Postini technology to spread across Google Apps

Google is working to extend the Postini policy enforcement layer from Gmail to other Apps components like Docs

The Postini technology that lets Google Apps Premier administrators control their e-mail environments by establishing and enforcing usage policies, rules and parameters will be extended to the other applications of the suite.

That way, Apps Premier administrators will gain tighter control over how employees use not only Gmail but also the other suite components, like the word processing, spreadsheet and presentation applications.

When completed, this extension of the Postini security and management capabilities could go a long way toward calming concerns from CIOs and IT managers about using Web-hosted software like Google Apps.

This could in turn boost Google's attempts to lure large organizations to adopt Apps Premier, which, as the suite's most sophisticated version, contains an increasing number of tools and services that these companies require.

Apps Premier is the only fee-based edition of the suite, priced at US$50 per user per year.

"Google and Postini are integrated today in that every Apps [Premier] customer gets the Postini [policy and supervisory] services layer for managing e-mail in Gmail," said Scott Petry, a Postini founder and product management director in Google's Enterprise division.

"We're actively working on taking that same Postini capability and re-manifesting it across all the Google Apps."

Today, for example, Postini lets Apps administrators set a policy preventing end-users from e-mailing a spreadsheet with financial information during the company's quiet period before an earnings announcement.

"We want to extend that to say 'no one can collaboratively share a document that includes financial information outside the domain,'" said Petry. There is no specific timetable for when this work will be completed.

"We have a real opportunity to take [our Apps] content awareness and our ability to process large amounts of content very quickly and map that to a policy framework to create a supervisory content control layer for corporations to determine how information is being shared across those applications," he added.

Google envisions this as being attractive not only to companies in highly regulated industries, but to any organization that wants to exercise more control over how their end-users share and collaborate on hosted documents.

"Every company running any sort of information system connected to the Internet knows it has information that's risky, proprietary. They have policies their employees need to abide by, but there are no mainstream tools that allow them to manage it," Petry said.

The idea isn't for administrators to lock down Apps in such a way that the suite becomes unusable, but rather to give them tools that can alert them and end-users about potential policy violations, many of which occur accidentally and not always maliciously, he said.

The ultimate goal is to increase organizations' comfort level with the cloud computing model for enterprise software and consequently with products like Google Apps.

"IT administrators are going to feel like they're losing control when they move their services up to the cloud because they can't see boxes in the server racks with blinking lights," Petry said.

"The onus is on us to give them more software-based controls over that virtualized hardware instance, so that they feel they're getting better capabilities and more leverage, rather than just arbitrarily losing control," he added.

As part of this project, Google is fusing the now-separate Postini and Apps administrative consoles, so that administrators can provision services and define policies from a single place, he said.

Postini, founded in 1999, was acquired by Google in 2007, and its products and technology have been progressively integrated with various of Google's services and infrastructure.

Join the newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection

Tags GoogleGoogle Appspostini

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Juan Carlos Perez

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Cool Tech

Breitling Superocean Heritage Chronographe 44

Learn more >

SanDisk MicroSDXC™ for Nintendo® Switch™

Learn more >

Toys for Boys

Family Friendly

Panasonic 4K UHD Blu-Ray Player and Full HD Recorder with Netflix - UBT1GL-K

Learn more >

Stocking Stuffer

Razer DeathAdder Expert Ergonomic Gaming Mouse

Learn more >

Christmas Gift Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Walid Mikhael

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

It’s easy to set up, it’s compact and quiet when printing and to top if off, the print quality is excellent. This is hands down the best printer I’ve used for printing labels.

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Ratchada Dunn

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.

George Khoury

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The biggest perks for me would be that it comes with easy to use and comprehensive programs that make the collaboration process a whole lot more intuitive and organic

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?