India’s small businesses aren’t small when it comes to economic impact. They employ over 106 million people, make up almost a quarter of the workforce, and contribute close to half of the nation’s manufacturing output. As the country looks to drive growth, create jobs and increase exports as part of the Digital India initiative, we teamed up with Deloitte to see how cloud and mobile tools could help small businesses support these national goals, and the results are striking.

The new report, “Connected Small Business — Unlocking India’s digital potential” finds that businesses that use cloud and mobile tools are more profitable, more innovative, export more and have happier, more productive staff. Compared to offline businesses, those that use cloud and mobile tools grow 27% annually, are four times more innovative and are 65% more likely to be exporting.

They’re also job creators — 84% said they’re hiring. With employees at these digitally engaged businesses six times more satisfied with their work and nine times more collaborative, it’s clear that technology decisions are impacting more than the bottom line: they also create happier, more productive employees.

As someone who talks with businesses about how Google Apps for Work has helped their businesses grow, go global or connect and collaborate with their employees more easily, these findings put some numbers to the great stories I hear everyday.
Freshdesk employees collaborate on tablets at their Chennai office.

Take software startup Freshdesk for example. Founded in Chennai in 2010 with eight staff, they now employ over 450 people and have over 59 million end users — 90% of which come from outside of India. Google Apps has supercharged their team’s ability to meet this rapid growth. With Google Drive, employees work together on documents in real time from anywhere, on any device. While video conferencing with Google Hangouts helps the team stay in touch regardless of timezone or location.

Or take Bangalore delivery business SpoonJoy: founded in 2014, they now deliver around 3,000 healthy and delicious meals to hungry Bangaloreans everyday. Their team uses Google Apps and estimates that cloud and mobile tools enable them to open their business in a new area in a third of the time it would take without these tools.

It’s not just startups or technology businesses that are reaping these digital dividends. Logistics company Pickingo estimates that having real-time access to delivery information with cloud and mobile tools has increased its orders by around 15%. Manufacturing company EMCO attributes 30% of their business growth to the adoption of digital technology.

Companies that are able to collaborate across teams and even continents are the ones unlocking great ideas that are succeeding in India today. These businesses understand that being digitally engaged goes beyond having a website. They’re enabling their staff to work from anywhere on any device, and are making important business information accessible to them. With India focused on supercharging economic growth and employment, the winning formula could just be the greater adoption of cloud and mobile tools by the country's small businesses.


(Cross-posted on the Google Drive Blog.)

With Google Drive, you can keep all your important files in one place, then open them with your choice of apps and devices. Building on this open approach, we recently made it possible to launch your favorite desktop applications directly from Google Drive. And today we’re taking it a step further by bringing Google Drive to Microsoft Office.

Using the new Google Drive plug-in, people using Office for Windows can now open their Word, Excel and PowerPoint documents stored in Drive, then save any changes back to Drive once they’re done.
If you’re working on a document, spreadsheet or presentation that’s on your computer, you can also save that file to Google Drive, directly from the Office apps. This is especially useful for sharing files with teams, or for accessing your files across devices.
With this plug-in, you can use the apps you’re already comfortable with, while benefitting from the security and convenience of Google Drive.


Editor’s note: Today’s guest blogger is Chris Huff, Vice President of Mobile Development at The Weather Channel. Read how The Weather Channel uses Google Maps APIs to power their popular Android app. The Weather Channel is just one of many customers who shared their story as part of our cross-country road trip, Code the Road.

We know from experience that the combination of weather, mapping and community input can result in ideas that keep people safe and informed. Our Android app goes far beyond basic weather forecasting, which is why we chose Google Maps. We use Google Maps Android API, Google Maps JavaScript API and ImageOverlays to place geodata, such as weather alerts, hurricanes and storm tracks and weather tiles, such as radar maps and clouds, on top of Google Maps.

Radar maps are one of the app’s main features, and we work hard to get them right. We get radar imagery from multiple sources and produce raster images from them. Then we take hundreds of the images and animate them in a frame-based animation sequence. The Google Maps Android API gives us overlays to place the animation on top of maps, and also lets us add additional objects such as pins and polygons to visualize lightning strikes or a storm’s direction. You can see an example below.

The more local weather reporting is, the more accurate it is; a thunderstorm may skip one neighborhood but hit another. So to improve accuracy and to build a community around our app, we’ve worked to make it more social. People send us information about weather near them, and we use the Google Maps Android API to add a pin to the map for each user-created report. Anyone can tap a pin to see the detailed report. Here’s an example of social weather reporting.
Social Weather Reports_The Weather Channel App for Android_framed.png

With more than 68 million downloads, the app has been a tremendous success. We get 2 billion requests for radar maps every year. There’s an old saying that everyone talks about the weather but no one does anything about it. We beg to disagree. With the Google Maps APIs we’re giving people detailed, useful live information about the weather, and we believe that’s doing quite a bit.

As part of the Code the Road series we hosted the 24-hour hackathon event, “Storm the Road: Hack for Safety with The Weather Channel and Google Maps”, on June 23. The event gave developers an opportunity to come together to create a new app or feature for mobile or web that helps keep the public safe and informed.


Every day, thousands of companies switch off their on-premise servers and move to the cloud. And more than five million businesses around the world have taken that shift to the cloud by moving to Google Apps, including Woolworths, BBVA, Roche and PwC.

But one big question remains unanswered: what’s going to happen to all those dark, windowless little server rooms?

We teamed up with PDM International, an interior design consultancy, to propose a few ideas for how those rooms could be used today. This is what they envisioned.
Karaoke at lunch anyone?

The salad bar just got real.

Play ALL the games!

The servers are gone. It’s time to reclaim the office.


(Cross-posted on the Official Gmail Blog.)

The Gmail team is always working hard to make sure that every message you care about arrives in your inbox, and all the spam you don’t want remains out of sight. In fact, less than 0.1% of email in the average Gmail inbox is spam, and the amount of wanted mail landing in the spam folder is even lower, at under 0.05%.

Even still, Gmail spam detection isn’t perfect. So today we’re sharing some of the new ways we are supporting the senders of wanted mail, and using the latest Google smarts to filter out spam.

Getting the mail you do want with Gmail Postmaster Tools

Gmail users get lots of important email from companies like banks and airlines—from monthly statements to ticket receipts—but sometimes these wanted messages are mistakenly classified as spam. When this happens, you might have to wade through your spam folder to find that one important email (yuck!). We can help senders to do better, so today we’re launching the Gmail Postmaster Tools.

The Gmail Postmaster Tools help qualified high-volume senders analyze their email, including data on delivery errors, spam reports, and reputation. This way they can diagnose any hiccups, study best practices, and help Gmail route their messages to the right place. For you, this means no more dumpster diving for that confirmation code ;-)

Google smarts for less spam

Since the beginning, machine learning has helped make the Gmail spam filter more awesome. When you click the “Report spam” and “Not spam” buttons, you’re not only improving your Gmail experience right then and there, you’re also training Gmail’s filters to identify spam vs. wanted mail in the future. Now, we are bringing the same intelligence developed for Google Search and Google Now to make the spam filter smarter in a number of ways.

  • For starters, the spam filter now uses an artificial neural network to detect and block the especially sneaky spam—the kind that could actually pass for wanted mail.
  • We also recognize that not all inboxes are alike. So while your neighbor may love weekly email newsletters, you may loathe them. With advances in machine learning, the spam filter can now reflect these individual preferences.
  • Finally, the spam filter is better than ever at rooting out email impersonation—that nasty source of most phishing scams. Thanks to new machine learning signals, Gmail can now figure out whether a message actually came from its sender, and keep bogus email at bay.

Ultimately, we aspire to a spam-free Gmail experience. So please keep those spam reports coming, and if you’re a company that sends email, then check out our new Postmaster Tools. Together we can get the wanted mail to the right place, and keep the spam where it belongs.


(Cross-posted on the Google for Education Blog.)

Editor's note: We’re jumping into our Delorean to explore how some of our favorite historical figures might have worked with Google Apps. Today, on Independence Day, we imagine Benjamin Franklin’s research, discoveries and accomplishments if he had gone Google.

Ben Franklin is often called “The First American.” He was an inventor, entrepreneur, diplomat and scientist, as well as a revolutionary Renaissance man. As true history nerds, we decided to celebrate Independence Day by commemorating our most inventive Founding Father. We asked ourselves: what if Ben Franklin had done some of his prolific work, solving some of life’s greatest quandaries using Google Apps?

In drafting and editing the Declaration of Independence, we imagine he might have used the real-time editing features in Google Docs to collaborate with his fellow committee members, John Adams, Thomas Jefferson, Robert R. Livingston and Roger Sherman. Jefferson wrote most of the first draft and shared it with Franklin and Adams, who added their suggestions — an observer later described the draft as “scored and scratched like a school boy’s exercise.” Franklin could have kept the original intact by using suggested edits and adding comments about his concerns, particularly related to controversial passages that blamed the British people rather than King George III.

Some of the most recognizable lines in the Declaration of Independence were influenced by other documents, namely the Constitution of Virginia and Virginia’s Declaration of Rights. But if while reviewing the new content Franklin needed to verify historical information — for instance, the laws obstructed by the King of Great Britain— he could have used the Research tool to get quick search results without leaving Docs.

To collect all 56 signatures for the Declaration of Independence, Franklin and his peers might have used the DocuSign integration in Google Drive. Although most of the men signed on August 2, 1776, Elbridge Gerry, Oliver Wolcott, Lewis Morris, Thomas McKean and Matthew Thornton actually signed months later. With DocuSign, some of these men could have signed on the same day — Wolcott, for instance, was home in Connecticut due to poor health and missed the formal signing of the declaration. 

As Franklin was a frequent international traveler (he was the first United States Ambassador to France), Apps might have helped him stay in touch with friends and colleagues around the globe. For instance, before he became ambassador, Franklin was in Paris as Commissioner of Congress to the French Court. On the first anniversary of Independence Day in 1777, he hosted a party for expats — and imagine if he could have used Google Hangouts to bring his comrades in America to the celebration over video conference. He could've shared a virtual toast with George Washington, who gathered a group of patriots in New Jersey, and with revelers enjoying the first annual Fourth of July fireworks on the Philadelphia Commons.

You might not know that Franklin also developed the concept of volunteer fire departments when he was living in Philadelphia. To make volunteering as convenient as possible, he could have asked volunteers to sign up with their home addresses in Google Forms, then used My Maps to lay out all those addresses and assign volunteers to their closest first department.

Franklin appreciated written works, whether others’ or his own. In fact, he developed a lending library to promote equal access to books — a model that later became the public library system. He was also a prolific writer and author of the famous Poor Richard’s Almanack and taught himself French, Italian, Spanish, Latin and German. But he may have used Google Translate within Docs to help translate the Almanack to Slovene. He could have shared library books and his many writings on Drive without worrying about file size, as he’d have access to unlimited storage. He could also have used advanced search within Drive to find files by their type and owner.

Fascinated by storms and electrical currents, Franklin famously discovered that lightning is a form of electricity and invented the lightning rod to protect people and homes from electrocution. He could have recorded his observations about the conductivity of different lengths and shapes of lightning rods using Sheets on his mobile phone, even if he had no Wi-Fi or data signal during a storm. Using offline mode, he’d be able to make updates that would sync as soon as he signed back online.

To educate the public about his lightning rod invention, Franklin could have held town hall meetings and used Chromecast or Airplay to present with Google Slides. He might have used this platform to share his findings on electricity and help others understand his theories and new terms, including terms like “battery,” “charge” and “conductor” that we still use today.

Franklin often looked to the future and sometimes regretted being born too soon. From inventing bifocals to mapping the Gulf Stream, he was certainly ahead of his time. On this Independence Day, we’re proud to celebrate Ben Franklin — a problem-solver who advocated for freedom and equality, and a polymath who promoted the kind of universal knowledge-sharing that inspires us here at Google in the future he helped shape.


Whether you’re planning your next event, mapping out the best route to visit clients, or sharing the location of your food truck with fans, Google My Maps makes it easy to put your world on a custom map. Starting today, you can access My Maps right from Google Drive on your Google Apps account, so it’s even easier to create, find and share your custom maps. Here are some examples:
Jessica owns a food truck and every Thursday she decides her location based on fan votes. She creates a Google Form and posts it online, gathers votes and can lay them all out on one map to find the most popular location.
Shannon is gearing up for her company’s annual conference. This year, with the help of Google Apps Script, she created a Drive folder for each attendee with their tickets, event information and a custom map with event details and their hotel.
Martin is the delivery coordinator for a multi-chain electronics store. He creates My Maps laying out the most efficient routes for all the deliveries. He drops each map into his team’s shared Drive folder, so each driver can access everything they need, from maps to delivery lists, all in one place. Once Martin assigns routes, drivers can use any device to simply search the folder for the right map.
My Maps is also helpful in the classroom to teach kids about explorers like Lewis and Clark, and to plan out your weekend hike. Whatever your needs, Google My Maps—now accessible in Google Drive—makes getting things done that much easier.