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Give a Cheers to Google+ for Restricted Communities

Yesterday Google+ released a feature that organizations have long desired: restricted communities. When I found this out, I looked around for the nearest bottle of champagne to open. Allow me to explain.

Communities, a key component of Google+, allow people to have focused discussions and share links, videos, images and documents through the rich, social user experience delivered by the Google+ platform. We’ve already seen many organizations embrace communities as a social communication channel for corporate news – announcing corporate events, having focused discussions, sharing employee classifieds, hosting kudos boards and team workspaces, the list goes on.

The difference with restricted Communities is that now, when users create communities, they can restrict it to domain only users. Security is always a major concern for companies, so this feature is a welcomed improvement to the domain-level security on Google+ and is a perfect illustration of Google’s increased focus on the needs of enterprise users.

Equally as exciting, creating these restricted Communities is as easy as 1-2-3:

1. Create Community

2. Select “Restricted”

3. Name it, set it and start it!

While we can’t predict what Google will release next, it’s exciting to see Google+ making big steps as it increases its enterprise-focused security settings. I am crossing my fingers for a few more key settings, such as the ability to centrally manage circles from the Control Panel or even the ability to integrate circles into existing Groups, that would set Google+ and Google Apps even farther ahead of any other enterprise social and collaboration platform.

Today’s innovative organizations are pulling away from the one-way “push” messaging and moving toward enabling their workforces to share thoughts and ideas from the ground up. As a result of this Google+ feature change, we will see a big spike in the number of Communities created for enterprise, which means more organizations will be embracing social collaboration and benefiting from the tacit knowledge that bubbles up as a result (much like the champagne we should all be drinking to this one).

Cheers Google+

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Cloud Sherpas [www.cloudsherpas.com] is a leading Google Apps Reseller, systems integrator and application developer. Our Google Apps Certified Deployment Specialists have migrated tens of thousands of users from legacy, on-premise messaging systems to Google Apps and Google App Engine. We help organizations adopt cloud computing to innovate and dramatically reduce their IT expenses. SherpaTools for Google Apps [www.sherpatools.com] is a free app from Cloud Sherpas that enhances the functionality and ease-of-use of Google Apps for both administrators and end-users.