Back in May we shared details about a big change so Google Apps accounts can start accessing dozens of Google services beyond the core suite of messaging and collaboration apps. This change will let users access many new services such as Blogger, Reader, Google Voice and calling-in-Gmail (US only), Picasa Web Albums, AdWords and iGoogle from their Google Apps accounts. This big improvement addresses 9 of the top 20 requests from customers in one fell swoop, so we’re thrilled that the new infrastructure is now open for early adopters! After accounts are transitioned to the new infrastructure, these customers will be able to tap into much more innovation happening all across Google, helping people be even more productive with a broader range of tools in the cloud.

Why just for “early adopters” you ask? We’re still working on a few important features, but after extensive testing we’ve found that what’s ready today is already tremendously valuable to many Standard, Premier and Education Edition customers. Here’s the functionality that early adopters won’t see before the new infrastructure is feature-complete:
  • Administrators do not yet have the ability to turn off access to any of these additional services as they can today for applications in the core suite.
  • A few applications are not compatible with the new infrastructure at this time including Google Health, PowerMeter, YouTube, Web History, Buzz and Profiles.
You should also be aware of two other details not specific to early adopters: support limitations and “conflicting accounts”. Additional applications beyond the core suite are not covered by Google Enterprise support or the 99.9% uptime guarantee. However, many services have self-service online help resources, and a subset (such as AdWords) offer enhanced support options. Finally, a small fraction of Google Apps users have created personal Google Accounts based on their organization’s Google Apps email addresses. Users in this situation will need to rename these “conflicting accounts” during the transition process, and we’ll help these users make the necessary changes.

So...if you understand the limitations and would like to transition users to the new infrastructure, sign in to the control panel. If you use the control panel in English and meet our other early adopter eligibility criteria, you’ll start seeing a notification in your dashboard in the next few days where you can get started. You can begin with a handful of pilot users, and then transition your whole organization once you’ve had a chance to kick the tires.

If any of the current limitations are problematic for you, or if your organization isn’t eligible yet, hang tight and keep an eye out here for the next phase of our roll-out. We’re excited to help you move to the new infrastructure too, and we’ll be ready for you soon! For more information, please explore our Help Center documentation for administrators and for end-users.