In the past six months, we’ve released a series of new features giving administrators more controls to manage Google Apps within their organizations. Recent additions include multi-domain support, new data migration tools, SSL enforcement capabilities, more mobile device security controls, and the ability to tailor Google Apps with more than a hundred applications from the new Google Apps Marketplace. Today, we’re excited to announce one of the most highly requested features from administrators: user policy management.

Now administrators can segment their users into organizational units and control which applications are enabled or disabled for each group. For example, a manufacturing firm might want to give their office workers access to Google Talk, but not their production line employees. Mayooran Rajan, CTO of Revevol Consulting, noted, "We work with businesses with 100 to 20,000 employees moving from on-premise solutions to Google Apps. The new user policy management feature helps us tailor Google Apps and provide businesses with granular control for each department within their company."

Organizations can also use this functionality to test applications with pilot users before making them more widely available. Sheri Stahler, Associate Vice President for Computer Services at Temple University said, “Using the new user policy management feature in Google Apps, we’re able to test out new applications like Google Wave with a subset of users to decide how we should roll out new functionality more broadly.”

The ability to toggle services on or off for groups of users can also help customers transition to Google Apps from on-premise environments. For example, a business can enable just the collaboration tools like Google Docs and Google sites for users who haven’t yet moved off old on-premise messaging solutions.

Administrators can manage these settings on the ‘Organizations & users’ tab in the ‘Next generation’ control panel. Alternatively, organizations can mirror their existing LDAP organizational schema using Google Apps Directory Sync or programmatically assign users to organizational units using the Google Apps Provisioning API.

This feature is starting to roll out to Premier and Education edition users at no additional charge. To learn more about user policy management on Google Apps, please visit our Help Center documentation.