industry-leading technology services to small businesses at affordable prices, specializing in solutions for businesses and non-profits with 1 to 500 employees.  Based outside of Boston Massachusetts, Horizon is an Authorized Reseller of Google Apps and Google Postini Services and offers a range of online backup solutions.

About OffiSync Corp

OffiSync enhances the way information workers use productivity applications by bringing together their familiar desktop environment with innovative cloud computing services.  OffiSync extends the way users use desktop software and allows them to store their files on Google Apps for better collaboration and accessibility, as well as integrates with web and image search that make it easy to bring content from the web right into document and presentations.  OffiSync is an independent, privately held company headquartered in Seattle, Washington.

OffiSync Launches

If you follow our blog posts, you have heard us mention OffiSync.

OffiSync is an add-on for MS Office that lets user save,  share and collaborate via Google Docs and Google Sites from within Word, Excel, and PowerPoint.

OffiSync lets users keep working with their familiar office suite applications while taking advantage of the collaboration features of Google Apps (all versions).  The add-on also minimizes user concerns about functional differences with Google Documents, Spreadsheets, and Presentations.

Learn more here.