Google Guaranteed: 8 Google For Work Recommended Cloud Apps

App Tested, Google Approved

Google Apps offers a powerful suite of cloud-based productivity tools. But it's Google's third-party technology partners that really make the burgeoning Apps ecosystem shine.

And yet, with the explosion of products across the SaaS marketplace, choosing the right cloud apps can be a daunting affair for businesses.

"It can be difficult to assess which apps are secure, reliable, high-performing and well-integrated with the tools customers use most," said Google Apps for Work Managing Director Rahul Sood on the Google for Work blog. "And many businesses have neither the time nor the capability to do this assessment across all of the apps they might consider."

For that reason, Google recently made its first batch of recommendations for software developed by outside providers. Google and an independent security firm both reviewed the third-party tools to make sure they were safe, reliable, and well-integrated with Google's products.

Amit Singh, president of Google for Work, announced the first eight ISVs to get Google's gold star at the Web Summit in Dublin, Ireland. They include vendors of a CRM solution, a project management tool, two communications platforms, two document management and two identity and access management solutions.

ProsperWorks (CRM)

The only CRM platform so far recommended by Google, ProsperWorks offers a curated set of applications for small businesses to track customer contacts and sales leads.

The cloud-based, cross-platform CRM seamlessly integrates with Gmail, Google Drive, Hangouts and the rest of the Apps suite. Sales teams can interact with customers from within Gmail and Hangouts, or work on proposals and forecasts with Google Docs and Drive.

ProsperWorks' user interface was one of the first to adopt Material Design — Google's design language — to create a unified user experience across the web app, mobile apps, and Chrome extension.

Smartsheet (project management)

This online project management and collaboration tool is popular with a variety of businesses that leverage its intuitive spreadsheet interface and file-sharing features. Google reportedly is a customer.

Smartsheet, based in Bellevue, Wash., allows users to share documents, access storage devices and create Gantt charts to illustrate project schedules, all integrated with Gmail, Google Drive and Google Calendar.

RingCentral ( cloud-based communications)

This cloud-based telephony vendor based in Belmont, Calif., was a leader in the charge of cloud-based business phone systems to replace legacy communications platforms.

The hosted VoIP solution, RingCentral Office, allows businesses to deploy a relatively low-cost, easily scalable telephone system with a full range of features and integrations with smartphone platforms.

At the start of the year, RingCentral Office integrated with Google for Work tools like Gmail and Docs.

The platform can make calls, schedule web meetings and send text messages directly from Gmail.

Switch (cloud-based communications)

Switch's cloud-based phone systems launched in beta about a year ago, offering unified text and voice to enterprise users across devices.

The product has been widely adopted since general release thanks to its ease of implementation.

Switch looks to take the pain out of employee phone provisioning by integrating with Google Apps and connecting phone numbers to employee Google accounts. Administrators can easily grant or revoke access using drop-down menus on the system's dashboard.

AODocs (document management)

AODocs leverages Google Drive's storage capabilities to give enterprises a way to collaborate on documents while keeping tight control over access to them.

The product transfers ownership of documents to a corporate Google Drive account and implements an automated workflow environment from which it's easy to restrict permission to delete or modify important documents.

AODocs is fully integrated with Google Drive, Apps and Sites. And because it integrates with Microsoft Office, those native Microsoft forms like Word, Excel and PowerPoint can be converted into Google's SaaS environment.

Powertools (document management)

Powertools, from Designed4Work, is a document management and workflow solution integrated with Google Drive.

The product extends Google's cloud storage into an enterprise-grade document management system by adding workflows, advanced labeling and versioning. It also allows businesses to create customized content portals that provide company-wide access to important materials from a Google Drive-based repository.

Ping Identity (identity and access management)

Ping Identity has tightly integrated its Identity Defined Security Platform with Google Apps, allowing Apps users to securely access all their applications through their universal Google login.

Ping Identity enables single sign-on from any device to enterprise applications running on-premises, or in public or private clouds.

Okta (identity and access management)

Okta offers secure access and enterprise management for Google Apps as well as Android devices and Chromebooks.

The solution allows Google Apps users to access all their cloud-based productivity tools through secure Okta accounts, relieving worries of data breaches.

Okta recently added functionality for Google products, including enhanced Google Apps provisioning capabilities.