Google Cloud Solutions Provider

Ancoris Blog

The Ancoris blog covers all our latest views and news about our company, cloud computing, Google for Work and its ecosystem of solutions.

Earlier this year, Google introduced a new interface for Google Drive, which included a new way of importing, selecting and managing files. This was the most significant in a number of updates to Docs and Drive in Google Apps, with additional tools for working with forms, images and tables introduced over previous months. With all of these exciting new features…
So far I have covered using location to build your omnichannel strategy with tools to interact with customers, including using store locators, mobile and geofencing to engage with and improve the customer journey. A further powerful use of location is for internal visualisation and decision making. This involves using the vast amounts of data you collect about shoppers behaviour to…
This short video explains very clearly the difference between the standard version of Google Apps and its more advanced version Google Drive for Work. Please note that Google Drive for Work is the marketing name for this storage solution and Google Apps Unlimited is the SKU name for this offering. You will see these terms used interchangeably.
In…
Three of Google's retail customers recently took part in a hangout to talk about their experience with Google Chrome devices. Google has now shared a video of the hangout and we really think it's worth your time to take a look. In this video, each of the three customers shows how it's been able to use Google Chrome devices to improve…
In a previous blog, we looked at how data leaks from ungoverned file sharing, using consumer-grade apps like Box, Dropbox and SkyDrive, may now present as much of a security risk for organisations as data theft and other malicious act. To tackle that risk, businesses need to understand what their users are currently doing and which apps they're using. They'll…
Cloud computing is delivering huge benefits to businesses, but it's also creating some new challenges. A recent report by the Ponemon Institute found that employees looking to get their work done more quickly are routinely violating company security policies by using personal file sharing products like Box, Dropbox and SkyDrive to share documents with colleagues. The resulting potential for data…
In previous posts, I discussed how location should be central to your omnichannel strategy. A very powerful tool to take your personal 1 to 1 marketing to the next level includes mobile and geofencing technology to target personalised advertising and offers based on location. When geofencing is used correctly, it can double the ROI of your marketing campaigns and increase…
Wednesday, 15 October 2014 12:52

Why you should make your store locator mobile ready

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Just about every retailer who have bricks and mortar stores has some kind of store locator. These vary greatly in functionality but surprisingly few are fully mobile compatible and optimised for use on smartphones. With the explosion of mobile, now two-thirds of people in Britain own a smartphone and 71% of smartphone shoppers use a store locator to find a…
Are your employees using consumer file-sharing services? Google Drive for Work is born in the cloud and built for secure corporate shared document access in an increasingly mobile world.  Because of this heritage, it goes way beyond other office productivity suites crafted for the PC age and retrofitted for the cloud. And unlike other storage and sharing cloud offering, Google…
The Google Apps Marketplace is the one stop shop for hundreds of third party apps which complement Google Apps for Work. Until now, it has been a well kept secret to all but Google Apps administrators. This is because only they could add these apps to their domain. As of September, managers and employees can add apps which help them…
Atmosphere Live, Google first digital event on interactive media was attended by over 20,000 viewers and went ahead without a hitch for over three hours. The event is now available on demand and here are the two keynotes which caught our eye. The Next Generation of Cloud (Scroll to 1.36) - Urs Hölze At Google for 15 years, Urs Hölze…
76% of customers prefer to purchase in-store and 71% of smartphone shoppers use a store locator to find a shop. Making sure people can easily locate and get to your store with a web and mobile locator is the starting point of a positive shopping experiance.  A locator can be used not only to help customers find and navigate to your…
Monday, 08 September 2014 14:57

Building an omnichannel strategy using location

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In a recent Retail Week report, retailers rated omnichannel the top priority for 2014 and this is not surprising when further research has shown omnichannel shoppers spend 50% more than single channel shoppers. Location and mapping can be key to success in omnichannel, helping businesses provide customers with a personalised and consistent experience across all channels and make better business…
Paul Taylor, the FT's personal technology columnist reviews Chromebooks for Business and looks at two models from Acer and Samsung. In the three years since Chromebooks were launched internet access has become ubiquitous and offline capability is available for a wider range of applications. Paul acknowledges that some of the early issues have gone away and is complimentary about Chrome…
The announcement of Google Drive for Work today will be disruptive to the corporate cloud storage marketplace and a real alternative to Dropbox, Box and Microsoft OneDrive. The new premium service is an advanced business focused version of the existing Drive service, it adds further administration controls, advanced file audit reporting and eDiscovery services so organisations can monitor the communications…
Tuesday, 25 February 2014 16:54

Chromebook comes of age

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A year ago, we predicted that IT departments would consider putting Android, iOS and Chrome devices into the mix rather than automatically refreshing with the latest generation of Windows-based systems. It turns out they're not just considering them but purchasing them – in rapidly increasing numbers. Research from NPD Group shows that, in just eight months, Chromebooks have taken off to…
The Cloud Skills Academy, developed by Appogee, the Products Division of Ancoris Limited, is an e-learning resource that provides help pages, interactive demonstrations, tips, shortcuts and FAQs on all topics in Google Apps.   From today, every user of Cloud Skills Academy will have a Learning Record which provides a history of all topics they have read in the Academy, as…
The jury may still be out on whether consumers will embrace "wearables" like Google Glass and smart watches, but the next year will see innovative organisations putting both "wearables" and the growing range of extremely low-cost Android devices now available to use in a variety of business situations. Expect to see high-end wearables, which allow images to be fed to…
Until now, Amazon Web Services (AWS) has largely had the market for "hyper scalable" server-on-demand services to itself, but all that has changed with Google Compute Engine (GCE) moving out of beta and into general availability. Both AWS and GCE provide highly scalable infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) offerings that are typically used by social media platforms, by e-commerce, streaming TV and online…
Although computers can seem like they're everywhere these days, there are still many jobs that have yet to be touched by IT. That's usually because previous generations of technology were either impractical – getting in the way of workers doing their jobs – or too expensive to deploy, maintain and support for a remote workforce numbering in the hundreds or…
While much of the talk so far about location-aware apps (also known as geo fencing) has focused on targeting adverts at consumers, the coming year will see apps emerge that improve the way companies deliver services to existing customers. Typically, these apps will use the customer crossing a geofence to kick off the first step in delivering the service. For…
Tuesday, 14 January 2014 12:18

Enterprise social to become mainstream

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Social tools have been making inroads into business for a while in an informal way. However, until recently, these tools lacked enterprise-strength control over what could be shared, where and with whom. Many of the larger organisations who would benefit from a more "social" approach to internal communications have, rightly, been wary of exploring what "enterprise social" could do for…
April 2014 sees the end of extended support for Windows XP, which still powers around 30% of all installed PCs. This will finally force many organisations to look for replacements for their current PCs, laptops and netbooks and will accelerate the corporate use of a wider range of devices and operating systems. Although these users, who are largely SMEs, are likely to…
Tuesday, 07 January 2014 13:13

Trends and Technologies to watch in 2014

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It is that time of year again, when we take stock before we look ahead.  Our 2013 predictions came true as we saw the shift towards cloud computing accelerate.  With the economy getting back on track, there is plenty of scope to bring in innovation and business transformation.  Here are the trends and technologies which we expect to gain momentum in 2014.…
The cloud computing landscape has changed dramatically since Google Apps for Business was launched in 2007. Back then, deploying cloud solutions such as Google Apps and salesforce.com was about delivering improved mobility and collaboration at lower cost for specific processes – such as email and CRM – which are business critical but relatively standardised. Today, the cloud is about delivering…
You'd expect us, here at Ancoris, to tell you that Google Apps for Business is the best cloud solution for your organisation, large or small – but that's now been confirmed by independent analysts at The Radicati Group. Google Apps is the clear leader Radicati's "Top Player" quadrant, with both the largest market share and the best score when it…
The first big storm of this winter got us thinking about how we deal with unexpected events, whether that's extreme weather preventing our staff getting into work or a more local emergency like a flood, fire or burglary at our offices. Business continuity isn't the first reason (or even the fifth!) why we and our customers choose to use Google…
At the start of the year, we predicted that 2013 would see IT departments consider putting Android, iOS and Chrome devices into the mix rather than automatically refreshing with the latest generation of Windows-based systems. It turns out they're not just considering them but purchasing them – in rapidly increasing numbers. Research from NPD Group shows that, by August, Chromebooks…
We are pleased to announce that Ancoris has joined Google's reseller program for their "Geo" products including Google Maps for Business API, Google Maps Engine and Google Maps Coordinate. This allows us to offer a full range of Google Enterprise offerings to our customer base and provide a responsive service to companies who wish to buy Google Maps for Business…
We are pleased to announce that the Appogee products division of Ancoris has been shortlisted for an award as E-learning Development Company of the Year. The independent judging panel, co-ordinated by the eLearning Network, have whittled down more than 200 entries to produce an impressive shortlist that really showcases the amazing range that e-learning now covers. Shortlist for e-Learning Awards…
Wednesday, 04 September 2013 00:00

Ancoris is finalist for UK IT Awards

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After our success in the CRN Channel Awards, we are truly delighted to announce that we are also in the list of finalists for the UK IT Awards in two categories: Cloud Provider of the Year and Small Supplier or VAR of the Year Click here to view the shortlist The UK IT Industry Awards from Computing and BCS are…
We are proud to announce that we have been shortlisted for CRN Channel Awards in two categories: Specialist Reseller of the Year and Mid-Market Reseller of the Year. View the 2013 Shortlist here Now in their 20th year, the awards continue to represent the pinnacle of achievement in the UK market, rewarding outstanding performance in the IT channel. With refreshed…
Earlier this month, we spent a day at the 5th Big Data Insight Group Forum, which was sponsored by Google in partnership with Ancoris. The event provided an opportunity to share experiences and insights with colleagues from more than 150 organisations. What most struck us from the event is just how much data is now available that could inform our…
Ancoris is now a provider of Customer Success Services (CSS) for Google Apps, approved by Google. As a Google Apps Premier Reseller, Ancoris has met the criteria, specified by Google, for delivering a consistently high standard of support and advisory services for Google Apps. Ancoris now offers Google Enterprise’s high-calibre services, which includes enhanced 7 x 24 technical support, proactive…
One of the hot topics for 2013 is "Big Data": mining huge data sets – and unstructured data such as comments on social media sites like Twitter – to gain business insight. Large retailers have been employing Big Data techniques for years, in applications such as basket analysis. However, gaining that kind of insight used to involve a significant investment…
Google is to bring its exclusive Atmosphere conference for CEOs, CIOs and CTOs to the Brewery in London on 21 May 2013. The event allows around 400 delegates to experience the atmosphere of Google's Mountain View campus and get hands-on experience of Google Enterprise solutions. They can see how Google's own staff use Google's solutions to foster the innovation and…
In a previous post we looked at how we’re using Google+ Hangouts at Ancoris to help us run more effective meetings with our partners and suppliers, especially those outside the UK. Here are five tips based on our experiences for getting started with Google+ Hangouts and getting the most out of them: Use Hangouts rather than physically travelling for meetings…
At Ancoris, we practice what we preach, using Google Apps to run our own business. We're always excited to try out the new capabilities in Google Apps to get a hands-on feel for how they can help both us and our customers collaborate more effectively, become more innovative or work more efficiently. Over the past few months, we've been discovering…
We are pleased to announce the acquisition of Bracknell-based Google Cloud development specialist Appogee. The acquisition brings Google Cloud Platform and Android development, Lotus Domino migration skills and further enterprise project management experience into the Ancoris stable. Ancoris is developing an ecosystem of products based around the Google Cloud, with applications such as Google Apps for Business and through partnerships…
Ancoris is pleased to announce a partnership with SoftWatch to provide their CloudIT Assessment service in the UK to monitor actual usage of Microsoft Office by user or department. The joint offering will help Ancoris deliver the facts needed for potential Google Apps customers to make more informed, more confident transition decisions about the move to Google cloud applications. Ancoris…
Many of the companies we talk to about switching to Google Apps for Business like the collaboration, flexibility and cost advantages it offers but are worried about what will happen if they don't have access to an internet connection. How can they and their staff go on working when they're offline, if everything is in the cloud? With the launch…
Christine Atkins, Senior VP Group IT of Ahold, comments on ease of user transition  to Google Apps.  Presentation at Atmosphere event in 2011 (1 min)
    Full 11 minute presentation on the reasons for decision, user acceptance of Google Apps and the migration process.  
 
The launch of the Government's first G-Cloud catalogue in early 2012 might have helped the public sector become more comfortable with the idea of cloud services – especially the notion that they're "secure enough for government" – but procurement and budgeting processes meant few were able to take immediate advantage of cloud computing.We expect that to change in 2013. Risk-averse…
Many businesses have introduced a range of communication and presence tools – such as browser-based chat and video-conferencing or enterprise social networking in the form of solutions like Google+ – as by-product of moving to cloud computing for email and document collaboration. Because social computing usually wasn't the focus of their business case for investing in cloud computing services, few…
In 2012, we saw IT directors wake up to the dangers of staff using consumer systems, such as personal Gmail accounts, to collaborate when corporate IT failed to meet their needs. In 2013, we will see IT Directors begin to respond to the rapidly growing threat posed by consumer cloud storage and document sharing solutions like Dropbox, Box.net and Amazon…
A significant number of companies will be forced off Exchange 2003 implementations during 2013 as Microsoft ends support. When they investigate their options, they'll find moving to cloud-based email will be no more complex or risky than upgrading to the latest version of Exchange running in house – but will bring significant benefits in terms of improved collaboration, mobility, flexibility…
During 2012, increasing numbers of organisations adopted "bring your own device” strategies or provided staff with company-owned iPads, Android tablets and Chromebooks as they moved applications into the cloud. Throughout 2013, companies will gain a clearer picture of the benefits of using these various devices in a world where employees only need a browser and an internet connection to be…
Wednesday, 02 January 2013 10:36

Trends and Technologies to watch in 2013

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In 2012, the more forward thinking enterprises forged ahead with cloud computing strategies, BYOD and the consumerisation of IT continued apace and the government push in cloud computing gained momentum. As we cast an eye on the future, here are what we believe will be the top 5 trends and technologies for 2013. 1. Windows machines will no longer be…
With major financial institutions like Spanish banking giant BBVA moving to Google Apps, it’s clear that Google’s cloud is the right choice for even the most security-minded organisations as they are forced to move away from Exchange 2003 before Microsoft ends its support for the product in 2014. Of course, cloud computing and collaboration bring their own set of security…
Agility and flexibility are critical success factors for companies facing uncertain economic times. Businesses need to be able to react quickly to new opportunities or pull their horns in just as rapidly when the market takes a downturn. They need to be able to adapt staff numbers and locations to match changing operational needs and support users who are becoming…
Cloud computing is all about helping businesses to focus on innovation, growth and competitive advantage, by making “business as usual” as simple as possible. When companies move away from Exchange 2003 as Microsoft ends its support for the product in 2014, they should be looking for cloud-based collaboration and email services that offer simplicity and flexibility as well as being…
The way we organise our working lives is very different from even five years ago. A survey by ISP Timico in 2011 found that nearly half of all companies now have staff who work away from the office some of the time. Three quarters of employees work away from the office at least once a week. These staff need to…
The way we work has changed: today’s fast-paced, global environment requires us to collaborate in real-time with colleagues based in other companies and other countries, outside traditional working hours, whether we’re in the office or on the road. Young people now coming into the workplace are increasingly expecting to be able to use “social” tools — such as chat, video…
Reason #1:  Simple, safe and proven migration with experienced partners With Microsoft ending support for Exchange 2003 in early 2014, many businesses will use the forced move away from an unsupported mail server as a springboard for adopting cloud computing. However, migrating from one email system to another can be tricky: as well as creating user accounts, you need to…
Editors note: Today’s guest blogger is Nigel Dufty, IT Service Director at Specsavers. In early 2011, Specsavers, the world’s largest privately owned chain of opticians with more than 1600 stores worldwide, announced its migration to Google Apps for Business. Eighteen months on, Nigel updates us on how they found the switch and how it’s changed the way they work as…
Ancoris has announced a major new release of the Cloud Skills Academy at IP Expo on 17 October, following the company’s recent acquisition and integration of Cloud Skills. The Cloud Skills Academy is an e-learning and e-support resource for Google Apps customers designed to accelerate user adoption of Google Apps and keep users up to date with the latest features.…
We are pleased to announce the acquisition of Cloud Skills, a provider of e-learning and training services for Google Apps for Business.Cloud Skills was nominated as Google's first Referred Training Partner for the UK and Europe in 2009 and provides a full range of training courses, e-Learning tools and migration aids to help organisations transition their users to Google Apps.…
With the announcement of Office 2013, Microsoft has finally taken some steps towards catching up with the rest of the world. Office 2013 is supposed to be more collaborative and social and, branded as Office 365, more mobile, running in the cloud and providing access to cloud storage. Yet it's also clear that, while finally acknowledging users have changed the…