Thursday, June 14, 2012

Google Sites and Cloudbakers (Part 1)

Introduction

Building solid partnerships with Google Apps Resellers is an important aspect of being a freelancer, consultant, and/or the graphic designer. Just think, Google Apps Resellers are charged with providing cloud computing solutions and that alone has them involved in all sorts of supplementary services.

My company, Kirksville Web Design, has had the pleasure of partnering with Google Apps Reseller, Cloudbakers, for Google Sites design and development services. For the most part, we provide the graphics and Sites know-how, while Cloudbakers consults with clients and provides Google Apps Script support. My point of contact over the past months has been Andrew Johnston. We chat all the time and so when I asked him for an interview, he was delighted.

A Great Google Apps Reseller in Chicago, IL, US


Andrew, tell us a bit about Cloudbakers and yourself.

I am the Manager of Business Development for Cloudbakers, a Chicago-based Google Apps Premier SMB Reseller. Working with Cloudbakers is always exciting, we are a close-knit team, tirelessly dedicated to giving our customers the best cloud solutions available. Cloudbakers was Founded on the mission to be a cloud solution partner for mid-market companies. We partner with leading SaaS companies, like Google, to offer best-of-breed cloud products to our clients. Cloudbakers adds value by bringing deployment, implementation and integration expertise to the table and having technology enable companies so they can focus on their core business.

Partnering with Kyle and Kirksville Web Design has added tremendous value to our business as Kyle contributes a high level of Google Sites expertise that our clients leverage. 

Andrew Johnston - Find him on Google Plus

How has Cloudbakers used Google Sites?

We leverage Google Sites in all aspects of our business. Google Apps is a high value product, most of our clients begin by using Gmail, Calendar & Contacts, once they go beyond those select products and utilize Docs, Groups, and Sites the value proposition goes through the roof! One of the ways we use Google Sites for ourselves is through our website, www.cloudbakers.com. Hosting our website on Google Sites, included in our Google Apps for Business suite, has saved us time and money.

Our clients are creatively using Google Sites for many different aspects of their business including:
  • Integration with other IT systems
  • Robust Intranet Sites
  • Feature rich websites integrated with other Apps
  • Training Sites
  • Embedded events calendars
  • Workflows
A significant part of our service offering for Google Apps deployments is our Enterprise Change Management campaign. We use Google Sites to create a branded self-service help site with videos, tutorials, FAQ, etc. Integrating our clients legacy IT systems with Google Apps & Sites is in high demand right now.


What do you think of Google Sites and how has that opinion changed in the past few years?

I think Google Sites is absolutely awesome! It is a place where companies can really innovate and keep their users engaged with the mission, goals and strategy of the company. The ability to efficiently create intranet sites and allow teams to collaborate and share information in them is huge. It is also a place where companies can market themselves on the internet.

The biggest thing that stands out to me with Google Apps is the rapid innovation and pace at which Google improves products such as Google Sites. Over the last few years, there have been lots of improvement and increased abilities to build workflows, customizations, etc. What I am really looking forward to is the next few years of innovation and improvement.

My opinions really changed after starting to work with Kyle who dominates Google Sites. He completely transformed my ideas and vision of Google Sites, everyday there is something new I learn or see on Google Sites.

There's more to my interview with Andrew. Up next - Google Sites examples and how we've leveraged Sites to Google Apps customers.


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