Cloud Sherpas will showcase a massive update to its SherpaTools application at the Google I/O conference this week, adding new functionality to its flagship app that will give users more control over their Google Apps environments.
Among the original 50 apps in the Google Apps Marketplace, SherpaTools gives Google Apps administrators flexibility in the way they manage end-user profiles and settings, shared contacts and groups. Available in free and premium versions, SherpaTools is used by organizations across major industries in 114 countries.
Mark Wood, vice president of product management for Atlanta-based Cloud Sherpas, said the first major SherpaTools refresh comes as the Google Apps admin app has been installed by more than 16,000 domains representing 3 million Google Apps users globally. Additionally, SherpaTools has made its mark as one of the top apps in the Google Apps Marketplace, where it's been available for about 18 months.
Cloud Sherpas differentiated itself from other cloud VARs by augmenting its cloud solution provider shops with some of the traits of an ISV with its SherpaTools application.
According to Wood, Cloud Sherpas has added dozens of new features to SherpaTools. First, the cloud solution provider added the concept of "constituencies," which gives help desk workers and others with partial administrative responsibilities the restricted access to only help users within their constituent bases. Wood called constituencies one of the most-requested enhancements for Google Apps and a critical security measure for larger companies.
"You can give Frank the ability to reset passwords, but for the sales group only," Wood said.
Cloud Sherpas also added an instant seat purchase capability into SherpaTools that lets customers that buy there Google Apps licenses from Cloud Sherpas instantly purchase additional end-user licenses via SherpaTools, which makes the addition of new users and seats swifter and more streamlined. Wood said Cloud Sherpas is the only Google Apps partner with instant seat purchase capabilities.
Meanwhile, SherpaTools also now boasts support for the free version of Google Apps, which Wood said will increase the number of companies that have access to SherpaTools.
Additionally, Cloud Sherpas has renamed and re-packaged its SherpaTools offerings. The SherpaTools free edition is now SherpaTools for Google Apps: Base Camp, while the premium version, or module, is called Collaboration Pack. Cloud Sherpas said that Base Camp users will soon have the ability to buy complimentary admin and end-user modules from Cloud Sherpas just as they download apps from the Google Apps Marketplace.
For Google Apps for Business users, SherpaTools runs $4 per user, per year and for education and non-profit users it costs $1 per user, per year.
"We're continuing to look for new ways to bring functionality to it," Wood said, calling the recent SherpaTools update the biggest in the application's history."